Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly shocked fans across the nation when they sensationally quit Saturday Night Takeaway on Thursday.
The Geordie presenters, both 47, announced the multiple BAFTA-winning show will take a break after 2024, following its 20th series.
The series previously took a pause in 2009, returning four years later in 2013.
And while the duo can’t find time for their namesake show, they’ll continue their exclusive working relationship with ITV.
Now, MailOnline takes a look at their reasons behind the surprise decision and when it will return for its final series.
Why have Ant and Dec quit Saturday Night Takeaway? When will the ITV show return? Everything you need to know after the Geordie duo’s shock announcement (pictured in February 2023)
Why have Ant and Dec quit Saturday Night Takeaway?
In a press release, Ant said: ‘We love making Saturday Night Takeaway, but reaching the milestone of 20 series seemed like the perfect time to pause for a little while and catch our breath.’
Dec added: ‘We still have a momentous 20th series to look forward to first so we will do our best to go out (for now) with a bang in 2024!’
Kevin Lygo, ITV Managing Director, Media and Entertainment, said: ‘When you think of Saturday night television you think of Saturday Night Takeaway.
‘Over 20 series the show has become a cultural phenomenon, and while we eagerly anticipate what Ant & Dec have up their sleeves for the 2024 series, we completely understand their desire to take a pause, take stock, and think about what the next incarnation of the show might look like.’
In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday evening, Dec explained that they both ‘need a bit of a rest’ amid their other ongoing work commitments.
He said: ‘The show takes up such a lot of our year, we just feel that we need a little bit of a breather and have a little bit of a rest.’
Wow! The Geordie presenters, both 47, announced the multiple BAFTA -winning show will take a break after 2024, following its 20th series (pictured in March 2023)
Throwback: The series previously took a pause in 2009, returning four years later in 2013 (pictured in 2004)
When will the ITV show return?
Ant and Dec announced the show will take a break after 2024.
Produced by Lifted Entertainment (part of ITV Studios) and Mitre Studios, Saturday Night Takeaway will return next year for its 20th series.
The series has spawned numerous iconic segments, including Win the Ads, Undercover, Get Out Of Me Ear, The End of Show Show and the Happiest Minute of the Week.
The most recent series launched in February with ITV1’s biggest overnight audience of the year, attracting 6.4 million viewers, and the biggest entertainment audience across any channel.
The show’s combination of live, high energy, feel good fun has seen the format achieve multiple BAFTA and National Television Awards since launching in 2002.
In their Twitter video, Ant said: ‘Hi everyone, we’ve got some news for you. Next year, in 2024, it will be our 20th series of Saturday Night Takeaway and we’ve got some very exciting new items.’
They announced the huge news from the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida this evening after hosting the last episode of the series.
Dec added: ‘And we’ve also decided that our 20th series next year will be our last one for a little while.’
Ant and Dec – who initially found fame on Byker Grove in the late 1980s – first fronted the show from 2002 until 2009 when the show went on hiatus and since its 2013 return, they have been joined by a string of co-presenters over the years including the likes of Scarlett Moffatt, Stephen Mulhern and Jordan Banjo.
In 2021, the show – which relies heavily on participation from its studio audience – went virtual in order to allow the interaction to continue.
Sombre: In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday evening, Ant (left) said: ‘Hi everyone, we’ve got some news for you’