Costumes, llamas, and live audience: The Ants and Saturday Night December Takeaway big, dumb and super smart

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Stephen Mulhern appears on your television screen dressed as a “trophy,” although you wouldn’t blame him if he thought it was a ballot box. Two of England’s most famous men, Ant and Dec, are bowling with a crowned green bowling ball through a glowing hoop, wearing American football shoulder pads. For whatever reason, sports broadcaster Clive Tyldesley leads all of this.

you are watching Ants and December Saturday Night Takeawayand it is the gold standard in British light entertainment.

Saturday night take away returns this weekend, with live studio viewership for the first time since March 2020, for the 18th series, after the banner year in 2021, when the second-highest average viewership ever (8.5 million, second only to 8.54 million in 2020).

The scene I just described is from last year’s season finale, and while that may have happened at any time since 2002, it feels very comfortable in our television landscape today.

Where are other formats that once defined the spirit of the times, such as X factor and Eldest brother – has fallen by the wayside, Saturday night take away it has held up, as the format allows it to move over time increasingly visually driven.

Television entertainment has seen little change in recent years. Long ago, reality TV contests starring ordinary people were ruled, fueled by the tabloid press. But today, tastes are influenced by the endless possibilities of the Internet, where only the weirdest, dumbest, or most amazing will make it viral.

Shows – where shows like masked singer, masked dancer and recently, ITV dazzled entry – is the guiding principle now (even simple quiz programs, such as Wheel on BBC One, they are designed to attract you).

Clear, Saturday night take awayThe desire to play dumb was informed by their hosts. Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are up for anything and so are great to be on TV.

They are natural without being boring and brash without feeling trained or too tacky. Their ease and expertise is why ITV asked them to host their biggest property (it is rumored they have signed a £40m ‘gold handcuff’ deal with the broadcaster in 2020, to avoid competing bids), despite the legality of it. Problems McPartlin faced in 2018.

Duo Geordie returns on Saturday with a segment added to their classic show (Photo: ITV)

In fact, you can measure the passage of time with the Ant and Des franchises: Brittany Has Talent it means Easter is near. and what is it? I’m a celebrity… already? Better to get the Christmas tree out of the attic.

However, the couple’s true mission statement is Saturday night take away. This is definitely Ant and Dec’s prized calf: a variety show for a contemporary audience that includes the music, celebrities, and, of course, the visual comedy they’re familiar with.

The segments include amazing hidden camera action; “The End of the Show Show”, where the dazzling hosts Morecambe and Wise bring out their best, performs the final musical number with a celebrity guest; and, of course, “Ant Vs Dec,” an ongoing contest in which they refer to the slapstick that made them famous as children’s hosts on the show. SMTV: live.

Ants and December wear so many hats that it feels natural Saturday night take away it will pass the last left turn of the television. In many ways, the structure, made up of different parts, even anticipates it.

It’s the only one of its kind on TV: fast-paced, broadly appealing, and loves to embrace things that are visually goofy. So by 2022 standards, season 18 can only progress.

Ants and December Saturday Night Takeaway from Saturday 19 February at 7pm on ITV

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Jordan Schuman

"Freelance bacon fanatic. Amateur internet scholar. Award-winning pop culture fan."

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