5 of Ant and Dec’s most memorable Saturday Night Takeaway moments, including pranking 1D

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Brian Adam
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Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway makes its return to ITV with a whole host of live TV surprises and star-studded names.

Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec (ITV)

Since its debut in 2002, this much-loved Ant and Dec vehicle has wowed with A-list showbiz guests, high-octane stunts and challenges, celebrity undercover set-ups and surprises for the studio audience and unsuspecting viewers watching at home.

Picking just a few of the highlights wasn’t easy, but here are our top five Saturday Night Takeaway moments.

1. Undercover bags One Direction

Back when the heartthrobs were a five-piece band in 2013, they thought they were being interviewed for New Zealand TV. But they weren’t – it was Ant.

And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a disguised Dec pretending to be a Directioner.

2. Louis Walsh’s banana phone

The former X Factor judge was a brilliant sport in I’m A Celebrity Get Out Of Me Ear! in 2013. The Irishman let puppet masters Ant and Dec pull the strings as he showed unsuspecting painters and decorators around his house.

At one point, Louis used a banana as a phone and pretended to speak to Dannii Minogue. Little wonder Ant and Dec roared with laughter.

3. PJ and Duncan return!

In 2013, Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble made it to the top of the UK Singles Chart – 19 years after its original release.

Why? Because the video of Ant and Dec turning back the clock as PJ and Duncan – complete with dance moves, baggy pullovers and trainers – went viral. And it was absolutely wicked. That’s why.

4. Simon’s not amused

In 2003, Simon Cowell was a panellist on American Idol alongside fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. How he didn’t twig earlier that the ‘brothers’ auditioning before him were Ant and Dec is a mystery.

Yes, they’d donned wigs and prosthetic make-up, but it’s still pretty funny to watch an exasperated Simon look on with disdain as the pair bumbled their way through a cringy rendition of Paula’s hit Opposites Attract. To give Simon credit, he finally started to smell a rat near the end.

5. Gordon Ramsay explodes

No surprise when the celebrity chef lost his cool with ‘Juan’ and ‘Juan Junior’ (guess who?) when the hapless handymen caused havoc on the set of Gordon’s US MasterChef series in 2014.

Disguised as Latino men, the Geordie duo made noise on set whenever Gordon tried to speak his lines and an unappetising-looking burrito was left on his mobile phone.

Gordon’s expletive-laden exclamations are TV gold.

Saturday Night Takeaway is broadcast on ITV at 7pm.

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