Ant and Dec's best Saturday Night Takeaway moments as show ends

From Louis Walsh's banana phone to a live TV wedding, Saturday Night Takeaway has given us some very memorable moments.

Louis Walsh and Victoria Beckham have joined Ant and Dec for some great Saturday Night Takeaway moments. (ITV)
Louis Walsh and Victoria Beckham have joined Ant and Dec for some great Saturday Night Takeaway moments. (ITV)

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway will be sorely missed in ITV's weekend schedule. Ever since 2002, the Geordie presenting duo's chaotic variety show has been one of the highlights of the year.

But now, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are hanging up their shiny shoes to give the show a rest following the final episode of the 20th series — watched by more than four million people — this week. Saturday Night Takeaway could return but, for now, it's time to look back on what has gone before.

So here are some of the funniest, most profound, and most dramatic moments in the history of Saturday Night Takeaway. All aboard for a trip down memory lane.

Little Ant and Dec interview Victoria Beckham

The first incarnation of Little Ant and Dec gave us cheekiness personified, with some enormous A-list interviews. Back in 2004, they sat down with Victoria Beckham and immediately asked some very difficult questions about whether Brooklyn got his name from where he was conceived and when she and David might have more children.

Things got even more bizarre when the lads tried to sign Brooklyn up for a guaranteed future as a Newcastle United player and, as if that wasn't enough, they convinced Posh Spice to take them to the arcade and on a shopping spree.

Ant and Dec take over O2 security

We love watching Ant and Dec make fools of celebrities, but they've also had loads of fun with members of the public over the years. One of their most memorable stunts came in 2022 when they took over security at the O2 Arena, playing the part of an absolutely barmy automated system designed to keep everyone safe.

Of course, the duo's unhelpful antics left punters both baffled and furious. The true star of the show, though, was the elderly Dorothy, who proudly declared that she was "too old for that lark" when the system asked her whether she intended to shoplift. Pure genius.

Rylan's Eurovision prank

Rylan Clark loves Eurovision. In fact, he loves it so much that he'd do anything for it. Ant and Dec exploited that in 2023 for one of their most absurd undercover skits ever. Under the guise of filming promotional material for Eurovision, they convinced Rylan to ride a man in a green morph suit like a motorbike.

The guy's themselves later pretended to be Armenia's entry for the next contest, singing in penguin costumes until one of them caught fire. Thankfully, they soon put the shocked Rylan out of his misery and revealed the prank.

Simon Cowell's American Idol nightmare

One of Ant and Dec's earliest undercover stunts back in 2003 saw them target one of the biggest names in entertainment at the time, Simon Cowell. They jetted all the way to America in order to prank Cowell on the set of talent show American Idol. The guys posed as nervous contestants who delivered a truly remarkable rendition of Paula Abdul's 80s track Opposites Attract.

By the time the performance ended, Cowell looked like he'd more or less rumbled the stunt, so the lads dropped their fake American accents and revealed themselves. They had so much fun making a mockery of the talent show mogul that they pulled off another Simon Cowell prank earlier this year.

Ant and Dec perform in drag

Over the years, the enormous spectacle of the 'End of the Show' Show on Takeaway has seemed to grow bigger and bigger. In 2022, they enlisted the help of three winners of RuPaul's Drag Race UK to transform them into drag alter egos: Lady Antoinette and Miss Donna Lee.

The presenters looked absolutely amazing as their drag characters and were able to deliver a very impressive performance alongside the seasoned queens on stage with them. And it was all for a good cause as well, with the proceeds from original track We Werk Together being donated to food bank charity The Trussell Trust.

Takeaway Wedding

Ant and Dec love to surprise their fans and, over the years, we've seen emotional family reunions and one adoption request that still makes me tearful whenever I remember it. But in 2016, Ant and Dec took one couple's idea for the best day of their lives to the next level by hosting a Takeaway Wedding live on the show.

Sam and Michelle were the lucky couple and they surprised their family by revealing to them that they'd been invited on the show to attend the wedding. Ant and Dec even paid out for the newlyweds to jet off to the Maldives on a fancy honeymoon. So a great deal all round.

Louis Walsh goes bananas

Talent show judges have often been the target of Ant and Dec's pranks and, in 2014, Louis Walsh agreed to be the latest willing victim of the duo's long-running segment: I'm a Celebrity... Get Out of Me Ear. He agreed to wear an earpiece and do whatever the boys asked him to do.

Walsh was one of the most committed celebs in the history of the segment, inviting workmen round to his house and promptly baffling them with erratic behaviour, including pretending to talk to Danni Minogue on a banana instead of a phone.

Ant and Dec abseil down ITV Towers

In 2006, the second edition of the presenter face-off game Ant vs. Dec upped the stakes in a massive way. The first challenge the boys faced was their biggest stunt yet — an abseiling race down the side of ITV Towers.

Dec is famously not a fan of heights, while Ant has historically done much better in these sorts of challenges. This time, though, it was Dec who won. Ant explained to Planet Radio that this was one of his all-time favourite Takeaway moments, saying: "I love anything that involves heights and danger and potential death."

Cynthia derails Ring my Bell

A woman called Cynthia made a mess of Ring My Bell on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. (ITV)
A woman called Cynthia made a mess of Ring My Bell on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. (ITV)

Saturday Night Takeaway has always moved with the times, introducing new games and stunts to make the most of technology. Some segments stand the test of time and become classics, while others are abandoned. Ring My Bell made its debut in 2022 and immediately became one of the highlights of the show, utilising the video doorbells of audience members for a big-money game show.

In 2023, though, one edition became even more anarchic than usual when an elderly woman named Cynthia popped up a bit too early and simply refused to disappear. She might have made a mess of the entire segment, but she won the nation's hearts in the process.

Alison Hammond falls victim to spooky prank

Alison Hammond is a national treasure, no doubt about that. But we got to see her at the end of her tether during one of Ant and Dec's undercover segments in 2023. They tricked Hammond into going to a rural hotel for some filming, only to present her with some seriously creepy trickery.

The whole thing very nearly fell apart when Hammond made plans to leave the hotel and scupper the whole prank, but the pay-off was one of the best Takeaway pranks ever. Hammond is a great sport after all.

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