They’re almost never seen apart – but in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, Ant and Dec have given separate interviews about their career, their friendship and their future plans.
“We’ve talked a lot about the future this year,” Ant McPartlin said. “We love I’m a Celebrity, Britain’s Got Talent, Saturday Night Takeway, but they’re all live shows. The difference between doing a live show and a sitcom is that a sitcom can live on. If you do it well, it can leave a legacy, whereas most of our live work never gets repeated because it’s final, it’s done, you start again.”
The duo – whose Saturday Night Takeaway returns to ITV on 23 February – have a particular kind of comedy in mind. “We’re developing a silent comedy idea at the moment. It will take a couple of years and we might never get there, but it’s the way we’d like to go,” Ant said.
Ant and Dec had an abortive attempt to crack America in the late 00s, after which they returned home and continued their success on British TV – but they may yet cross the pond again. “We probably will try our luck in America again,” Ant predicted. “It never really worked because the network didn’t get behind us; it would need to be the right show. I think we’ve got one big push left in us, and we’d have to make sure it’s worth it. If it happens, it happens, but because everything is going so well over here, we’re not dying to break America.”
The pair – who for the first time were interviewed separately, offering a unique perspective of the differences between them – revealed that they are insured against one of them dying: “I’ve heard it’s a couple of million,” Declan Donnelly said. “However much it is, it would never be compensation for losing your best mate. I’ve never wanted to work alone since we started together. All the ideas we have are for the pair of us. There might come a time when we want to do something individually, but I think it’s a long way off.”
Dec – who at one point in the interview broke down and cried when he recalled the pair’s teenage years – added: “People often ask what the secret of our success is, and I used to put it down to just something that happened, but reflecting on it, I think it’s friendship. Ours is a career built on a friendship, not a friendship built on a career.”
Read much more from Ant and Dec – including why neither has children, how they first met and what the biggest argument they’ve ever had was about – in the new issue of Radio Times, in shops now.