Ant and Dec reveal they had showdown talks with Simon Cowell over BGT editing

28 August 2020, 10:43 | Updated: 28 August 2020, 10:49

Ant and Dec have revealed they almost quit Britain's Got Talent
Ant and Dec have revealed they almost quit Britain's Got Talent. Picture: PA

Ant and Dec have revealed that they almost quit Britain's Got Talent after being unhappy with the editing.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have revealed that they once had a showdown with Simon Cowell over their role on Britain's Got Talent.

The presenting duo, who have worked on BGT since it first aired in 2007, admitted that they threatened to quit the show after being unhappy with the way they were edited and Simon Cowell's timekeeping.

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In their autobiography Once Upon A Tyne, as reported by The Sun, they said that waiting for Simon 'drives us nuts' while sharing frustrations they previously felt on the show.

They wrote: "A couple of hours after we arrive at the theatre, we focus on one of the key elements of any BGT audition day: waiting for Simon Cowell to turn up.

Ant and Dec had showdown talks with Simon Cowell back in 2012
Ant and Dec had showdown talks with Simon Cowell back in 2012. Picture: PA

"Once we’ve got started on that, we’ll often film interviews with some of that day’s acts, then have a bit of food, then get back to waiting for Simon."

Simon himself also contributed to the book, and responded to these claims.

He wrote: "They used to have a real issue with me being late and it used to drive them nuts."

Ant and Dec then jokingly wrote: "We’ve still got a real issue with him being late and it still drives us nuts."

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The pair also revealed that they became frustrated after seeing that large parts of their footage had been edited out of the main show.

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After telling ITV bosses that they were considering leaving the show, they had showdown talks with Simon Cowell in LA as he tried to win them back.

Ant said: "It was on a trip to America, in 2012, where we had to have a serious conversation with Simon.

"The previous series of BGT had been especially tricky for us two.

"The audition days had been very long, which in itself we don’t mind, but after filming interviews and interacting with every single act, as well as making jokes, giving reactions and everything else we always do, we found that when the show went out on TV, we hardly seemed to feature in it at all.

"We began to feel that we were wasting our time doing the auditions because all the footage of the work we were doing was ending up on the cutting-room floor.

"And, what’s more, with Saturday Night Takeaway about to come back into our schedule, we could have been putting our efforts into that in January, when the auditions happen.

"The experience left us feeling like we were being sidelined."

Ant and Dec opened up about the incident in their new book
Ant and Dec opened up about the incident in their new book. Picture: Little, Brown Book Group

Dec then added: "We’d been to see the bosses at ITV and told them we were strongly considering leaving BGT.

"At that stage, it felt like it may as well have been anyone hosting the show and we said that when our current contract expired, we thought it was time to move on.

The pair then revealed that Simon made the necessary changes in the next series, and they changed their mind about leaving the show.


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