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Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Live & Kicking duo depart
Steve Wilson and Emma Ledden
Steve Wilson and Emma Ledden on the set of Live and Kicking
Live & Kicking presenters Emma Ledden and Steve Wilson have parted company with the Saturday morning children's show, which could now be axed altogether.

The pair only took over from Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston last autumn, but during their brief stint the programme's ratings have fallen.

A BBC spokeswoman said the decision to terminate their contracts was reached by "mutual agreement".

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball's double act with Jamie Theakston was a ratings winner

Live & Kicking is due to return for a new series in the autumn, but it is not yet clear what will happen to the programme.

The spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "Steve and Emma will no longer be presenting the show on Saturday mornings, by mutual agreement.

"Emma will continue to present for MTV and Steve is currently working on a music-based show for the BBC."

She added: "We are looking at a number of options as far as the series in the autumn is concerned and we are not ruling out replacing the series with something else."

Ratings battle

Live & Kicking has suffered a slump since the departure of golden couple Ball and Theakston, recently reunited on Channel 4 show The Priory.

In their absence, Ant and Dec have seen their madcap SM:TV show put ITV ahead in the Saturday morning ratings battle.

Ledden, 22, admitted to The Mirror newspaper that Ant and Dec had the edge over her and Wilson when it came to experience.

"You have to remember they have worked together for years and years. They know each other inside out.

Greg Dyke, Steve Wilson and Emma Ledden
BBC chief Greg Dyke poses with the two presenters

"Steve and I did not know each other at the start and it took time to gain a good rapport. By the end, I think we had started to crack that relationship."

Ledden added that she had thoroughly enjoyed her time on the programme.

"It was a dream come true to do this job and I have loved every minute of it. It was my first job in terrestrial television, but it was obviously not meant to be."

Live & Kicking began in 1993 and was originally hosted by Emma Forbes and Andi Peters, before Ball and Theakston replaced them three years later.

It follows in a long line of BBC Saturday morning programmes, including Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore and Going Live.

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See also:

10 Mar 00 | Entertainment
DJ Zoe's final breakfast
08 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Baftas honour Zoe and Jamie
17 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Theakston quits Live & Kicking
06 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Zoe leaving for a lie-in
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