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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
More Slap Bang for Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec: Another crack at prime time TV
Ant and Dec have been commissioned by ITV to make a new series of their Saturday night show Slap Bang - despite poor ratings and a critical drubbing.

And the TV pair's spokesman has slapped down reports that the presenters might be leaving their successful children's show SM:TV.

SM:TV's success in the Saturday morning slot has led to the BBC launching a revamped children's programme fronted by Dani Behr and Joe Mace.

Ulrika Jonsson
Dog Eat Dog bit into Ant and Dec's audience
Ant and Dec's spokesman told BBC News Online: "Of course they will leave the show at some point - they won't do it forever.

"But they don't have a leaving date in mind and it won't be in the near future."

The spokesman said that the two presenters were signed to ITV rather than to the SM:TV programme alone.

The six-week series of Slap Bang was launched in May and pulled in nearly 4 million viewers on its first showing.

But the audience fell to 2.9 million by the time of its final airing.

BBC One's Dog Eat Dog with Ulrika Johnson proved a stronger draw, with an average of 5.5 million viewers.

'Beaten'

But the spokesman said that ITV had been happy with Ant and Dec's first venture into prime time TV.

"We were beaten by Ulrika Jonsson - but it was only a trial to see how they'd do in that spot.

"They handled it really well and ITV are really behind them.

"They have shown their faith by re-commissioning."

This autumn Ant and Dec are fronting the new ITV sequels to Popstars, called Pop Idol.

The new series of Slap Bang will not be shown until next year.

See also:

23 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Behr challenges Ant and Dec
21 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Ant and Dec plan SM:TV swansong
07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Ant and Dec leave BBC
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Ant and Dec go primetime
13 May 01 | TV and Radio
Ant and Dec grow up
19 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Ant and Dec rapped over nudity
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