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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
SM:tv dropped by ITV
SM:tv presenter Tess Daly
Tess Daly is one of the current presenters of SM:tv
ITV has axed Saturday morning childrens' show SM:tv after five years.

The programme will be replaced with a new show early next year.

SM:tv, which was originally hosted by Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly and Cat Deeley, has seen ratings slide since Ant and Dec left two years ago.

Deeley also left the show in 2002, but has continued to present chart show CD: UK which follows on from SM:tv on Saturday mornings.

Steven Andrew, ITV's contoller of children's programmes, said: "After five fantastic years of SM:tv we all recognised it was time for a change on Saturday mornings."

Saturday morning TV has seen a boost for BBC One's The Saturday Show, which is now ahead of its rival, SM:tv, in its target audience of under-12s.

Amongst all individuals aged over four years, SM:tv was generally just ahead of The Saturday Show at the beginning of the year, however recently the figures have turned around with The Saturday Show leading for 12 out of the past 16 weeks.

In the past four weeks The Saturday Show has reached an average of 900,000 viewers, compared with 800,000 for SM:tv for the same period.

Ant and Dec
The pair were popular with adults and children alike

CD:UK has been recommissioned and Deeley is contracted to present the programme until 2004.

SM:tv experimented with various presenters when the original three left, including James Redmond, former Steps singers Ian "H" Watkins and Claire Richards, and Big Brother 2 winner Brian Dowling.

The new show, which has yet to be named, will include games, sketches, music and acquired programmes.

It will also involve interactive elements with chances for viewers to get involved from home.

Steven Andrew said: "We've gone for a show that is all about fun with a team with bags of fresh ideas. I'm confident that the new show, teamed with CD:UK, now a real fixture of Saturday mornings, will be a compelling proposition for kids."

In the autumn, ITV will present the best moments of SM:tv on an interim show called SM:tv Gold.

The programme will mix the current live show format with funny and memorable incidents from the past five years.

Archive footage of pop performances, comedy sketches and presenters from past and present will all be featured.

Ant and Dec's tearful finale
01 Dec 01  |  Entertainment
Presenter Deeley quits SM:tv
05 Apr 02  |  Entertainment
Ant and Dec plan SM:TV swansong
21 Nov 00  |  Entertainment

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