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Last Updated: Friday, 24 September, 2004, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Geordie duo sign new ITV contract
Ant and Dec
The pair joined ITV in 1998 with their show SMTV
Television duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have renewed their contract with ITV for another three years.

The award-winning presenters of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and Saturday Night Takeaway have signed exclusively ITV.

It is thought the deal could be worth around 2m each.

Ant and Dec - who started out on children's' TV series Byker Grove - said they were "thrilled" to be staying with the channel.

Donnelly, who celebrates his 29th birthday on Saturday, said: "We're really buzzing and looking forward to further runs of our existing shows, as well as creating new and exciting projects with ITV over the next three years."

[Ant and Dec] have a unique appeal to our audience and are loved by everyone from kids to grannies
Nigel Pickard, ITV

McPartlin, 28, added: "[ITV] have given us the opportunity to create and work on some of the best entertainment shows around."

Unique appeal

Ant and Dec, joined ITV in 1998 presenting the Saturday morning show SMTV. Their contracts with ITV were due to expire at the end of the year.

Nigel Pickard, ITV's director of programmes, said the duo were an "enormous asset" to the channel.

"They have a unique appeal to our audience and are loved by everyone from kids to grannies," he said.

"They are immensely talented presenters who really do get better with every series. And as everyone who meets or works with them knows, they're also incredibly nice guys."

ITV's Controller of Entertainment Claudia Rosencrantz said: "The last four years have allowed us to build some great shows with Ant and Dec.

"They have become synonymous with the channel and I'm really pleased they still feel so at home with us.

"We have a terrific working relationship and we're all very excited about the next three years".

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