Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

Ant and Dec sign new ITV contract

Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec have been signed to ITV since 2000

TV presenters Ant and Dec say they are "delighted" and "excited" to have signed a new and exclusive two-year deal with ITV.

Reports suggest the contract is worth £20m to the duo, even though it represents a 10% pay cut on last year's. ITV has declined to comment.

In a statement, Anthony McPartlin, 33, said: "We are delighted to sign with ITV for another two years."

The Britain's Got Talent hosts also revealed a new show - Push The Button.

They gave no details of the programme's format, but trade magazine Broadcast said earlier this week it would pit two families against each other in a series of timed challenges.

Ant and Dec will kick off each episode by surprising the contestants in their homes, it added, and suggested the programme could eventually replace the duo's main vehicle, Saturday Night Takeaway.

'Talented TV stars'

The duo rose to fame as teenage actors on BBC children's show Byker Grove before a stint as pop singers, using the names of their TV characters, PJ and Duncan.

They joined ITV in 1998 presenting the Saturday morning shows SM:TV Live and CD:UK.

They have been signed exclusively to ITV since 2000.

McPartlin told the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August that the pair were prepared to take a pay cut as the industry suffered from the economic downturn.

"We work for a commercial broadcaster and we are paid the going rate," he explained.

Peter Fincham, ITV director of television, channels and online, said: "Ant and Dec are without question two of the UK's most talented television stars who have helped make ITV the home of entertainment.

"They have a unique appeal and a very special quality which means that they are loved by young and old alike."

Declan Donnelly, 34, added: "We're particularly excited about the new media opportunities, which will allow us to make fresh and exciting content for online."

The presenters flew out to Australia at the beginning of this week to prepare for the latest series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!



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