Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returning to screens with virtual audience

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Saturday Night Takeaway will return to ITV tonight but without a live studio audience.

Coronavirus restrictions mean the flagship variety show, now on its 17th series, will be filmed in front of a virtual audience of 300 people.

The first episode will see Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly joined by guests Jamie and Harry Redknapp and Take That star Gary Barlow.

Segment Undercover will also return, with the Redknapps, Davina McCall and Sir Mo Farah all victims of the duo’s hidden camera pranks.

Viewers should also expect the return of I’m A Celebrity… Get Out Of Me Ear, in which the presenting duo instruct stars what to do through a hidden earpiece.

The new episodes will also feature a mini-series called Double Trouble in which Ant and Dec have been cloned and the clones have gone rogue, and will feature celebrities including Bear Grylls, Prue Leith, Rob Brydon, Alison Hammond and Jermaine Jenas.

Saturday Night Takeaway will also have a new companion show on the ITV Hub.

The seven 10-minute episodes will feature new interviews with Ant and Dec and behind-the-scenes gossip.

The last series of the variety show aired without a live audience for the first time in 18 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They hosted the final episode from the sofas in their own homes.

Ant recently announced he and his girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett had got engaged.

The couple have been in a relationship since 2018, following Ant’s separation from Lisa Armstrong, his wife of 11 years.

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returns on February 20 at 7pm on ITV.

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