More than four million watch Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway finale

More than four million viewers tuned into watch the finale of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who have paused their ITV1 entertainment series to “catch our breath”, signed off the 20th series in a star-studded two-hour final show from 7pm.

The extended finale saw a peak viewership of 5.3 million, according to overnight ratings released by ITV.

An average of 4.6 million viewers tuned in, the broadcaster said.

The finale saw Holly Willoughby, Rylan Clark, Olly Murs, Davina McCall, Gino D’Acampo and Cheryl get their revenge on the Geordie duo during a pre-recorded restaurant prank which mirrored Ant and Dec’s popular Get Out Of My Ear segment.

Meanwhile, Craig David entertained crowds outside the studio with a DJ set.

The launch episode of this series had an average of 4.9 million viewers, with 5.6 million tuning in at its peak.

Saying farewell to the show, which began in 2002 and was previously paused between 2009 and 2013, McPartlin called it an “honour and a privilege” to host for so long.

Donnelly told the audience that the experience was “beyond our wildest dreams” and they have “truly adored every second of making the show”.

In a joint statement on Instagram, they wrote: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.

“To all the guests, crew, and most importantly you at home who have made the last 20 series so incredible to be part of. We are so grateful to everyone who tuned in and we couldn’t have done it without you.”

The finale also saw McPartlin and Donnelly joined by S Club, Tony Hadley and Kaiser Chiefs to perform the Leeds band’s hit track I Predict A Riot, while McFly sang a version of their song All About You to the presenters.

Britain’s Got Talent boss Simon Cowell and This Morning presenters Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond also appeared to farewell the duo, alongside TV presenter Andi Peters and radio host Jordan North.

McPartlin and Donnelly present other shows for ITV, including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Limitless Win, and will be back on TV screens next Saturday and Sunday hosting the 17th season of Britain’s Got Talent.