The UK’s favourite Geordie duo took to screens for an alternative Saturday Night Takeaway

Jan Cerretti, Broadcast Account Director


In the battle against COVID-19, the decision to put the UK on Lockdown has meant that as well as spending more time with our loved ones, up and down the country we have also been watching a lot more TV.

Staying home to stay safe has meant watching plenty of content, a lot of which I wouldn’t normally tune in for – Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway being one example. The first time I watched was the 21st March. What a show!

As usual Ant & Dec did ‘their thing’ but this time ‘their thing’, in my opinion, went above and beyond any other show they have done. No studio audience to participate in the games. No holidays abroad.

Having to keep their distance from each other and they still put on a stonker of a show which, for me, evoked all kinds of emotions. From laughing my head off watching Bradley Walsh being wound up doing The Chase, to crying at the end when Olly Murs got everyone in the studio dancing together (adhering to social distancing), with hundreds of dancing videos on the screen behind them that had been sent in from viewers all over the country.

I’m pretty sure the other 10 million people watching at home across the country would have been up on their feet too – I definitely was.

As I got settled for another awesome show this weekend, I was a bit disappointed that they weren’t in the studio again until I realised that ITV & Ant & Dec were taking the Coronavirus advice seriously.



So, alongside the other 8 million+ audience (which will grow once consolidated), I sat back and watched another great show. Ant & Dec had to again adapt how the show was presented but it was seamless. So much so that I can’t wait to see what they do with the final show of the current series on Saturday. It’ll be another ‘must watch’ for me.

It’s great to witness how powerful TV is in a social context in these tough times. Well done to ITV and STV for bringing everyone together throughout this difficult period of isolation.

While ‘must-see’ TV can help unite a nation, big TV audiences provide an opportunity to effectively communicate Coronavirus advice, helping save lives and reassuring communities in the face of uncertainty and worry.

On behalf of the Scottish Government we’ve been at the centre of such work over the last few weeks so my emotion was magnified seeing the campaign being aired in both episodes. At Republic of Media we take our responsibility as public sector media experts seriously. Never more so than now and for the foreseeable future.

Keep safe everyone.