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"We’ll probably get loads of letters from angry mums!"
The Geordie boys are back! They’ve got a new show Unzipped , and a new single, Shout . We catch up with the phenomenon that is Ant & Dec…

We’ve heard your new show is a little bit on the mad side!
Ant - Well, it is a bit! It’s similar to the last show, with us in our flat. The set is great, with our bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and Dec’s study. As usual we always have a nice girl on the show and try and get off with her!
Dec - We never do, though - it always goes horribly wrong! This show is a cross between a sit-com and a panto, which makes it very weird at times!

Is it a bit more naughty?
Dec - Yeah, it is a bit. We get to say words that we couldn’t before because it’s on later at night! Our imaginations have run riot, a bit like us!
Ant - There’s a part of the show called Learn To Swear With Ant & Dec, which parents will love. We’ll probably get loads of letters from angry mums.

It’s been said that Chris Evans didn’t want your show on the same night as his - why’s that?
Dec - I dunno! Maybe he’s a bit scared that we’re funnier! I don’t think Chris likes us much, but the feeling’s kind of mutual!
Ant - I don’t even know if that’s true, but if it is it’s silly. The show isn’t there to challenge TFI or steal its viewers. It’s a different kind of show, but I doubt he’ll be inviting us on!
Dec - That’s OK, ‘cause he’s not getting involved in ours!

Is making the show fun?
Ant - We do have a laugh! It’s us being ourselves in front of the camera, and we’re such good mates it’ll always be fun.
Dec - We get into trouble sometimes because we forget we have radio mics on, which means when we’re off set everyone can still hear us. We have been known to utter the odd sweary, but that’s because we’re from a part of the world where chaps do that sometimes!

You both still have very strong Geordie accents.
Ant - Do we?! That’s weird, because we went home and all our mates were saying, "Listen to you, speaking like a Southerner!" Then when we came back everyone thought we had strong accents again!

What are your fave Geordie sayings?
Ant - I like ‘Divi ‘kna’, which means ‘I don’t know’, and ‘Ee ‘Hey’ which sort of means ‘Oh dear!’
Dec - My favourite is ‘Canny’ which can mean a lot of things, like, ‘That was a canny song’, meaning ‘great’, or ‘Go canny’, meaning ‘Be careful’.

At this point Ant spots a famous actress on the other side of the canteen!
Ant - Oh, Dec man, there’s Judi Dench over there!
Dec - It’s mad working on TV, y’know - we see famous people all the time. I saw Dawn French in the queue for tea the other day!

But you guys are famous too!
Ant - We never think of ourselves as famous, though. We’re just lucky enough to do a job we love.
Dec - There are loads of people who we’re not even nearly as famous as. I’d consider us well known rather than famous!

Are you rich yet?
Dec - Er, well we’ve got a bit of money, but I don’t know if we’re rich…
Ant - We’ve more money than we used to have. We don’t spend it all on fancy stuff like famous people are meant to, though. I bought a quilt the other day, which is the sort of thing I spend money on. And CDs!
Dec - I went out and bought a brand new set of bed sheets last week. Not very exciting, I know, but I’ve been after a new set for ages!

What’s it like sharing a flat together in real life?
Dec - Well, we come to work with our scripts in a school bag and swot up on our lines - it’s like coming back to school! Then we work all day and go home, drop our bags at the door and play on our Play Station all night - it’s brilliant!
Ant - We do have a real laugh, though. Working is a bit like going to school, and when we come home we just much about a lot!

Tell us about the new single, Shout.
Ant - It’s a bit different, but that’s not because we’re trying to be, we just thought it was a really good song. We co-wrote it with a guy we’ve never worked with before and it sounded great.
Dec - When we were thinking about the video some people thought it should be a big, dramatic, serious affair, but that’s just not us. It’s not a huge change of direction of us trying to be some arty-farty types - we just liked the song, simple as that!

What sort of music are you into at the moment?
Ant - I really like the new Blur single, and an old ‘Sixties singer called Donovan. Ask your folks about him!
Dec - The Spice Girls are quite good. We met them when we presented a TV awards show and we got on well. We were waiting to be spiced, but it never seemed to happen. I’m still not sure what that actually involves, but it sounds good!

If there was an Ant & Dec movie, what would it be like?
Ant - I’d love to do a classic road movie where me and Dec travel through America on bikes and get ourselves into all kinds of bother, or maybe a ‘Sixties type adventure movie with a great soundtrack. Actually there’s a song on our new album called Cult Of Ant & Dec that would be perfect for that - look out for it!
Dec - It’d be great to have classic actors like Michael Caine in it - we could just get all our heroes on! Of course, it would always have to be a comedy, ‘cause we love having a laugh!

Words by Paul Smernicki Taken from TV Hits magazine - March 1997 issue 91

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