Saturday Night Takeaway unveils ‘CHAOTIC’ new Little Ant and Dec as fans beg presenters to bring back original duo for the last series

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly returned to screens for the last ever series of Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend, over 20 years on from the first episode.

But as the presenters hosted the show, there was another, smaller, iconic duo that were seemingly missing – with fans begging producers to bring them back.

Little Ant and Dec have been a staple on the gameshow, with James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw taking on the role from 2006 until 2013, being replaced by Neil Overend and Haydn Reid until 2018.

And this weekend the hosts unveiled their new mini-me’s, welcoming the small duo, aged five and six, to the show.

Bursting through the screen and giving their older counterparts a hug, little Ant didn’t waste a second when it came to insulting big Ant about the size of his forehead.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly returned to screens for the last ever series of Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend and unveiled their new mini-me's
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Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly returned to screens for the last ever series of Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend and unveiled their new mini-me’s

Little Ant and Dec have been a staple on the gameshow, with James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw starring on the show from 2006 until 2013 (pictured)
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Little Ant and Dec have been a staple on the gameshow, with James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw starring on the show from 2006 until 2013 (pictured)

While viewers praised the ‘chaotic’ pair for being even ‘more fun and cheekier’, others questioned what the original mini-me’s where up to.

One person shared on X: ‘Laughing so hard at the new Little Ant and Dec and their antics on the screen! Little chaos machines!’

Another added: ‘New Little Ant and Dec are pure chaos. Love it.’

‘Loving the new Little Ant and Dec already. They’re even more fun and cheekier,’ a third posted.

Meanwhile, one fan asked: ‘Okay hear me out.. how about we bring the old little Ant and Dec back and just collectively agree as a country to ignore they’re no longer little?’

Another questioned: ‘Can we bring back the original little ant and little dec for the final show of the series?’

‘Be good if they could find way of putting original little ant and dec in show,’ someone penned.

An audition call was put out by ITV bosses late last year looking for ‘confident, cheeky chatty boys with a Geordie accent between the ages of 5-7 who think they could be the next Little Ant and Dec’.

Bursting through the screen and giving their older counterparts a hug, little Ant didn't waste a second when it came to insulting big Ant about the size of his forehead
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View gallery

Bursting through the screen and giving their older counterparts a hug, little Ant didn’t waste a second when it came to insulting big Ant about the size of his forehead

While viewers praised the 'chaotic' pair for being even 'more fun and cheekier', others questioned what the original mini-me's where up to
+9
View gallery

While viewers praised the ‘chaotic’ pair for being even ‘more fun and cheekier’, others questioned what the original mini-me’s where up to

One person shared on X: 'Laughing so hard at the new Little Ant and Dec and their antics on the screen! Little chaos machines!'

One person shared on X: ‘Laughing so hard at the new Little Ant and Dec and their antics on the screen! Little chaos machines!’

Meanwhile, another fan asked: 'Okay hear me out.. how about we bring the old little Ant and Dec back and just collectively agree as a country to ignore they¿re no longer little?'

Meanwhile, another fan asked: ‘Okay hear me out.. how about we bring the old little Ant and Dec back and just collectively agree as a country to ignore they’re no longer little?’

James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw were the first to play Little Ant and Dec way back in 2003.

The cheeky duo interviewed the likes of Katie Price, David and Victoria BeckhamTony Blair, and Will Smith.

The boys were last on the show in 2006 after aging out of the roles and were not replaced until series 10 in 2013.

They were replaced by Neil Overend, now 17, and Haydn Reid, now 16, and appeared on the show to welcome them.

They have since shied away from the public eye. James was most recently reported as working for the RAC as a patrolman, a job he said he ‘absolutely loved’ in 2021

And now, James covers the Sunderland and Durham as a patrolman for the RAC, which he’s worked for since 2015.

He lives in Chester-le-Street in County Durham, with his fiancée Nicole and their two sons, aged one and three.

Speaking of his new career, James previously told The Sun: ‘I absolutely love my job. There’s nothing better than being out on the roads helping people who have broken down.

‘I really pride myself on being able to fix most of the cars I go out to.’

Earlier this year, James and Dylan met with Ant and Dec, who were stunned over how much they have changed.

Speaking about the reunion, Dylan admitted to the publication: ‘They were shocked when they saw us, it’s been a few years since we have caught up and we are much taller!’

James added: ‘Times have changed. I don’t think I look like a Little Ant now but I really enjoyed the experience and its something I’ll never forget.’

James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw were last on the show in 2006 and were replaced in 2013 with Neil Overend and Haydn Reid
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James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw were last on the show in 2006 and were replaced in 2013 with Neil Overend and Haydn Reid

James and Dylan backstage carrying Neil and Haydn, with James and Neil thumbing their noses
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James and Dylan backstage carrying Neil and Haydn, with James and Neil thumbing their noses

In 2013, Dylan shared a snap himself enjoying a beer with the real Ant and Dec to his Twitter account, reallittledec
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In 2013, Dylan shared a snap himself enjoying a beer with the real Ant and Dec to his Twitter account, reallittledec

Saturday Night Takeaway's original Little Ant, James Pallister, 28, is now an RAC patrolman for Sunderland and Durham
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Saturday Night Takeaway’s original Little Ant, James Pallister, 28, is now an RAC patrolman for Sunderland and Durham

As for Little Dec, Dylan set up his own nutrition business which helps people with weight loss, muscle gain, and sports performance.

In 2013, Dylan shared snaps of himself enjoying a beer with the real Ant and Dec as well as goofing around with James and their replacements backstage.

He said: ‘It’s always good to see Ant and Dec again. They were shocked when they saw us, it’s been a few years since we have caught up and we are much taller!

‘It was a really good experience. Me and James used to joke with Ant and Dec. They were great teachers! Looking back I guess we were able to be more naughty and cheeky than they would have got away with.’

In 2018, Neil and Haydn stepped down from the roles as Little Ant and Dec after five years to focus on their studies.

An ITV source told MailOnline at the time the pair, who hail from Durham, had ‘outgrown their roles’ and will now focus on their exams.

As for Saturday Night Takeaway, the show is returning to our screens but will be the last series for an undetermined period of time as Ant and Dec take a ‘breather.’

‘The show takes up such a lot of our year we just feel we need a little bit of a breather and that the show is going to take a little bit of a rest,’ they said in a video update shared with fans last year.

‘We love making Saturday Night Takeaway, but reaching the milestone of 20 series seemed like the perfect time to pause for a little while and catch our breath,’ they added.

Ant and Dec launched Saturday Night Takeaway in 2002, with the show pausing for a period in 2009, before returning four years later in 2013.

It has received multiple Bafta and National Television Awards (NTA), including presenting accolades for the Geordie duo.

The show consists of a selection of comical games, participation from studio audience members or unsuspecting members of the public, with a musical or dance performance to finish.

The pair are set to continue their working relationship with ITV, as hosts of popular shows including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Britain’s Got Talent and Limitless Win.

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