Ant and Dec reunited with their former co-host Cat Deeley on Saturday morning (Boxing Day/December 26) to celebrate 30 years of SM:TV Live.
The Story of SM:TV Live saw the three presenters look back at the Saturday morning kids TV show that launched all of their careers.
During the programme, Ant and Dec revealed that after they decided not to carry on pursuing music they turned SM:TV Live down twice before agreeing to take it on.
"We rang up the manager and said, 'we don't want the record deal, we’'e not going to do it anymore, we're going to do something else.' We didn't know what yet, but we knew we wanted to do something else," Dec said.
"We came up with various ideas for TV shows, made a few enquiries, and we thought we were going to be able to pinch the chart from the BBC and take it to ITV."
Ant also said that the show concept was the same as CD:UK and that it would be an hour-long chart show – ITV turned the idea down and gave them another opportunity.
Ant explained: "They basically pitched the idea back to us and said, 'Could you do this on Saturday mornings, but do it for three hours?'"
"So you're in your 20s, you're out of work, you've got no prospects and ITV say to you, 'how about doing three hours every Saturday morning? Not just for 28 weeks a year, for 52 weeks a year, for the whole year?' And we went no," he added.
Ant reflected on that moment and said it was "arrogance", while Dec thought it was "stupidity", he said: "We were like, 'we'll do the music show, but we're not doing that. Cartoons and all that? Pfft.'"
The presenting duo were offered the show again and ITV tried to explain to them that Saturday morning TV was the best opportunity for them to learn about presenting in a live environment. The pair had their own production company and turned the commission down for a second time.
"And then we realised that we were looking a gift horse in the mouth here, and we just thought yeah okay let's do it," Ant said.
The Story of SM:TV Live is available to stream on ITV Hub.
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