Britain’s Got Talent is back for its 10th year, so there’s no better time for The Resident to sit down with Chiswick neighbours Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to find out what’s still to come for Ant and Dec, one of TVs most-loved duos…
So Britain’s Got Talent is 10 years old. How is she doing?
DEC: Yeah, she’s good. For the first time we’ve stopped and looked back over the past ten years and evaluated it a bit. We’ve remembered Paul Potts’ first interview and little George Sampson turning up and Diversity. You go over all the big moments that we’ve had over the years and, yeah, it’s been quite a ride.
ANT: We’ve unearthed a lot of talent in ten years, more than I think we should have really. One winner a year, but even when they haven’t won they’ve still gone on to be successful and you know they’ve changed their careers. They’ve gone from jobbing in little clubs and stuff to doing tours and everything. So I think we’ve served our purpose very well as a show.
You have done the show for 10 years now. Are you going to be back next year?
ANT: I don’t know. This is our last year we’re contracted for, but look, it’s been ten great years – well nine great years, let’s hope that ten is another good year. And yeah, there’s no reason why we should leave. But let’s do this series first and make it a good’un.
Did you imagine you would still be here 10 years later when it first started?
DEC: Absolutely not.
ANT: Not when we first started no.
DEC: We were talking about it earlier, we looked back over the ten years and started thinking about it and that first series being backstage when Paul Potts walked on stage, and not really expecting a great deal from him, because he didn’t look like he was going to be a great performer. I’m not being rude saying that, we’ve said that before. But when he went out there and then that voice belted out Nessun Dorma – we’d actually taken a break and went to have a tuna sandwich…
Paul Potts didn’t look like he was going to be a great performer so we took a break and went to have a tuna sandwich
ANT: Honestly, we were sat in the dressing room and we just said, ‘Oh my God, that sounds like a standing ovation, let’s get back down there.’
DEC: That was when we knew we had a hit show on our hands. So 10 years on and we’ve delivered so many more moments like that, such as Susan Boyle and Diversity’s first audition. So yeah, it’s been a great ten years and fingers crossed that we unearth another gem this year.
Have you got to press that golden buzzer yet?
DEC: Well, we were saying, we’re at quite a disadvantage because we’re the furthest away from the golden buzzer so we’ve got to be on our toes. And we’re getting a bit older so we’re a bit slower.
Will we see you on stage again this year? It’s great when you pop up to try and help the artists…
ANT: Try and stop me! [laughs]
DEC: We have been on a couple of times already. A few magicians have requested our presence. Hasn’t gone brilliantly I have to say, so far. We’ve been most useful for the one-man band on stilts who wasn’t really too steady on the stilts, so we were just the perfect height to be crutches for him.
DEC: Human crutches. That’s when we’ve been at our most useful so far in the show!
And how is Simon Cowell and David Walliams’ bromance going?
ANT: Alright. Good. Still winding each other up. They constantly do it though, it’s all the time, they’re winding each other up. It’s fun to watch, it’s good. We don’t get involved. We just kind of hang back.
DEC: Still can’t live with each other, still can’t live without each other.
Prince Charles has got a great sense of humour. Prince Harry came last year to the Royal Variety and he was very taken with Jules and Matisse
You have spent a lot of time with Prince Charles recently. Did he hint at what acts he’d like to see at The Royal Variety show?
ANT: [laughs] He didn’t actually!
DEC: And ultimately he’s probably going to have to sit through them.
ANT: Yeah, exactly.
DEC: But he didn’t actually say did he?
ANT: No, he never mentioned it. But he likes comedy – he does like comedy, Prince Charles.
DEC: He’s got a great sense of humour. Prince Harry came last year to the Royal Variety and he was very taken with Jules and Matisse so he really enjoyed that. But the Royal Family are all fans of animals aren’t they? So I think they like the animal acts.
So you need a comedian with a dog to win?
DEC: Absolutely. Or a funny dog.
ANT: A funny dog, that’s what you want. A dog that tells jokes. Brilliant.
Would you like someone like Prince Harry to apply?
DEC: I think the judges would be under pressure to put them through, but I’m not sure whether they’d win the show. They’re all very good at shaking hands, aren’t they?
Britain’s Got Talent is back on ITV this spring