1998 - 2003 (ITV: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring)

Ant (1998-2001)
Dec (1998-2001)
Cat Deeley (1998-2002)
James Redmond (2002)
Tess Daly (2002 - )
Brian Dowling (2002 - )

An attempt by two twenty-somethings to recapture the best of the Saturday Morning shows of their youth - and, for that matter, before. Amazingly enough, it works!

This explains the all-encompassing title - Saturday Morning TV Live. Megalomania is not the word. Having said that, our poll puts them in the top five, alongside the other greats of the genre - which isn't bad going at all for two ex-Byker Grove chancers. How this pairs of scamps managed to get ITV to agree to an all-year round show (a Satkids first, note) is anyone's guess, but it does at least save us from having to endure any more tortuous summer fill-ins.

For the first six months, the show was produced by Ric Blaxhill, more famous for his attempt to showcase unknown bands (i.e. Bis) on Top Of The Pops. Tributes paid to his time at the show include "The first shows were embarrasing" (Dec) and "I thought we were going to get taken off the air" (Cat). In late 1998 Blaxhill was replaced by Steve Pinhay, who was successful in turning around both the show and the ratings - that summer it became the first ITV show to hit 2m viewers since Tiswas. Phil Mount (ex-TFI Friday) took over production of CD:UK for part of '98/'99, then again later in '99 up till the present day.

From September '99, a new look saw two thirds of former L&K comedy team Men In Trousers brought in to write the show, which proved to be a masterstroke as SMTV overtook L&K's ratings five weeks into the new series. Another masterstroke was the Friends spoof 'Chums', devised by Pinhay and Executive Producer Conor 'the hat' McAnally. As well as its comedy, the show was also helped by a left-field guest selection - would Harry Hill, Paul Whitehouse, Prince Naseem, Tara Palmer-Tompkinson or Jackie Chan have done Telegantic Megavision?

In 2000 The show reached a high of 2.5m viewers - FBi's figures were below a million in the same week. The 100th show went out that July - guests included Steve Wilson, recently sacked from L&K - and all three presenters signed contracts to present the show until August 2001.

After appearing in several of their own prime-time shows for both ITV and the BBC, Ant and Dec finally made the break from SMTV at the end of 2001. Cat stayed on and was joined by three new presenters: James Remond (from Hollyoaks), Tess Daly, and Big Brother 2 winner Brian Dowling.

Redmond was sacked in March after alleged comments about the music on the show (although Ant and Dec had earlier publicly said the same) and Deeley left a month later. Former Steps duo H & Claire took over for six months, but at the time of writing Dowling and Daly are the sole permanent presenters.

Thanks to Simon Tyers and Steve Pinhay (himself!) for additional info.

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