Ant and Dec tried out as 'Big Breakfast' presenters but ‘it didn’t work out’

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·2 min read
Ant and Dec could have joined Denise Van Outen as co-hosts. (Getty)
Ant and Dec could have joined Denise Van Outen as co-hosts. (Getty)

Ant and Dec almost had another huge TV show to their names as they tried out for The Big Breakfast - but Denise Van Outen has said it "didn't work out".

The best mates and TV presenters are known for hosting I'm A Celebrity, Britain's Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway at ITV, but they almost became stars at Channel 4 more than 20 years ago.

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Show host Denise Van Outen has told how the lads were brought in for a trial, but that she and bosses felt it didn't work having the double act alongside her and preferred just one co-host.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Ant and Dec win the Bruce Forsyth Award at the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Award-winning presenters Ant and Dec weren't right for the show. (Getty Images)

Writing in her autobiography A Bit Of Me about her Big Breakfast days, Van Outen explained that when her original co-star Rick Adams left the morning show, she was given a say in who would replace him.

Van Outen, who hosted with Adams in 1997, said that after he left she would sometimes present on her own and other times would be joined by guest hosts to test out their on-screen chemistry.

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She wrote: "Sometimes [I would be] working with various guest presenters with a view to them becoming permanent if the chemistry between us was right.

Library filer dated 4.6.98 of Channel 4 Big Breakfast presenters Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen. Miss Van Outen today (Wednesday) told viewers that she is quitting the show after two-and-a-half years to work on new projects. Photo by Peter J Jordan/PA. See PA story SHOWBIZ Denise   (Photo by Peter Jordan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen co-hosted The Big Breakfast. (PA)

"We had Ant and Dec on, which didn't work out – with two of them and one of me. Then we had Davina McCall, which was fine, but the producers preferred the combination of one boy/one girl."

In the end, of course, Johnny Vaughan joined Van Outen on the show and she told how she had seen him performing a sketch that made her "cry with laughter".

She told Big Breakfast bosses that they had to try him out, but said he was already on their radar and Vaughan ended up presenting the Channel 4 programme from 1997 to 2001 as one of its best-known stars.

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