Ant and Dec react as hugely popular ITV channel is axed after 17 years
TV stars Ant and Dec, who front a number of ITV shows including Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway, have responded to the news of CITV’s closure following a shake-up
Ant and Dec reveal they turned down SMTV Live two times
Ant and Dec have shared their reaction after hugely popular ITV channel CITV was taken off the airwaves after 17 years.
The iconic TV presenting duo marked the ‘end of an era’ as they posted a throwback photo of themselves posing alongside Cat Deeley on their Instagram story.
The throwback image, which was originally shared by ITV’s official Instagram, shows the trio during their SMTV Live days. Ant and Dec, both 47, and Cat, 46, hosted the children’s Saturday Morning show on CITV from 1998 until 2001, when the duo left the show before Cat bowed out in 2002.
In the nostalgic snap Ant is seen smiling while wearing a black turtle neck jumper and sat next to Cat who is in the middle of the two lads. Cat is sporting a white mesh long-sleeved top with an eagle motif on the front and Dec is donning a black long-sleeved top with a white panel across where the collar bone sits.
The image was shared by ITV’s official Instagram page alongside a carousel of snaps of programmes which aired on the now-axed CITV. As ITV posted the images, they wrote in the caption: “End of an era for CITV These images are giving us serious nostalgia Which CITV show takes you right back?”
Ant and Dec shared their sadness over the ‘end of an era'(Instagram/antanddec) The duo hosted SMTV Live from 1998 until 2001(Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Ant and Dec reposted the photo on their Instagram photo, they wrote above: “End of an era” alongside a crying emoji.
ITV confirmed in August they would be axing CITV. The TV channel, which launched in 2006, was scrapped at the beginning of September to make way for ITV’s new children’s streaming service, ITVX Kids, which launched in July. CITV closed on September 1 at 9pm to make way for its streaming platform, which offers “more content than ever across a range of titles appealing to both school age and pre-school age children”.
A statement shared from ITV to the Mirror read: “Earlier this summer, ITV launched a new dedicated destination for kids on ITVX – ITVX Kids – with more content than ever before, across a range of titles appealing to both school age and pre-school age children.
SMTV Live aired on CITV and was a huge hit with viewers(Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock)
“ITVX Kids is part of ITV’s continuing drive to supercharge its presence in streaming, delivering content to audiences however they want to watch it.
“As a consequence of this new streaming approach, and responding to the changing ways children and their parents are increasingly accessing content, the CITV broadcast channel will close after the summer holidays on 1st September.”
CITV launched as a channel in 2006 but children’s programming began on ITV in 1983, initially as late afternoon programming for children aged five to 13.
The reason behind the channel’s closure is said to have been sparked by a shift in children’s viewing habits – as The Guardian reported the broadcaster argued young people have ‘given up’ on watching scheduled television.
Children’s TV audiences are said to have collapsed in recent years due to streaming services offering children’s programming such as YouTube and Netflix. ITV said earlier this year the average time spent by a British child watching children’s TV channels has fallen by 69%.
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