A Dream Destination: Go Big Or Go Home: A Conversation with National Treasures Ant & Dec
On Saturday 8th April 2017, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will play host to the UK’s favourite entertainers, Ant and Dec, as their BAFTA and NTA award-winning ITV television programme, Saturday Night Takeaway, is broadcast live from Magic Kingdom. The co-hosts and special guests will fly over to Orlando with Virgin Holidays and experience the endless magic of all four Walt Disney World theme parks and two water adventure parks and will make history by being the first British show to broadcast an entire live episode from Magic Kingdom. Ant and Dec will be joined for the special show by celebrity guests, and will stage all their usual stunts, performances and competitions in front of the winning viewers and Virgin Holidays guests.
Throughout the series, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will be giving away 50 prize packages where the winner and up to three guests each will win a holiday to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will be part of the audience of the live broadcast of Saturday Night Takeaway at Magic Kingdom and receive a $2,500 Disney gift card.
On Tuesday 4th April 2017, the magical journey will begin for 200 lucky prize winners plus VIP guests as Virgin Holidays kicks off the party with a cocktail reception at the new v-room airport lounge at Gatwick Airport, before guests board a Virgin Holidays plane chartered especially for Saturday Night Takeaway. After a fun-filled flight they will have six days to enjoy the delights of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, before being special audience members of the series finale of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
How did the idea of going to Walt Disney World for the final come about?
Dec: Every year since we relaunched the show, we’ve done a series long giveaway – and each year it has got bigger and bigger. Last series, we took the final show overseas for the first time ever and broadcast live from Barcelona. So for this series we thought – what next? We feel like this is the ultimate holiday destination, so it felt like the perfect fit, and that’s where the idea came about to collaborate with Walt Disney World Resort in Florida Disney and be the first British TV show to broadcast an entire finale live from Magic Kingdom.
It’s a huge ‘prize’ for those who get to go. What exactly is on offer?
Ant: The trip starts with a visit to Virgin Holidays V-Room lounge at Gatwick Airport for a special cocktail party. Then all our winners will fly on a specially chartered Virgin Atlantic plane. They will get tickets to ALL 6 Disney Parks for the entire stay, accommodation and a massive $2500 Disney gift card to spend on dining, shopping and entertainment. And of course best of all, they will get to be our guests at the Takeaway finale live from Magic Kingdom!
So, how excited are you about going? Can you talk us through what viewers can expect from the special finale episode? Surprises? Special guests? Plenty of fireworks?
Dec: We still want it to feel like an episode of Takeaway, so absolutely there will be surprises in store, but of course we also want to celebrate the fact that we are at Walt DisneyWorld. So we are starting with a big number and finishing with a big number!
Ant: We have a few special items up our sleeves and an End Of The Show Show that everyone will be able to singalong to. Plus we’ll have a few American special guests, and there will be the final episode of Missing Crown Jewels where MaskFace will finally be revealed.
Going live from Walt Disney World on the night, did you ever worry it was too big an idea to pull off? What are you most nervous about?
Ant: It’s a huge undertaking but that’s what we aim to do with this show every year – push the boundaries of what can be done. Walt Disney World also have a fantastic team and are incredibly well equipped and experienced at putting on big shows. It’s going to be 27 degrees, humid and the whole show will be outside in the daytime, so it will certainly feel very different!
What’s your favourite attraction at Walt Disney World? Do you like white-knuckle rides?
Dec: I loved The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as I’m a huge Twilight Zone fan.
Ant: Mine is Toy Story Mania, a 4D attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Will you get much time to go off and have fun around the parks when you’re not filming? Walt Disney World has several golf courses too – do you think you might manage to sneak a round in?
Ant: I don’t think we’ll have much free time, but I’m hoping we can nip round and have a go on a few attractions! It will be busy though.
Dec: We’ve heard the golf courses are really good, so we’d love to find time for that if we can.
How would you sum up this series of Saturday Night Takeaway? What’s been the highlight for you? Do you hope to do more/do you already have ideas up your sleeve for the next series?
Ant: We have had an amazing time. There are so many highlights and we’re so happy people have enjoyed it. I really loved filming Crown Jewels, that was a definite highlight.
It doesn’t get much bigger than Walt Disney World. How do you plan to go one better for the next series finale – a rocket into space perhaps?
Dec: We’re always working on ideas! As soon as we finish this series, we’ll have a little break and then we’ll be straight onto working on ideas for the next year’s series!
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway comes live from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida with Virgin Holidays on Saturday 8th April at 7pm on ITV