Pussycat Dolls ignore Ant and Dec's request to 'tone down' skit on Saturday Night Takeaway return

Bonnie Christian
ITV / Saturday Night Takeaway

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were forced to ask the Pussycat Dolls to "tone down" their risque style during their skit for "family friendly" Saturday Night Takeaway as the show returned after a two year break.

The programme last aired in 2018 and a new series has not been broadcast since Ant was arrested for drink driving in March of that year.

Neither mentioned the presenter's time away from the spotlight as they kicked off the show on ITV.

In one segment, the Pussycat Dolls ignored Ant and Dec's request to "tone down" their performance and the flustered pair’s attempt to use signs and a “censor button” to stop the show failed.

The group’s comeback performance during the final of X Factor: Celebrity received 802 complaints over its sexualised content.

Another segment of tonight's programme left viewers in tears after Ant and Dec surprised a couple and their family with a newly built house.

Introducing the show, Ant told the live studio audience: “It is so good to be back with a brand new series but we have been very busy since we last did this show.”

Donnelly added: “We have barely stopped, Ant. We have done I’m A Celebrity, Britain’s Got Talent, we found out we were related. We have moved into this brand new studio.”

The duo then welcomed Petra and Simon Williams to the stage as they explained the couple lost their daughter three years ago when she was nine-and-a-half weeks old.

"In her memory, Petra set up a charity called Darcey’s Dream, which has helped over 2000 families," Ant said.

Dec added: "And Petra works at that charity for free."

Ant continued: "They are the most amazing family which is why we want to do something amazing for them."

Dec then announced they had built the Williams' a "proper house" with three bedrooms, designer kitchen and "all the mod-cons".

Ms Williams responded: ‘‘I am never usually speechless but I really am speechless."

Viewers took to Twitter to react to the heartwarming momnet with many saying they were in tears.

One said: "Saturday Night Takeaway never fails to make me cry. @antanddec are actual angels."

Presenter Stephen Mulhern also returned to pit the presenters against each other in a Viking-themed Ant vs Dec challenge, which featured axe-throwing and wood-chopping.

Stars including Hugh Bonneville, Emily Atack, Amanda Holden, Richard Ayoade, Amber Gill, Paddy McGuinness and Simon Cowell will appear in the new series.