After nearly a year off-screen, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returned this weekend to huge viewing figures. According to the Radio Times, 8.1 million people tuned in to watch the show. That makes it the second-highest-rated show of the year so far (excluding news and sport), beaten only by fellow ITV hit The Masked Singer.
The first episode of the series featured plenty of celeb guests including Gary Barlow, Harry and Jamie Redknapp, Prue Leith and Rob Brydon. But although fans were mostly delighted to see Ant and Dec back in the studio, many were left irritated by sound issues caused by the virtual audience wall.
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway audio issues
Many said they found the feedback from the virtual audience ‘off-putting and distracting’. One viewer tweeted:
Watching #SaturdayNightTakeaway and having the audience remotely—which I totally get—makes it sound like there's a TV on in another room. It's horrible!!! Sort out the audio please!!
Why weren’t Ant and Dec social distancing?
Aside from the background noise issues, many fans were also left wondering why Ant and Dec weren’t keeping 2 metres apart from each other. This is because Ant and Dec are in a bubble together, meaning they don’t have to social distance from each other. They are also tested regularly.
Ant and Dec previously explained to This Morning hosts Holly and Phil that they had formed a ‘cohort’ due to working together so frequently. After revealing that they were being tested every four days, Ant explained:
We can sit next to each other and stroke each other. We have to be careful as to where we go and who we see.