ITV orders Ant & Dec sitcom pilot

Tuesday 12th November 2013, 11:04am

Image shows from L to R: Ant McPartlin, Declan Donnelly.ITV has reportedly given the green light to a new sitcom pilot starring presenting duo Ant & Dec.

Titled This Is Us, a pilot episode for the comedy will be filmed in front of a live studio audience in London later this year.

According to The Daily Star, executives at ITV "are lining up a string of famous faces to make cameo appearances in the series, which they are predicting will be a ratings winner".

This Is Us will be loosely based around the pair's real personas, but presents viewers with a "heightened version" of the duo's lives.

It has been known for some time that the stars have wanted to produce a sitcom, having previously toyed with remaking BBC sitcom classic The Likely Lads.

Speaking earlier in the year, McPartlin said: "We've talked a lot about the future this year. We love I'm A Celebrity, Britain's Got Talent, Saturday Night Takeaway, but they're all live shows. The difference between doing a live show and a sitcom is that a sitcom can live on. If you do it well, it can leave a legacy, whereas most of our live work never gets repeated because it's final, it's done, you start again."

The double-act had previously suggested a silent comedy series, however it would appear they've now settled on the idea of a traditional live sitcom.

Ant & Dec - Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly - will have to fit the sitcom in around their other commitments. They are currently in Australia preparing for a new series of the reality show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!. A nation-wide live tour of Saturday Night Takeaway has also been announced, and they are contracted to present Britain's Got Talent 2014, too.

The double act - who have won the Best Entertainment Presenter category at the National Television Awards for 12 years in a row - started out in television together 23 years ago as 14 year-olds acting on CBBC soap Byker Grove. A brief music career followed, but it was as TV presenters for ITV that they found widespread popularity and fame.

Since Byker Grove, McPartlin and Donnelly's acting roles have been minimal. The duo made cameo appearances in Love Actually as themselves, but their only other acting credits are the 2006 film Alien Autopsy and the one-off 2002 sitcom episode A Tribute To The Likely Lads. The latter, which was a critical failure, saw them recreate the famous Likely Lads episode No Hiding Place.

Further details on This Is Us are expected when the studio recording date is announced.

Below is the first part of A Tribute To The Likely Lads:

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