Saturday Night Takeaway returned to TV screens for the first time in a year last weekend, but some viewers were left feeling ‘uncomfortable’ by hosts Ant and Dec’s pranks on the ITV show.
From an ‘inappropriate’ remark to a member of the audience, to a ‘baby scan’ prank on a first time parent, viewers at home have now threatened to channel their complaints to Ofcom and called on the popular duo to apologise.
Declan Donnelly, known as Dec, made the comment within minutes of the episode airing, with the latest episode including guests TV presenter Alison Hammond and actor David Tennant.
He said: “Even though we have been off air, we’ve still kept a very close eye on all of you here, and all of you out there.” He then turned to a female member of the audience, and jokingly said: “Yes, you should look nervous, madam, and close your legs.”
The comment prompted viewers to take to Twitter to complain, with some saying they would make an official complaint to TV regulator Ofcom. One wrote: “Close your legs? What a deeply inappropriate comment to make guys, come on #SaturdayNightTakeaway.”
But many were left feeling more uncomfortable with the duo’s prank on viewer Liam, who was set up by his wife, Amy, who was pregnant at the time. They went for a 4D scan to see their unborn baby, but little did he know it wasn’t his baby they saw.
Viewers then took to social media to share their thoughts, with many branding the joke ‘cruel’ and ‘distasteful’ to be pulled on an expectant parent. One said: “Incredibly cruel to mess with a baby scan on a first time dad regardless of the monetary reward, some people crave to have their babies in their arms and not a penny could ever make up for that.”
Another viewer said: “It appears I wasn’t alone in thinking the baby scan prank on #SaturdayNightTakeaway last night with #antanddec was of poor taste. Personally, the baby scans were one of the many magical memories I will always have.”
One viewer said the prank warrants an Ofcom complaint. She said: “I skipped the prank in fear of having an idea what might be in store and feeling not comfortable with it. Of course it upset and felt very wrong to a lot of people. If you genuinely feel affected and want your voice heard, submit to Ofcom.
She added: “As soon as I heard it, I knew this one was not right. It is also not right that others are trying to devalue people’s opinions and feelings affected by this. I have to say, it’s producers etc who plan these, but this is Ant and Dec’s show, they present this.”
Despite the criticism, some viewers jumped to the show’s defence - telling those who felt offended to “get over it”. One said: “Seriously there are some real pathetic people out there. It’s light entertainment I love watching #SaturdayNightTakeaway.
“It’s funny family entertainment. People need to grow up and not be so sensitive. It’s people like you, sensitive ones that have made the world what it is. If things continue as they are they will be no TV as companies would be too worried about stupid complaints. Jeez guys get over it.”
Another said: I’d be asking the mother and father if they thought it was in “bad taste” as they’re the only people that matter. Your opinion, and all the other wet wipes whingeing about it are of ZERO relevance. For the record, they seemed totally fine with it.”