I watched Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway the other night. As a childhood favourite of mine, I assumed its return would if anything tarnish the memory of this truly excellent television programme of past years, surely one that defined my youth. After all, pretty much everything on the box these days is shite, and most of my favourite programmes have got progressively worse; The Simpsons being the prime example, and even Peep Show is on the slide. Except for Coronation Street, strangely, which seems to be going from strength to strength from already Shakespearian heights. But anyway, yes, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. I watched it (well, admittedly sort of half-watched it) and from what I could gather the whole affair seemed like a jolly old time, just like the old days. Precisely like the old days, in fact; the usual mix of Anthony and Declan's endlessly amusing cheekiness, paired with amusing celebrity-laden scenarios and all those tantalising prizes up for grabs still works very well as a format. Oh look, Little Ant and Dec aren't so little any more. Tee hee. Louis Walsh is a bit doddery. Hilarious. At one point, during the song and dance number with Robbie Williams, I literally felt like I had been transported back to 2002. Which is a very good thing. Apart from that 9/11 business, I'm strongly protective of the fact that the early noughties was probably the best time ever.
Seriously though, I did watch the programme, and in a weird way I genuinely did enjoy it. Aside from the inevitable nostalgic pull, the programme is nonetheless a bit of lighthearted fun that succeeds in being completely harmless, unlike the chronically unfunny Let's Dance for Comic Relief and neon cattle market Take Me Out, saturday night telly's other offerings.
Yeah, it was good.