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Ant and Dec are said to have revealed a secret showdown with Simon Cowell, where they threatened to quit their hosting roles on Britain’s Got Talent.
The TV presenter duo, who are reportedly looking to branch out onto streaming platforms, have opened up about a showdown with the music mogul, 60, in Los Angeles.
Ant and Dec, both 44, are said to have previously been fed up with Simon’s timekeeping and felt they were “sidelined” on the hit ITV show because of the way they were edited on the show.
In extracts of their new biography, obtained by The Sun Online, the pair are said to have revealed that waiting for Simon to turn up to auditions “drives us nuts” and opened up on other frustrations with working on the show.
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In the extract, And and Dec explain: “A couple of hours after we arrive at the theatre, we focus on one of the key elements of any BGT audition day: waiting for Simon Cowell to turn up.
“Once we’ve got started on that, we’ll often film interviews with some of that day’s acts, then have a bit of food, then get back to waiting for Simon.”
Meanwhile Simon, who recently broke his back in three places, is also said to have added to the book as he admitted in the excerpt: “They used to have a real issue with me being late and it used to drive them nuts.”
To which Ant then quipped: “We’ve still got a real issue with him being late and it still drives us nuts.”
The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! hosts then revealed how things came to a head and they complained about having large parts of their footage edited out of the show.
The pair are understood to have then told ITV chiefs they had plans to quit the show, where Simon made a last-ditch attempt to win them back.
In a piece taken from the book, Ant explained: “It was on a trip to America, in 2012, where we had to have a serious conversation with Simon.
“The previous series of BGT had been especially tricky for us two.
“The audition days had been very long, which in itself we don’t mind, but after filming interviews and interacting with every single act, as well as making jokes, giving reactions and everything else we always do, we found that when the show went out on TV, we hardly seemed to feature in it at all.
“We began to feel that we were wasting our time doing the auditions because all the footage of the work we were doing was ending up on the cutting-room floor.
“And, what’s more, with Saturday Night Takeaway about to come back into our schedule, we could have been putting our efforts into that in January, when the auditions happen.
“The experience left us feeling like we were being sidelined.”
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Dec added: “We’d been to see the bosses at ITV and told them we were strongly considering leaving BGT.”
Simon then met the pair in LA to hold a crisis talk with the pair.
Ant described: “The ITV bosses told Simon about the conversation we’d had with them and he asked to meet. We agreed to catch up with him in LA to talk about it.
“We’ve always had a lot of respect for him and, whatever happened, we wanted to talk to him face to face.”
Dec explained how the pair met him in a restaurant in West Hollywood and Simon was “only one minute late” for the meeting.
After the pair “let him have it with both barrels” Simon “made a promise” to the pair they would “never feel like that again”.
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