Ant and Dec pull out of Britain’s Got Talent over illness as NTAs at risk

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    Ant and Dec have pulled out of a scheduled hosting gig for a special episode of Britain's Got Talent due to illness – leaving the National Television Awards in doubt.

    It has been reported that Stephen Mulhern will step in for the veteran presenting duo instead for a two-hour special episode.

    Britain's Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician is bringing together the most memorable magicians from previous series to compete for £50,000.

    READ MORE: Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly's jaw-dropping net worth unveiled after 30-year career

    Ant and Dec won't be the only ones missing from the event, as head judge Simon Cowell will also not be attending due to filming commitments in the US.

    Instead, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller will be stepping in as a guest judge.

    Speaking of his new role, Penn said: "Being a guest judge on BGT is going to be the cushiest job ever. They’ve gone all around the world to find the most astounding magicians, and I get to sit and watch and be amazed. I cannot wait!"

    Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams will all be reprising their roles on the judging panel.

    Speaking of the new BGT episode, Thames Managing Director Amelia Brown promised viewers: "We’ve scoured a huge selection of incredibly talented magicians across many Got Talent shows around the world, to bring audiences the very best performers on one stage.

    "Viewers can expect a spellbinding display of talent with magic that needs to be seen to be believed…"

    An ITV spokesperson confirmed that the duo have put all work commitments on hold as they fight illness – which means that they may not be attending the NTAs on Thursday (October 13).

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    Ant and Dec have consistently taken home the gong for Best TV Presenter for two decades at the ceremony.

    The news comes after This Morning host Phillip Schofield took aim at the presenting duo after being snubbed from the Best Presenter award.

    NTAs host Joel Dommett was discussing lifting up a child so they could reach the microphone last year, as Phillip grumbled that Ant and Dec are "no taller… same height."

    Joel joked back: "I was so tempted, Phillip, to just wander in when they won the award and pick Dec up!"


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