DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
TV

Cat Deeley takes us back to the days when Ant and Dec were ‘rubbish’

The superstar presenter and children’s author recalls “having the best time” learning the ropes with the duo on SMTV Live in her fun and insightful Letter To My Younger Self

Cat Deeley credit Joseph Sinclair

Cat Deeley. Image: Joseph Sinclair

Cat Deeley has seen plenty of success in her presenting career – cracking America and scooping five Emmy nominations in the process – but she still has fond memories of the early days when she and fellow presenting royalty Ant and Dec started out on SMTV Live.

The Saturday morning kid’s show was where all three cut their teeth in the late Nineties before going on to bigger and better things.

The inseparable Ant and Dec have become the faces of ITV’s Saturday night prime time offerings as well as I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, scooping award win after award win over the last two decades.

Deeley has done well for herself too. She has been the host of hit US show So You Think You Can Dance since 2006 and made a notable turn as presenter of The Brits in 2004.

She relives the latter in this week’s magazine as well as looking back at the SMTV Live glory days in her Letter To My Younger Self.

“People forget, when we started SMTV we were rubbish,” she says. “And nobody watched it at all. It only stayed on air because Nigel Pickard, who was in charge of ITV kids’ programmes at the time, said, we’ve got nothing else to fill the slot with.

“I know they’re rubbish now, but I think they’ve got something; let’s just keep them on, no one’s watching anyway. So we had this amazing luxury, where we were all learning together. And because we were surrounded by a brilliant crew it came together. There was a lovely chemistry between myself and Ant and Dec.”

To read more from Cat Deeley, buy this week’s Big Issue magazine, available now from vendors all over the country. If you’re unable to reach your local vendor, you can buy or subscribe to the magazine to arrive every week at your door or your device, via bigissue.com/subscribe, The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available from the App Store and Google Play.

The Joy in You by Cat Deeley, illustrated Rosie Butcher, is out on September 15 (Bantam Dell, £12.99)

Image: Joseph Sinclair

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
CBeebies star George Webster: 'If we were all the same the world would be very boring'
Letter To My Younger Self

CBeebies star George Webster: 'If we were all the same the world would be very boring'

Line of Duty's Martin Compston: 'I've been dreaming of going to the Euros since I was 14'
Gordon Smart and Martin Compston
Euro 2024

Line of Duty's Martin Compston: 'I've been dreaming of going to the Euros since I was 14'

Furiosa star Tom Burke: 'It stung when someone said I didn't have a face for TV'
Tom Burke.
Letter to my younger self

Furiosa star Tom Burke: 'It stung when someone said I didn't have a face for TV'

Anjana Vasan on We Are Lady Parts season two, Malala and why UK must open its doors to immigrants
Anjana Vasan
TV

Anjana Vasan on We Are Lady Parts season two, Malala and why UK must open its doors to immigrants

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know