Cat Deeley admits she and Ant and Dec were ‘rubbish’ when they started SM:TV

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Cat Deeley has admitted she believes no one watched SM:TV Live when it first aired because she and co-hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were ‘rubbish’.

The TV presenter, 43, fronted the Saturday morning ITV show with Ant and Dec from 1998 until 2002.    

Writing in The Big Issue‘s Letter To My Younger Self column, she said: ‘People forget, when we started SM:TV we were rubbish. And nobody watched it at all.

Honest: Cat Deeley, 43, believes no one watched SM:TV Live when it first aired because she and co-hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were 'rubbish' (pictured in February)

Honest: Cat Deeley, 43, believes no one watched SM:TV Live when it first aired because she and co-hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were ‘rubbish’ (pictured in February)

‘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.’

Cat said the show ended up working so well because of the chemistry between herself and Ant and Dec, along with their crew, adding that they all ‘genuinely really liked each other’.    

Since 2006, Cat has presented the competition show So You Think You Can Dance in the US, and been nominated for five Primetime Emmys.

Back in the day: The TV presenter, fronted the Saturday morning ITV show with Ant and Dec, both 44, from 1998 until 2002 (pictured in 1998)

Back in the day: The TV presenter, fronted the Saturday morning ITV show with Ant and Dec, both 44, from 1998 until 2002 (pictured in 1998) 

Speaking about her move to the US, she said: ‘I think the thing that would surprise the young me about her future is what’s happened in America.

‘I mean, I never went to America when I was a kid. I never went to Disneyland or anything like that, I’d never even seen it before.

‘And when I did go, I never made a great proclamation: “I’m going to crack America.”

‘A relationship had just ended and I just fancied a fun adventure. It did feel crazy at times…

‘There’s no way my 16-year-old self would believe me if I went back and told her she’ll be there one day.’

Cat said: 'People forget, when we started SM:TV we were rubbish. And nobody watched it at all' (pictured in 1998)

Cat said: ‘People forget, when we started SM:TV we were rubbish. And nobody watched it at all’ (pictured in 1998)  

Cat was recently said to have moved back to the UK so she and husband Patrick Kielty, 49, can raise their children Milo, four, and James, two, in Britain. 

It comes after the star confirmed the SM:TV Live reunion show has been filmed – and teased an air date.

The presenter told The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X that the series will be looked back on in a special documentary, to be aired at the end of the year.

‘I can confirm… yes.’ Cat teased, when asked about it by Chris on the air. ‘We have filmed a documentary, it’s going to be aired at the end of the year.

‘We went back to the studio where we did it. They rebuilt the set. We all cried.’

She added: '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'

She added: ‘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’ 

She went on: ‘I walked in and [Ant & Dec] were doing their interview and Dec was crying and I was like “ok you’re crying!” and then at the end of my interview I was like [sobs] “waaah!”

‘We all have a bit of a cry, we take the mickey out of each other, it’s very, very, very cute.’

She revealed that Ant & Dec have seen the show already, continuing: ‘I actually got a text message from Ant yesterday saying he’s seen the first cut and they cried watching it too.’

Future: It comes after the star confirmed the SM:TV Live reunion show has been filmed - and teased an air date (pictured in August 2018)

Future: It comes after the star confirmed the SM:TV Live reunion show has been filmed – and teased an air date (pictured in August 2018) 

SM:TV Live ran for more than 270 episodes from 1998 to 2003 with Ant and Dec at the helm for the first three years.

It was then hosted by Steps stars Ian ‘H’ Watkins, 44, and Claire Richards, 42, between 2002 to 2003.

The full story is in The Big Issue in print or you can subscribe online or download the app.

Date: The presenter told The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X that the series will be looked back on in a special documentary, to be aired at the end of the year (pictured in 2017)

Date: The presenter told The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X that the series will be looked back on in a special documentary, to be aired at the end of the year (pictured in 2017)

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