Ant and Dec eye US break

5pm: Geordie duo Ant and Dec have been given a chance to crack America after their success on ITV's Pop Idol and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. By Lisa O'Carroll.

Ant and Dec have been given a chance to crack America after their success on Pop Idol and I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.

Granada TV and American channel Fox are working together on a pilot adaptation of the duo's Saturday Night Takeaway show, and say they want the Geordie stars as part of the package.

The ITV company's director of entertainment, Paul Jackson, said: "Fox want to buy the format and we would have done the deal already, except that they want Ant and Dec to do it.

"That's difficult because of the time pressure here."

"We believe there is some time in the diary to do Takeaway in the US. The show is great and broadcasters around the world are trying to buy it."

The pair's programme became a top-rated hit when it was first screened last year, with contestants able to win all the products featured in an ad break.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are among the busiest faces on TV. In the next year they are committed to Pop Idol 2, which will take them to the end of the year, as well as another I'm A Celebrity jungle challenge and more Saturday Night Takeaway for the UK.

Mr Jackson said he was not worried that, if they became popular in America, they would turn their backs on ITV.

"They're home boys. Look at people like Simon Cowell or Anne Robinson - they do America, but they live here. They work it such a way that they are not on 52 weeks of the year, so they can be flexible about their careers.

The duo, who were judged the 35th most powerful people in the UK media in the Media Guardian 100 this week, are the hottest property on ITV entertainment at the moment and are about to embark on the second year of their two year contract with the network.

Mr Jackson said he had never known America to be so well-disposed to British formats and stars.

"When I was going to LA 20 or 25 years ago, you couldn't get in the door," he said.

· To give MediaGuardian a story email or phone 020 7239 9857


Lisa O'Carroll

The GuardianTramp

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