Ant and Dec caught at centre of rugby fan storm after Ireland’s Six Nations Grand Slam trophy lift was not shown in favour of Saturday Night Takeaway
Ant and Dec were caught at the centre of a storm with furious rugby fans on Saturday after coverage of the Ireland v England Six Nations match was ‘cut short’.
On Friday, it was announced Saturday Night Takeaway would be starting later this weekend to ensure the sports game would be shown.
After Takeaway fans took aim at ITV for removing the show from the schedule in favour of the rugby last year, this weekend it was sports devotees who were left fuming.
While the game, which was won by Ireland 29-16, was shown to the end, the presentation of the Grand Slam trophy was not aired so Takeaway could go ahead at its scheduled time.
The ITV commentator told viewers the trophy presentation would be shown on ITV4 but the move left a bitter taste in the mouth of Ireland supporters.
Rage: Ant and Dec were caught at the centre of a storm with furious rugby fans on Saturday after coverage of the Ireland v England Six Nations match was ‘cut short’
Change: While the game which was won by Ireland 29-16 was shown to the end, the presentation of the Grand Slam trophy was not aired so Takeaway could go ahead (pictured: Johnny Sexton of Ireland celebrates with the Six Nations Trophy)
Many viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations, questioning whether ITV should have the rights to rugby over the BBC.
One person wrote: ‘Did ITV just cut the 6 Nations Grand Slam presentation for Saturday night takeaway JOKE!!! @SixNationsRuby get shot of ITV!!!’
Someone else posted: ‘@ITVRugby and @ITV… Deciding to end the rugby coverage before the trophy was lifted?? On a Grand Slam year??? Are you for real?!? This is precisely why the @bbc should be given the important games. Absolute clowns.’
Another viewer posted: ‘@ITVRugby @ITV you’re not even going to show the six nations trophy lift on the ITV channel the game was on?! Your coverage isn’t great at the best of times! Please don’t win any more rugby rights! #IREvENG’
One other person tweeted: ‘@ITVSport imagine showing the @SIxNationsRugby and cutting the programme short before the trophy has been lifted!! This is why no one wants it on ITV. Too many ads and shocking on Ireland rugby!’
Another viewer wrote: ‘@ITV @ITVSport why can’t you keep the rugby on for Ireland to lift the trophy on #ITV1 oh just for Ant & Dec!! You’ve paid a shed load for #SixNations and you don’t finish till the end!!’
While someone else wrote: ‘If ITV are really showing Ant n Dec instead of the #6Nations trophy presentation, why do they have rights to show the rugby at all??’
Saturday Night Takeaway was moved out of its usual time slot in a schedule shake-up to make way for the Six Nations Rugby, it was announced on Friday.
Opinion: Many viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations, questioning whether ITV should have the rights to rugby over the BBC
Champs: Bundee Aki of Ireland celebrated after their Grand Slam victory during the Six Nations Rugby match between Ireland and England at Aviva Stadium on Saturyday
Up for a laugh: Lockdown fitness legend Joe Wicks was involved Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’s prank segment this weekend
Glitterati: Pop star Jake Shears caught the eye in a metallic silver outfit as he took to the stage to perform on the show
The ITV entertainment show aired at the later time of 7.15pm as the channel accommodated two rugby matches on Saturday.
The sporting events lined up for the day included France v Wales, which kicked off at 1.55pm, while Ireland v England aired at 4.30pm.
As a result, fans tuning in for Saturday Night Takeaway at its usual time of 7pm had to wait until it began 15 minutes later, with the episode wrapping up at 8.45pm.
This also meant the rest of the ITV schedule would be slightly altered too, with Starstruck starting at 8.45pm, while The Jonathan Ross Show was due on at 9.55pm.
On air: Australian actress Toni Collette took part in the show as the guest announcer