ITV turns Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway sketches in to half-hour festive specials

'Who Shot Simon Cowell?' and 'The Missing Crown Jewels' to air as single episodes for first time

ITV is to air Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway sketches ‘Who Shot Simon Cowell?’ and ‘The Missing Crown Jewels’ as standalone specials for the first time this Christmas.

The last two series of the Geordie duo’s popular variety show have featured scripted comedy segments with whodunnit plots.

Viewers were hooked as a new five-minute clip was released each week, leaving them guessing who the culprits might be.

Now ITV has announced it will repeat the two crime capers this Christmas, with the individual segments edited in to half-hour episodes for the first time.

In Who Shot Simon Cowell?, a host of celebrities including Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Olly Murs witness the gunning of the X Factor boss at his birthday party.

Ant and Dec emerge as the lead suspects, forcing them to go on the run with hilarious consequences.

 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Presents… Who Shot Simon Cowell?

Two familiar faces from actual crime dramas investigate the case – Lewis star Kevin Whately, and Silent Witness star Emilia Fox.

With the cops on their backs, the innocent lads follow the trail themselves in a bid to clear their names.

Fox returns for the sequel, The Missing Crown Jewels, which sees OBE recipients Ant and Dec join ‘The Honoured’, a secret organisation of people who have made it on to the Queen’s Honours lists.

Other agents include Dame Shirley Bassey, William Roache MBE, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Carol Vorderman MBE, and Clare Balding OBE.

A mysterious figure known as ‘Maskface’ steals the Crown Jewels, aiming to take over the throne and become the UK’s new monarch.

Ant and Dec face a race against time to halt the evil plan, only to discover the villain is a very familiar face from their past.

Broadchurch creator and new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall helped to create both stories.

Although The Missing Crown Jewels was the latter of the two, it will be repeated first.

‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Presents… The Missing Crown Jewels’ airs on Saturday 23rd December at 7.30pm on ITV.

‘Who Shot Simon Cowell?’ follows on Saturday 30th December at 6.30pm.