Dec says goodbye to Saturday Night Takeaway studios ahead of their closure

Host shares SMTV Live memories in tribute to The London Studios at ITV HQ

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway studio

Dec Donnelly recalled memories of SMTV Live on Saturday Night Takeaway tonight as he bid farewell to The London Studios ahead of their closure.

The latest Takeaway saw Dec make his solo presenting debut following his best pal Ant McPartlin’s drink-driving scandal.

However, the occasion was doubly significant, as it was also the last episode to air from The London Studios.

The iconic facilities - which have been in operation for four decades - will close permanently later this year as part of a redevelopment of ITV’s headquarters.

During the show, Dec paid tribute to The London Studios by taking a stroll through an empty soundstage.

"This is Studio 2, the home of Wonkey Donkey and Chums all those years ago," he explained.

"This was where Ant and Cat and I did Saturday mornings, SMTV Live and CD:UK, for many years.

"These studios are closing fairly shortly, and I want to say goodbye to Studio 2 for the last time.

"So many great shows have come out of here, like Game For A Laugh and Blind Date with Cilla [Black]."

Saturday Night Takeaway has a close association with The London Studios.

The building is prominently featured in the show’s opening titles, and has served as a backdrop for several Ant vs. Dec segments.

The presenters have abseiled down the tower block and crawled along flagpoles suspended from its roof, among other daredevil challenges.

Over the years, The London Studios have been home some of television’s most loved programmes, such as The Chase and The Graham Norton Show.

Work on the redevelopment will commence shortly, with ITV aiming to bring all of its London staff under one roof.

The new version of the building will only have limited studio space, reserved exclusively for the broadcaster’s daytime brands.

For now, they are temporarily relocating to Television Centre, with This Morning becoming the first to move out earlier this week.

Recently, Ant and Dec postponed an SMTV reunion special they had been planning for its 20th anniversary.

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