Little Ant and Dec

Sad news for little Ant and Dec fans!

Little Ant and Dec have played the roles since 2013

Emmy Griffiths

Sad news for little Ant and Dec fans! The cheeky pair, who were made famous by appearing as the mini-mes of Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, are quitting Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway after five years. Neil Overend, 12, and Haydn Reid, 11, have left the popular show reportedly to focus on their studies. An ITV source told the Daily Mail: "Little Dec has his SATs next year and Little Ant is moving to high school so it felt like the right time for them to move on and focus on their studies."

The pair started as little Ant and Dec in 2013

The pair took over from originals James Pallister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw in 2013, and have interviewed several huge stars and taken part in many hilarious sketches since joining the show. Fans were quick to express their disappointment that the pair were leaving, with one writing: "I had a feeling because they weren't really used as much last season, they were so cute and I'll miss their interactions with Ant & Dec," while another added: "Whattttt I understand why though. Wish them all the best," accompanied by a sad face emoji. There are currently no plans to replace the pair.

READ: Ant McPartlin pours his heart out following 'very tricky year'

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Ant and Dec met Neil and Haydn in a cute sketch based on The Apprentice, where saw them select little Ant and Dec from a group of candidates. The pair asked their contestants questions like, "Who is the funniest?", and "Who is the cheekiest?" before selecting the two boys, who they said reminded them of themselves 20 or 30 years ago! Some of Neil and Haydn's most memorable interviews include meeting Andy Murray and Russell Brand. Chatting to Russell, little Ant asked him why he doesn't wear nice clothes or get a haircut, to which he responded: "Well because I think these clothes are nice, I look fancy! You two look like a couple of butlers."

READ: Lisa Armstrong speaks out after Ant's 'tough year' speech at NTAs

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