Meet British Imports Ant and Dec


Jul. 17 2008, Published 6:00 a.m. ET

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Ready for another British invasion?

TV presenters (as they are called in England!) Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – better known as Ant and Dec – are the latest in the long line of Brit TV stars to try their luck over here.

It seemed only fitting to have our own British import, OK!'s Oliver Coleman, chat it up with the guys, who say they have one man to thank for their chance of making it big in America: Simon Cowell!

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With Americans falling for the American Idol judge and their old buddy, it opened doors to the likes of Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley and (they hope!) themselves.

The duo host the new reality game show Wanna Bet?, where celebs make bets on the success of strange feats performed on the show, all in the name of charity.

So what do they think it is about their fellow countryman that stole our hearts?

They think we were “just a little tired” of upbeat TV personalities with grins that look like they were sprayed on with their tans, and were longing for a little bit of the dark side.

And Simon, as they know from working with him on the UK version of Idol, is a natural-born native of the dark side! Having watched him in action, Ant and Dec say he can be mean all day long. Literally.

"We were talking about this. You can watch him do hundreds of those auditions and you never hear him say the same thing twice. He always has some analogy to describe it or some little jibe."

The boys even called in the master for a few pointers on winning over American viewers.

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“He basically just said not to change anything and do what we would do in the UK,” Ant shares.

In Britain, these guys are famous. So how does it feel going from household names to nobodies in the course of a plane ride over the Atlantic?

"It's quite refreshing actually. It's a nice change that it's a fresh start, because people don't know us from British TV teen show Byker Grove, or as their Byker Grove characters PJ and Duncan, or other things we've done.

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"The audiences don't know who we are, the contestants don't know who we are and the celebrities don't know who we are. And some of the time we don't know who they are either!"

They don't know the celebrities who appear on their own show?!

"Put it this way, we've read a lot of bios and watched a lot of YouTube clips!"

We won't embarrass anybody by saying which of the star judges, which includes Sherri Shepherd, Tom Bergeron, Scott Hamilton, Bill Engvall, Jerry Rice, Drew Lachey and Corbin Bernson, they'd never heard of!

Good luck boys. As you're starting to learn, it's a whole new world out here!

Wanna Bet? premieres Mon., July 21 at 9 p.m. on ABC.


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