Ant and Dec considered leaving Britain’s Got Talent over fears they were being sidelined before Simon Cowell convinced them to stay, according to the pair’s upcoming autobiography.
The presenting duo said they were unhappy at how the entertainment show was being edited, feeling their contribution was not being reflected in the finished product.
Ant and Dec, both 44, told ITV bosses of their concerns who then informed Cowell, leading to talks in Los Angeles.
Speaking in new autobiography Once Upon A Tyne and as reported by The Sun, Ant said they met at an Italian restaurant in West Hollywood.
“And then we let him have it with both barrels,” Ant said. “We told him everything — that we weren’t being used, that we could be doing other stuff, that maybe someone else should take over.
“To be fair to Simon, he sat there, took it all and listened intently for four, maybe five cigarettes.”
Dec adds: “He made a promise to us: that things would change and that we’d never feel like that again.
“He desperately wanted us to stay and we told him we’d do the next series and see how it went — and, to be fair to him, he was as good as his word, things did change.”
After the discussions, Cowell, 60, offered Ant and Dec a lift back to their hotel in his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.
The pair have continued to host Britain’s Got Talent since the meeting. The show returns to ITV on September 5.