Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec’s approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

Stephen Mulhern says he’s over the moon to get Ant and Dec’s approval for his very own Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off.

The presenter has worked with Geordie duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly hosting the In For A Penny In For A Grand segment on the show for years.

But now, it’s finally being made into its very own show.

And Stephen told Mirror Online that he was chuffed to get the go-ahead from Ant and Dec, who created it.

During an exclusive chat, the star told us: "It is a dream and Ant and Dec, it’s there idea, they solely came up with it and we did it on Saturday Night Takeaway.

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Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

Stephen plays In For A Penny with Dec
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

He’s happy to have Ant and Dec’s approval for the show
(Image: ITV Picture Desk)

"The bizarre thing is, I’m so lucky to do Catchphrase, Britain’s Got More Talent, Big Star’s Little Star, Saturday Night Takeaway, and the weird thing is that In For A Penny In For A Grand has only been on Saturday Night Takeaway, if you added up all the minutes, it would work out to be about 18 to 20 minutes of airtime, and the weird thing is I have more people say to me in the street, ‘Hey I’ve got a penny, I’m ready to go’.

"I think it says a lot about the show and I’ve spoken to both the boys and they were so excited about it, and good times are coming, fingers crossed.

"And I hope from what ITV are saying that it’s going to hit screens about March."

Stephen has been busy travelling the country to film the show and said he can’t believe some of the things he’s managed to get people to do for the cash.

He said: "You wait to see some of the things that, I’ll go as far as to say that we’ve got away with, not what we’ve done, what we’ve got away with.

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

They’re good pals

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

Stephen with the stars of Pennine Way Primary School in Carlisle

"Because literally at the end of the day, I was like why would anybody eat a steak bake off a fishing line? It’s difficult and very messy.

"You also forget how important £1,000 is. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you go ‘Okay’, but when you give someone £1,000 in cash you see how important it is to people."

Stephen has also helped a group of school children put on their most exciting Christmas show yet.

The 41-year-old teamed up with Virgin Media to judge a competition to find the UK primary school with the best idea for a Christmas show.

The winning entry came from Pennine Way Primary School, in Carlisle, and Stephen travelled to the school for his very own starring role.

He appeared as the narrator in their show, Robin Hood Saves Santa, which was filmed by Virgin TV and will be available for customers to watch on demand over the festive period.

Stephen is taking the year off from pantomime for the first time in 17 years, and said he was very excited when Virgin Media got in touch about this project.

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Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

He teamed up with Virgin Media for the contest
(Image: JENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY)

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

He narrated their Christmas play Robin Hood Saves Santa
(Image: JENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY)

He told us: "I did panto for 17 years back-to-back year-on-year and I decided this year that I was going to take a year off to spend it with my family. I’ve got three brothers, I’ve got a sister, I’ve got four nephews, I’ve got a niece, and I thought, do you know what, spend it with my parents and my family and all is good.

"In my head I thought that’s six weeks off so on Christmas Day I didn’t have to rush away and go to work. Then Virgin got in contact and said they had this idea where we will throw it out to all the primary schools across the country to see if they can come up for the best Christmas story and whichever one wins we will broadcast it on Virgin Demand.

"I thought it was a genius idea and then they said,’Would you be part of it and narrate it?’ and I said I’d be over the moon.

"I knew it would be good because it felt really warm and heartfelt and very Christmassy and now having seen it, I’d dare anyone who doesn’t have a heart to watch it, it’s amazing.

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

Stephen says the play will melt even the coldest of hearts
(Image: JENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY)

Stephen Mulhern chuffed to get Ant and Dec's approval for Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off

Stephen with the entire cast
(Image: JENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY)

"You watch it and you just smile and go, ‘This is what Christmas is all about’, it was so lovely and I can’t wait for people to see it."

And while a few things went wrong on the night, including one poor nervous kid throwing up on stage, Stephen said viewers will be none the wiser, because the rehearsals were recorded too just incase.

He said there are also some stand out stars in the show to look out for.

* All Virgin TV customers can watch ‘Robin Hood Saves Santa’, via on-demand, from December 20 until December 31

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