Earlier this week, Dermot gave an interview in which he discussed the upcoming NTAs, and more specifically the fact that Ant and Dec are once again up for Best Presenter – an award they’ve won for the last 17 years.
Speaking to PA, Dermot joked: “If they win it this year, we should just not do it anymore!”
Reacting to Ant’s absence from our screens for most of 2018, he added: “If they win it, having not been on television, we may as well just chuck in the towel.”
Following his comments, a number of media outlets ran news stories claiming Dermot had “hit out” and “thrown shade” at the presenting duo, with the Daily Star even saying on their front page: “Dermot’s rage at Ant and Dec.”
The ‘X Factor’ host – who also presents the NTAs each year – has now posted a long statement on Twitter, insisting he had nothing against Ant and Dec, and hadn’t intended to make a dig at them.
“I wouldn’t normally react to this, but… I said no such thing,” he wrote. “I merely joked that if the boys win this year, we should all chuck in the towel. It was neither serious nor a ‘rage’.”
He added, referring to the Daily Star’s headline: “If you think on the day after one of the most important votes in parliamentary history, this warrants front page news – then someone really does need to consider their future in journalism.
“Other than that, you have yourselves a good morning all.”
It should be noted that prior to Ant’s hiatus from his TV commitments, he and Dec did appear together for almost an entire series of ‘Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’, as well as the pre-recorded audition stages of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.
Dec went on to host the rest of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ and ‘BGT’ by himself for the first time in their shared career, later teaming up with Holly Willoughby for last year’s series of ‘I’m A Celebrity’.
Ant and Dec are set to reunite on screen in the coming weeks, when filming begins at auditions for this year’s ‘BGT’.