Following a number of recent award ceremonies the Department of Media Culture and Sport is to press for legislation to be brought before parliament calling for it to made illegal for Ant and Dec to ever be awarded Best Presenters ever again.

‘It’s making Britain look a complete joke around the creative world,’ says one departmental junior minister who is supporting the move preferring to remain anonymous. ‘For years Britain has been at the forefront of the world’s double-acts like Morcambe and Wise and Fry and Laurie, but Ant and Dec’s schtick and patter is so ‘low rent’ it’s embarrassing. Same old crap year in year out, but the plebs continue to lap it up.’

And the Geordie duo themselves seemed stunned by Britain’s lack of imagination yet again. A source close to the pair said: ‘Off the record the boys see it as symptomatic of our brain dead tabloid culture. They are mortified every time this happens and I know they did think of splitting up as the sense of shame was getting to them, but then they looked at the money ITV throws at them and thought ‘bollocks to that.’