Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have admitted they were considering leaving British Got Talent after feeling like they were on their side on the show.
The presenting duo, who have hosted the show since its inception in 2007, admitted in their new book Once Upon A Tyne that they had crisis talks with Simon Cowell in Los Angeles in 2012 during which they told him they would consider it to go away.
In passages from The Sun's book, Ant and Dec, both 44, shared how they informed ITV bosses that they wanted to quit after the series in 2011 when they discovered that, despite all their hard work, they were barely seen on the show were.
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, both 44, have admitted they were considering leaving British Got Talent after feeling like they were on their side on the show
They wrote, “After we filmed interviews and interacted with every single act, making jokes, giving reactions and everything else we always do, we found that when the show was on TV, we barely seemed to be in it. The experience made us feel like we were on the side.
Ant and Dec told bosses that they felt like anyone could host the show, considering all of their work was cut out and they considered leaving when their contract was up.
Dec even went so far as to say that he remembered waking up in Birmingham on the last day of the 2012 tour and thinking it would be the last time he would ever do it.
The couple added that conversations with the bosses weren't easy, but they felt it was necessary and it led Simon to ask to see them both in LA as he was desperate to get them to stay.
Crisis: The duo admitted in their book Once Upon A Tyne that they had crisis talks with Simon Cowell in Los Angeles in 2012, during which they told him they were considering leaving
The trio met in a restaurant in West Hollywood and sat outside so Simon could smoke with Ant and Dec. He noticed that he was only a minute late for the meeting, which is unusual for him as he is often hours late.
Simon started the conversation by telling the couple how well he thought the previous series of Got Talent had done in the UK and how satisfied he was with the talent before asking how they felt about it.
Ant and Dec wrote, “We'll let him have it with both barrels. We told him everything – that we weren't used, that we could do other things, that maybe someone else should take over.
“He promised us that things would change and that we would never feel that way again. He really wanted us to stay, and we told him we'd do the next series and see how it went – and to be fair, he was as good as his word and things were changing. & # 39;
Unhappy: Ant and Dec informed ITV bosses that they wanted to quit after the series in 2011 when they discovered they were barely on the show
At the end of the evening, Simon offered the duo to return to their hotel with his Rolls-Royce, which they accepted as they had never been to one before.
Simon also contributed to the book, writing if Ant or Dec are ever upset they will tell him to his face and there is no drama with them that he respects.
MailOnline has reached out to representatives from ITV and Britain's Got Talent for a comment.
Britain's Got Talent returns to screens on Sunday with a recorded show to announce the semi-finalists.
They wrote, “We found that when the show was on television, we barely appeared on it. The experience made us feel like we were on the side. & # 39;
Ashley Banjo will represent Simon on the judging panel, joining Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams as he recovers from a broken back.
The 31-year-old diversity star, who won the ITV show with his dance troupe in 2009, will take on the new role for the first semifinal.
Entertainment mogul Simon broke his back earlier this month after falling from his new Swind EB-01 at his Malibu home.
Although it was hoped that Simon could video-call up for the already delayed shows, it has now been confirmed that he will not be seen at all.
A source told The Mirror: “It was decided that the idea of letting the BGT finalists judge him through a link was simply not feasible or useful.
“Everything is fixed, he just needs healing time. A flight halfway around the world is not part of the plan and he has agreed that his health comes first. & # 39;
Bow: Ant and Dec told bosses that given all their cut-out work, they would consider leaving the show when their contract expired
The shows have already been hit by delays due to coronavirus restrictions. Although the audition episodes were shown in April, the live finale had to be postponed.
Filming has also been changed to ensure the crew and acts remain socially distant and there will be a virtual audience.
Instead of live shows, the episodes are now pre-recorded and shown in the Saturday night slot during prime time of The X Factor.
Simon broke his back after falling off his new bike and had six hours of surgery to insert a metal rod into his spine after the accident.
Meet: The couple added that conversations with the bosses weren't easy, but they felt it was necessary and it led Simon to ask to see them both in LA
After the accident, only sources close to the family spoke to MailOnline: "He is in a good mood and knows that he was lucky and that this could have been worse."
And within two days, Simon is said to have been back on his feet, walking around and even taking work calls, despite reports having received "weeks" of physical therapy.
The family sources added, “He is really fine considering everything. He's already been walking around, obviously he needs to be careful about what to expect considering the surgery only happened a day ago.
“Simon even worked yesterday and today he has been sending e-mails on his iPad since early morning. He is in a good mood and knows that he was lucky and that this could have been worse. & # 39;
Once Upon A Tyne: On Thursday, September 3rd, TV will celebrate 30 years together.
Ant and Dec wrote, “He promised us that things would change and that we would never feel like this again. He really wanted us to stay. & # 39;