Ant and Dec return to Byker Grove as it gets a primetime TV reboot

Ant and Dec starred as PJ and Duncan in the original series. Credit: PA

Children's television favourite Byker Grove left screens 17 years ago, but now the nineties and noughties classic set in Newcastle will be making a comeback.

Producers of Sunderland Til I Die and The Kardashians, Fulwell 73, are relaunching the show as BYKER and it will be filmed and produced in the North East.

Originally broadcast between 1989-2006, Byker Grove told the story of a youth club in Newcastle. It ran for 18 series and launched the careers of Ant and Dec as duo PJ and Duncan. 

The presenters will work as executive producers and creative consultants on the show, with producers saying the reboot will touch on youth and adult storylines with some nostalgic touches.

Declan Donnelly said: "Byker Grove will always be very special to us as the show which gave us our break, so we are beyond excited to be working together with Fulwell 73 on bringing it back.

"We are looking forward to bringing this fresh incarnation to a whole new generation as well as those who remember it as fondly as we do.  

"As proud Geordies, we’re looking forward to help shine a spotlight on the North East and the talent the region has to offer both in front of the camera and behind it." 

Ant McPartlin said: "We owe such a lot to Byker Grove and the North East so we can’t wait to start working with Fulwell 73 and the team to bring this iconic series back to life.

"Already talking characters and storylines has us all buzzing at the possibilities ahead. The original series was the starting point for a lot of North East talent so we're excited to see what the new team will bring." 

It is hoped BYKER will provide sustainable training both in front and behind the camera, with a North East focused writers’ room and work placements.

Leo Pearlman, co-founder and managing partner at Fulwell 73 said: "Partnering through our Sunderland office with Ant and Dec’s company Mitre Studios, an unlikely and yet dream team of Mackems and Geordies, to bring back a series starring and made by local people is something we’re incredibly proud of at Fulwell 73.

"We can’t wait to share BYKER with new and old fans alike, showcasing the very best of our region to the world as part of our long-term commitment to a sustainable industry in the North East."

Ant and Dec will also look to integrate their Prince's Trust Making it in Media course as part of the production, giving experience and confidence to young people in the North East looking to pursue a career in the media. 

The duo's production company, Mitre Studios, said: "The show obviously holds a very special place in the heart for Ant and Dec as it was where it all started for them.

PJ and Duncan perform live on stage live at the Newcastle Arena during the opening night of the Smash Hits '96 tour. Credit: PA

"The North East is a hotbed of emerging talent both on and off screen, so we’re extremely proud to be able to tap into that and help give something back to the region.” 

Fulwell 73, alongside Cain International, also recently revealed their plans for Crown Works Studios in Sunderland which will be one of the largest filmmaking complexes in Europe, creating some 8,450 jobs across the North East over the next decade.  

Listen to Unscripted - the ITV News arts and entertainment podcast