How Stephen Mulhern befriended Ant and Dec

"At the time they were riding high, massively successful."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08:  (L-R)  Winners of the Entertainment Programme award for Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Anthony McPartlin, Stephen Mulhern and Declan Donnelly  poses in the winners room at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Ant McPartlin, Stephen Mulhern and Dec Donnelly at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards in 2022. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Stephen Mulhern has recalled how he and fellow TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly first hit it off.

Having closely worked together on both Britain's Got More Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway over the years, these three go way back, and while speaking to The Sunday Express, magician Mulhern suggested that McPartlin was essentially responsible for one of his big breaks.

"A long time ago, I was in a room with Ant and Dec, and one of the big telly bosses came in," he began.

"At the time they were riding high, massively successful, and I was just plodding along. I saw my chance and said to Ant, 'When the boss comes over, can you ask me to do a trick?'"

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Stephen Mulhern, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly during the 'Britain's Got Talent' Manchester photocall at The Lowry on February 06, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
The three pals pictured beside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon for Britain's Got Talent. (Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)

According to Mulhern, who recently became Holly Willoughby's new Dancing on Ice co-host, McPartlin did just that when the time was right.

"I reply something like, 'Oh what? Really? I'm off duty... Fine, go on then, let me have a go' in a very nonchalant manner, but of course then do the trick," the star further remembered.

The Byker Grove sensation proceeded to call this randomer-at-the-time a "cheeky so and so", but that moment proved to mark the start of a beautiful friendship.

Mulhern addressing the Josie Gibson situation on This Morning. (ITV)
Mulhern addressing the Josie Gibson situation on This Morning. (ITV)

This comes after Mulhern was forced to address some hand-holding photos of himself and Josie Gibson taken on the set of Saturday Night Takeaway last month.

"Listen, she didn't turn up to rehearsals. I held her hand and I showed her where to stand," he informed This Morning presenters Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard.

"That is it," added Mulhern as Deeley and Shephard giggled away unconvinced. "Uh huh, really?" replied the former, with her colleague teasing: "We think you protest too much".

Laughing, their guest pleaded: "Why are you doing this to me?"