Ant and Dec get nostalgic as they reprise 90s PJ and Duncan roles in £2m deal

It's been 24 years since they burst onto our screens as PJ and Duncan on ITV's Byker Grove.

Since then the've gone on to win a combined total of 40 National Television Awards – but Ant and Dec have now turned back the clock to reprise their very first telly roles.

They aren't just doing it for the sake of nostalgia. The two are appearing in a £2million advertising campaign for banking giant Santander, which sees them don their trademark '90s baggy clothing whilst riding an 'Antandec' branded bike across West London.

The Geordie duo, both 46, were just 12 years old when they were cast together on the children's TV favourite.

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The presenting pair have featured in Santander adverts for the last three years.

As longtime fans will recall, during series five of Byker Grove Ant and Dec's characters formed a band and signed a record deal. This storyline came true in real life, with the pair landing a record deal.

They released their debut album, Psyche, penned under their characters' names and it became an instant hit, with Let's Get Ready to Rhumble having followed the pair throughout their career.

The debut album was so popular that it sold over 300,000 copies in the UK and other hits include If I Give You My Number and Eternal Love.

Today though the pair are far better known for their presenting of shows such as I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

This Santander advertising campaign is not the first time the pair have reprised their teen roles as back in 2013 their hit song Let's Get Ready To Rhumble was brought back to the stage as the duo gave a special performance on their hit show Saturday Night Takeaway.

The light-hearted relief and nostalgia of Ant and Dec's Byker Grove characters may be a welcome blast from the past for many, but the new advert campaign comes amid the bank's decision to cut its branch opening hours from July.

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Changes to the operation of Santander's branches means that opening hours will switch to 9:30am to 3pm, instead of the later finish time of 4:30pm, in response to what the bank says are long-term trends in customer behaviour. Although, the also shared that staff will still be available for pre-booked face-to-face appointments between 3pm and 5pm.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of customers in the bank's branches fell by a third over two years and then owing to pandemic there was a further loss of 50 per cent of customers in 2020 and 12 per cent in 2021.

Richard Owen, head of branches at Santander, said: "These changes will enable us to maintain our existing branch network while providing significant additional capacity to help customers who want to talk to us by phone.

"We have seen a continuing reduction in branch usage over several years, both before and since the peak of the pandemic, with many customers preferring to transact digitally or contact us by phone.

"We want to make sure we have the right mix of channels to help our customers however they choose to bank with us."

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