Following the current hiatus forced upon Ant and Dec after Ant’s drink-driving arrest and the subsequent fallout, the gap is about to be filled by the unlikely pairing of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

ITV has announced that ‘Bozza and Jake’s Madcap Muck-About’ is to replace the final two Saturday Night Takeaway shows with an unusual mix of what the broadcaster is calling Latin and Greek Classicist humour. A spokesman said: ‘What we were looking for is a duo who ooze comedy from every pore, and who better than Boris and Jacob? The whole nation already sees them as a huge joke.’

And appearing together at a press conference to launch the show the new duo was upbeat and relaxed, even prepared to give a sneak preview of what viewers can expect when Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘I say, I say, I say. What do you call a Centurion with a broken spear? Quick as a flash Johnson quipped: ‘Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non excepti. Finis origine pendet!’

It’s understood that to accompany the rapier-like wit, Muck-About will also have a reality game show interlude that will see the boys chair a Benefit Awards Panel, jointly adjudicating on fitness-for-work assessments and suspension of payments decisions, where contestants will be able to play for a jackpot of up to £1.50.

Said an ITV spokesman: ‘We’re really excited about the whole thing and if these two shows go well then I can see a entire series being commissioned for the Autumn.’