THEY may arguably be Britain’s best-known television presenters, but Ant & Dec’s roots are about as Irish as can be.
If the surnames didn’t already give it away – McPartlin and Donnelly have a considerable and lasting connection to our fair isle.
Here are 11 things you never knew about the Geordie duo's Irish ancestry…
1. Dec is a Derry man
Dec is the child of Irish parents Alphonsus and Anne Donnelly, who moved to Newcastle upon Tyne from their native Desertmartin, Co. Derry in the 1950s.
2. Ant is a Leitrim man
Ant can trace his roots back to Drumkeeran in Co. Leitrim, and to a former parish priest called Fr James McPartlan – who built the local church and died about 150 years ago.
3. Dec’s ancestor was a lady’s man
Dec’s great-great-great-grandfather James Donnelly is listed in the 1831 census as living in Stramore, Co. Derry with three unnamed women – with all four in the household recorded as Catholic.
4. Dec’s siblings have the most Irish names ever
Dec is one of seven children raised on Newcastle’s Cruddas Park council estate, with three brothers – Martin, Eamonn and Dermott – and three sisters – Camelia, Patricia and Moyra.
5. Ant kept his dad’s Irish surname despite being abandoned
Ant’s dad, Raymond McPartlin, hasn't seen or spoken to Ant in 32 years – his entire professional career to date – since abandoning him at the age of 10 and moving out of the family home.
6. Dec almost became Father Dec
Dec originally wanted to become a Catholic priest, but changed his mind upon seeing the students from a nearby all-girls school. His older brother Dermott – or should we say Fr Dermott Donnelly – ended up joining the clergy instead.
7. They toured with Boyzone
During their short-lived rap career in the early 1990s, Ant & Dec performed alongside none other than Dublin quintet Boyzone. "We did tours with Boyzone," Ant recalled years later. "They'd go to bed early and we were getting pissed and not looking after our voices."
8. Dec is still close to his mammy
In August 2011, Dec’s dad Alphonsus ‘Foncey’ Donnelly tragically passed away from lung cancer aged 78. Anne Donnelly is still alive and kicking though, and maintains an extremely close relationship with her famous son.
9. Their Irish dancing skills aren't too shabby
In 2014, the pair showcased their ability to jig as they joined the Dublin-based dance company, Riverdance, for a spectacular routine live on Saturday Night Takeaway.
10. They've been to Ireland to trace their roots
In May 2017, the co-presenters caused a stir when they rocked up in Ireland to trace their family histories for a documentary titled ‘Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey’. Sadly, according to recent rumours the show may have been cancelled, but the Geordie duo certainly haven’t forgotten where they came from!
11. They know their Irish geography
Like it or not, Northern Ireland isn't part of Britain – it's part of the United Kingdom – something Dec didn't shy away from recently on Saturday Night Takeaway recently.
Never used to like Ant and Dec, but well done Northern Ireland isin't really part of Britain. pic.twitter.com/xe0G4sETrG
— JT (@1888JT) March 10, 2018