"Ant" McPartlin and Declan "Dec" Donnelly, known
collectively as Ant & Dec, are a comedy and
presenting duo from Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
are regular presenters on many high-profile ITV1
shows, including I'm A
Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!
, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night
. The duo rose to fame as actors in the
children's television show Byker
during which and in their subsequent pop career they
were respectively known as PJ & Duncan
names of the characters they had played, and then by presenting
children's saturday morning TV shows SMTV
Anthony McPartlin was born on 18 November 1975. Declan Donnelly was
born on 25 September 1975. They met each other while working on the
BBC children's drama Byker Grove
in 1990. After a shaky
start, they soon became best friends.
They have achieved such popularity as a duo that they are hardly
ever seen apart on screen. (Indeed, it is reported that they are
each insured against the other's death, although the amount is
unknown.) This has led to them receiving joint nominations for many
awards. It is a running joke that many people do not know which of
them is Ant, and which Dec, even though their respective
appearances differ significantly.
To assist with identification, they follow the 180 degree rule
; almost all their TV
appearances and publicity photos have Ant on the left and Dec on
Although Ant had built some television experience with a brief
stint on the children's classic, Why
, Declan was the first of the duo to acquire his
place on the BBC
despite suffering from moderate dyslexia, playing
Duncan. A year later (in 1989) Ant joined the cast playing PJ
(Peter Jenkins). Their friendship began when their storylines
collided, creating a friendship off screen as well as on.(It should
be noted that the 180degree rule was put in place by producers on
Byker Grove, realising early on the potential in the pair. This
trend continued through all music videos and performances, and is
still in practice with all current presenting)
Declan Donnelly also played a farm worker in the adaptation of the
novel The Cinder Path
in his teenage years, a role in
which he was likened to a young Peter
After they left the television series, they turned their hand to
, releasing (under their
character names "PJ & Duncan") songs such
as "Why Me? (Is It Justified)", "Our Radio Rocks" and The Monkees
cover "Stepping Stone
". Their most
famous hit was the BRIT Award
"Let's Get Ready to Rhumble" for which they were choreographed by
London choreographer Mark Short, who also worked with Tina Turner
. In total the pair released 15 singles
and three studio albums
, see PJ & Duncan discography
for further information.
never had a number one hit in the UK; even their
World Cup 2002 song "We're On The
Ball" reached number three, beaten by Will
Young who was on the show Pop
Idol which the duo presented.
in Japan, the duo's
song "Eternal Love" was number one for several weeks, as well as
many other singles and all three of their albums.
also struck in Germany and other European countries.
Dec were also successful with the hits "When I Fall In Love" in
1996 and "Falling" in 1997, which achieved greatest success in
South East Asia and areas of South Korea.
During their music career they also helped present the children's
show Gimme 5
Later, the duo gained two series of their own BAFTA
award-winning sketch comedy
(The Ant & Dec Show
) on Children's
in 1995, as well as an early evening show on Channel 4
(Ant & Dec Unzipped
1997, which also won a BAFTA.
After presenting various other BBC programmes such as Friends Like These
, the BBC believed
the duo had run their course and decided to let them go. Rivals
quickly signed the pair on in 1998, where
they enjoyed success fronting ITV1
morning children's programmes SMTV
was voted number 27 in the 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows
that aired on Channel 4.
They subsequently moved to Saturday evening to present Pop Idol
and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night
. Their highest audience figures to date were
obtained whilst presenting I'm a Celebrity...Get Me
Out of Here!
in February 2004. On 9 June 2007, the duo
began hosting ITV's new show, Britain's Got Talent
, Amanda Holden
and Piers Morgan
. They began presenting a second
series which started in early April. The second series finished on
Saturday 31 May 2008 with audience figures peaking at 14.4 million
The pair also starred in the children's TV series Engie Benjy
with Dec starring in the title role,
and Ant voicing several of the other characters.
Dec broke his arm, thumb and suffered a concussion whilst doing a
stunt for his show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
in 2005. In the section called Ant vs Dec, the incident involved
learning how to ride a motorbike and jump through a ring of fire.
Not pulling enough on the throttle caused the bike to topple over
and send Declan flying falling on his head. The accident caused the
pair to miss Comic
two days after the accident.
They have also presented the charity football show Soccer Aid
and the weekend long golfing show
. Their next major
TV series was a game show called PokerFace
which aired on
ITV1 on 10 July 2006.
As well as
these new projects, 2006 also saw another series of Ant &
Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, during the first episode of
which the pair abseiled down the side of the 22-storey London
Studios, where the show is filmed.
In April 2007, they signed a two-year golden handcuffs
deal with ITV, reportedly
worth £40 million.
In November 2007, the duo presented the seventh series of
Celebrity... Get Me Out
On 16 February 2008 the pair began a new series of Saturday Night Takeaway
April 2008, it was reported that Gallowgate Productions TV, the TV
production company owned by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly
(named after a stand in their beloved St James' Park where they watch Newcastle United F.C.), purchased the
rights to Byker Grove after the production company that
made it (Zenith Entertainment) went bankrupt in 2007.
According to reports, the reason Ant & Dec decided to purchase
the rights was so to stop a digital channel showing repeats. They
also bought the rights to SM:TV Live
In the autumn of 2008 The Ant & Dec Show (What You
was due to air, but British tabloid newspaper The Sun
reported ITV had axed the idea, which was
being made by the duo's production company Gallowgate.
new American gameshow Wanna
Bet?, filmed in 2007, aired on ABC from July
There have also been reports that Ant & Dec might take over
's role of presenting
as they were previously hosts of the
original British version
The pair presented the second Soccer
on 7 September 2008. They
presented the first series of the show in May 2006.
September 2008, it was reported that the pair were attacked by the
Taliban whilst in Afghanistan to present a Pride Of Britain Award.
In November 2008, the duo presented the eighth series of ITV1
's I'm a
Celebrity... Get Me Out of
, and have confirmed to present the ninth in November
November 2008, it was announced that the duo were to star in a
Christmas advert, their first in seven years, for the supermarket
chain Sainsbury's, alongside chef Jamie
On 13 March 2009, the pair appeared on Comic Relief with their
story visiting a centre for young carers in the North East to raise
money to improve the lives of young carers and their
17 September 2009 saw the release of the duo's official autobiography
, entitled "Ooh! What A Lovely
Pair. Our Story".
in late October 2009, the two appeared in several Nintendo
adverts playing both the Wii
and the DS
They will be appearing on ITV2
's Ghost Hunting With...
Law firm Olswang were commissioned to investigate the 2005 British
Comedy Awards when the producers overturned the voting public's
first choice, The Catherine
in favour of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night
for the People's Choice Award. The incident is also
the subject of an investigation by media regulator Ofcom.
Following allegations of fraud in 2007, an investigation by
auditors Deloitte Touche
discovered that two shows, Ant & Dec's
and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night
, had defrauded viewers participating in phone-ins.
The latter was produced by the pair's own production company.
programmes were subject to a further investigation by Ofcom which found
that between January 2003 and October 2006 Ant & Dec's
Saturday Night Takeaway had -
- selected competition finalists before the telephone lines were
announced as closed
- staggered the selection of competition finalists which meant
that viewers entering the competition did not have a fair and equal
chance of winning
- selected finalists on the basis of their suitability to be on
television and where they lived
- selected an individual already known to the production team to
be placed on the shortlist of potential winners and who went on to
win the competition
and between September and October 2005, Ant & Dec's
- on six occasions in the Prize Mountain competition, selected
winners based on their suitability to be on screen
- failed to account for almost half of the competition
One episode of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
also found to be in breach of Ofcom rules.
were ridiculed for their alleged participation in the fraud on the
front cover of the satirical magazine Private Eye.
On 10 September 2008, McPartlin and Donnelly announced that the
frauds "will never happen again", insisting that a high-tech system
and strict rules will ensure viewers can’t lose out with poorly
monitored premium rate phone lines.
September 2008, it was reported that the pair were being sued for $30 million by Greek American stand-up comedian and actor Anthony
Kalloniatis for using "his" name in the United States.
The lawsuit, among other things, alleges
trademark infringement and fraud.
claimed that Ant and Dec had
been the cause of her removal as 4th judge on Britain's Got Talent
. She claimed that
she was asked to leave the show after she upset the pair.
They have, albeit infrequently, returned to acting. They played
themselves in the film Love
(in which Bill Nighy
character referred to Dec as "Ant or Dec"). They have returned to
roots in a one-off tribute to
The Likely Lads
they remade one of the classic episodes) and also by returning to
for Geoff's funeral.
the pair starred in the pantomime
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
at Sunderland's Empire Theatre alongside Donnelly's partner at the time Clare Buckfield.
The show was
financially unsuccessful, making £20,000 less than it cost to
Their latest acting project was the film Alien Autopsy
released in April
2006. The film gained mixed reviews about the storyline but the
pair received generally good reviews for their acting
They revealed that they were in an unreleased footage of an
was shown on Saturday Night Takeaway
to surprise Simon Cowell
. They wore large-sized apparel to
partially hide their identities.
In 2005, as part of the ITV Network's 50th birthday celebrations,
they were back on television
Ant & Dec's
, a celebration of some of ITV's most
enduring gameshows from the past 50 years.
In 2006, a celebration to the show Spitting Image
saw Ant and Dec having
their own puppets made. They have also been made into cartoon
characters on the comedy show 2DTV
and face masks in Avid
s Bo Selecta
of the duo can also be seen in London's Madame
In September 2006, they were voted by the general public as number
7 in a poll of TV's 50 Greatest
- Brit Award Nomination - Best Song: "Let's Get Ready to
- Most Popular Entertainment Presenter (SMTV
- Most Popular Entertainment Presenter (Pop
- National Television Awards: Special Recognition Award
- Most Popular Quiz Show (Ant and Dec's Gameshow
- British Comedy Awards: Best Comedy Entertainment
- British Comedy Awards: Best Comedy Entertainment Programme
- BBC Tyne People
- Ant and Dec - Biography of Ant and Dec
- BBC Tyne - Ant & Dec
- Ant & Death
- Ant and Dec Biography
- Declan Donnelly in "The Cinder Path"
- Everyhit.com World Cup Archive
- IMDB Gimme 5 Cast & Crew
- Past Winners and Nominees - Children's 1996
- IMDB - The Ant & Dec Show
- IMDB - Ant & Dec Unzipped
- Past Winners and Nominess - Children's 1998
- IMDB - Friends Like These Cast
- BBC.co.uk - Geordie duo sign new ITV
- Manchester Evening News - Britain's Got Talent wins
- Ant McPartlin (Alien Autopsy, A History Of
Tyneside, Engie Benjy - Let's Go Team - Episodes 7 To 13 and Engie
Benjy - Makes Things Better!)
- Declan Donnelly (A History Of Tyneside, Alien
Autopsy, Engie Benjy - Let's Go Team - Episodes 7 To 13 and Engie
Benjy - Makes Things Better!)
- Ant and Dec at ITV until 2009
- Ant & Dec ITV Sunday Axe
- Howdy there, Geordie lads! TheSun.co.uk
- Simon Cowell wants Ant and Dec to host American
- Soccer Aid -
- Ant and Dec attacked by the Taliban in
- Sainsbury's Christmas ad marks Ant and Dec's first
commercial in seven yearsBrandRepublic.com
- Ant and Dec | Ooh! What A Lovely Pair! Available to
pre-order now! AntnDec.com
- Ant & Dec - Nintendo Wii & DS Advertisement
- an Analysis
- Ant & Dec with London Cabbies - Nintendo DS
Brain Training Advertisement - an Analysis
- Ant and Dec: No rip-offs TheSun.co.uk
- Ant and Dec sued for $30m by American 'Ant', who
claims the Brits are ruining his career DailyMail.co.uk
- Kelly Brook: Ant and Dec ruined my TV career
- Love Actually (2003) - Full Cast &
- BBC.co.uk The Likely Lads
- BBC Press Office - Byker Grove to close its doors
after 17 years
- PJ & Duncan Return
- You're Earning A Panto Fortune - Oh Yes You Are
Amanda Kelly, Daily Mirror, 7 Nov 1999
- Alien Autopsy (2006) IMDB.com
- TV's 50 Greatest Stars
- Television - News - British Comedy Awards 2006: The
Winners - Digital Spy
- http://www.tvquick.co.uk/awards-pictures TV Awards 2008
- Ant and Dec's Award Surprise