Ant and Dec discover they're distantly related

Ant and Dec have learned they are related (Credit: ITV)
Ant and Dec have learned they are related (Credit: ITV)

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have discovered they are distant cousins.

The presenting duo – who have been friends and worked together for almost 30 years – have been exploring their family history in ITV documentary Ant And Dec’s DNA Journey.

And the latest episode revealed they actually come from the same gene pool, and not just any bloodline - Viking warrior DNA.

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McPartlin, 43, said: “That’s brilliant. That’s amazing. That’s remarkable.”

Ant and Dec explored their family history in 'Ant and Dec's DNA Journey' (Credit: ITV)
Ant and Dec explored their family history in 'Ant and Dec's DNA Journey' (Credit: ITV)

Donnelly, 44, gasped: “Oh my God!... That wasn’t, ‘Oh my God that’s terrible news’, that was, ‘Oh my God that’s a big surprise’.”

The Britain’s Got Talent presenters were told they both carry the unique DNA marker called S660, which dates as far back as 790AD through the bloodline of their father’s.

Reflecting on the journey the documentary had taken them on McPartlin said: “It’s been two years, we started out in Newcastle and here we are now… cousins!”

He added: “We’re friends, we’ve got that brotherly connection. But it feels even deeper. Doing this show has made us look at each other in a different way.”

British TV presenters Anthony 'Ant' McPartlin , left and Declan 'Dec' Donnelly, display their Bafta awards, during the British Academy Television Awards, at the London Palladium in central London, Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
Anthony 'Ant' McPartlin and Declan 'Dec' Donnelly have worked together for almost 30 years (Credit: AP)

McPartlin and Donnelly met when they in 1990 aged 13, while playing the characters PJ and Duncan in BBC children’s drama Byker Grove. They launched a pop career as PJ & Duncan, releasing the Top 10 single Let's Get Ready To Rhumble in 1994, and subsequently built their TV presenting career from kids TV.

Read more: Declan Donnelly admits he thought partnership would not survive

McPartlin pled guilty to drink-driving in April 2018 after he was found to be more than than twice the legal alcohol limit while driving his Mini in London in March 2018. He was suspended from work at ITV for several months and sought rehabilitation treatment, leaving Donnelly to carry on without him.

McPartlin returned to TV screens earlier this year and will head back down under to rejoin Donnelly as co-host of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! on Sunday 17 November.