1988 – present (35 years)
- Anthony McPartlin
- Declan Donnelly
Anthony McPartlin (born 18 November 1975) and Declan Donnelly (born 25 September 1975), from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, are popular presenters of light entertainment television programmes in the United Kingdom, working together as the duo Ant and Dec.
They first met on the set of the UK TV series Byker Grove, in which their characters formed a dance/rap group in around 1993. The duo soon scored a recording contract and left acting to perform under their character names as PJ & Duncan. The first song they performed on the show was included on the debut album Psyche!, and was called Tonight I'm Free.
They went on to release three albums: Psyche and Top Katz as PJ and Duncan and The Cult of Ant and Dec as Ant and Dec. They have also had a large number of hit singles including their best known hit Let's Get Ready To Rhumble from 1994.
They pretty much stopped recording in 1997 to concentrate on a career in presenting television programmes, which has brought them much greater fame and notoriety than their previous careers in acting or music had done before. They have hosted shows such as SMTV Live, CD:UK, Friends Like These, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and were the presenters of the original UK version of Pop Idol, which spawned imitations worldwide such as American Idol.
In 2002, at the very young age of 27, Ant and Dec received a joint Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. Indeed they are such good friends, that they are hardly ever seen apart on screen. This leads to them receiving joint nominations for awards, and frequent jokes from other celebrities about not knowing which is Ant and which is Dec. In fact, a 2004 Daily Mirror poll found that 70% of viewers could not tell them apart . As a result, photographs of the duo are now almost always taken with Ant on the left and Dec on the right.
Also in 2002, the duo briefly returned to music at the request of the English Football Association to record the 2002 England World Cup Song, We're On The Ball.
In 2005, as part of the ITV Network's 50th birthday celebrations, they were back on television fronting Ant and Dec's Gameshow Marathon, a celebration of some of ITV's most enduring gameshows from the past 50 years.
They have, albeit infrequently, returned to acting. They played themselves in the film Love Actually (in which Bill Nighy's character referred to Dec as "Ant or Dec") and returned to their Geordie roots in a one-off tribute to The Likely Lads by remaking one of the classic episodes. They have also returned to Byker Grove for Geoff's funeral.
Their latest project is the film Alien Autopsy. Their next major TV series is a game show called The Con.Test which will air on ITV1 in July 2006.
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