Declan Donnelly spills beans on SPLITTING from Ant McPartlin 😱

ant and dec

by Daisy Jordan |
Updated on

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have worked together for 30 years, but that didn't stop their relationship being thrown into turmoil last year.

Ant was involved in a car crash in Richmond, London and was found to be over the drink-drive limit.

While Dec was left to pick up the pieces of their career plans, the TV presenter received a 20-month driving ban and a fine of £86,000 after pleading guilty to drink-driving in court.

Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway

In an interview with the Guardian Weekend magazine, Dec has now admitted he considered splitting with his TV partner for the crime, which he branded "indefensible".

The star explained how he felt at the time, reminiscing “I wanted to punch him and hug him at the same time – and I didn’t know which one I wanted to do first.”

Dec went onto admit he would be "lying" if he hadn't thought about the pair going their separate ways, adding, "Of course I thought about it...I thought about every eventuality and every permutation."

GALLERY: Byker Grove cast - where are they now?


Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?1 of 16

Ant & Dec (PJ & Duncan) then

Appearing in the show between 1989 and 1992, PJ and Duncan were the cool kids of Byker Grove. Seriously, who else could rock so many block primary colours at once?

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Ant & Dec (PJ & Duncan) now

It's safe to say the boys - now more commonly known as Ant and Dec - have done alright for themselves. In the early '90s they nabbed themselves a record deal and released the absolute TUNE that is Let's Get Ready to Rhumble. Since then they've picked up a record 17 Best TV Presenter NTAs for their services to everything from SM Live to *I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! *In fact, we'd say ITV game show Red or Black might be their only minor blip on an otherwise-flawless CV.

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?3 of 16

Denise Welch (Polly) then

Denise starred as Polly on the show between 1990 and 1991 in a short seven-episode stint.

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?4 of 16
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Denise Welch (Polly) now

Making her mark on the telly world, Denise has since appeared as Natalie Horrocks in Coronation Street, lent her services to the Loose Women panel and was a contestant on the sixth series of* Dancing on Ice* alongside professional partner Matt Evers. Oh, and she won the ninth series of Celebrity Big Brother.

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?5 of 16

Donna Air (Charlie Charlton) then

Playing Charlie Charlton, Donna was just ten years old when she joined the Byker Grove cast in 1992.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Donna Air (Charlie Charlton) now

Donna went on to become a presenter, most notably on MTV, TFI Friday and Popstars: The Rivals Extra. She's also appeared in Hollyoaks, blockbuster movie The Mummy Returns and most recently competed on the tenth series of Dancing on Ice.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Charlie Hunnam (Jason) then

Yup, actual-Hollywood-actor-type Charlie Hunnam made a brief appearance on Byker Grove as Jason back in '98. WHO KNEW?

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?8 of 16
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Charlie Hunnam (Jason) now

Another huge success story, Charlie's since become so in demand he PULLED OUT (no pun intended) of playing Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey; with the role then going to Jamie Dornan. Most recently, Charlie appeared in Guy Ritchie's Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur as actual King Arthur himself.

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?9 of 16

Jill Halfpenny (Nicola Dobson) then

Jill served absolute '90s scrunchie goals as she played the role of Nicola Dobson from 1989-1992.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Jill Halfpenny (Nicola Dobson) now

Still very much on the scene, Jill went on to win the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing and appear in everything from Waterloo Road to Wild at Heart.

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Andrew Hayden-Smith (Ben Carter) then

We're not gonna lie, we had the biggest crush on Ben Carter from 1995 right the way through to 2003. Then he got killed off and we cried for a week straight. It was a difficult time.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Andrew Hayden-Smith (Ben Carter) now

Andrew healed our then-broken hearts as he was reincarnated as a CBBC presenter in the mid-noughties, more recently appearing in *Doctor Who *and Channel 4 dramas Cucumber and Banana.

Byker Grove cast: Where are they now?13 of 16

Billy Fane (Geoff) then

Ah, youth club leader Geoff. An absolute Byker veteran from 1989-1999, he was brutally killed of in a gas explosion. The scene's still ingrained on our brains and we...can't talk about it.

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Billy Fane (Geoff) now

After Ant and Dec returned to the show for his funeral episode in 1999, Billy made an appearance on Saturday Night Takeaway back in 2014. He also achieved a masters degree in special needs education in 2006.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Point Break then

Remember floppy-haired '90s boyband Point Break? No? Well, um, it was made up of Byker Grove actors Brett Adams and David 'Ollie' Oliver and their pal Declan Bennett. We'd highly recommend their top 40 smash single Freaky Time.

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Point Break now

We're cheating here slightly, but said pal Declan's since been cast as Charlie Cotton in EastEnders. Bit of a tenuous link, but interesting nonetheless.

Ant and Dec
©Britain's Got Talent | © ITV

However the household favourite explained he had Ant's best interests at heart, adding, "Ultimately, the number one thing I wanted to happen was that Ant came back and he was healthy and happy, and we got our relationship back on track."

Prior to the incident, Ant had admitted he was addicted to alcohol and prescription medication and checked into rehab in a bid to banish his demons.

Meanwhile, he also split from wife Lisa Armstrong last year after 11 years of marriage.

While Ant took a break from presenting following the accident to look after his wellbeing, Dec was left to present their regular TV slots without his pal, while Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled until 2020.


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It took its toll on Dec however, and he sought therapy to come to terms with what was happening.

He revealed, "I’m not too proud to say I sought help when Ant was away. It’s the most destabilising thing that has ever happened to me."

The presenting duoare set to return to our screens this year for the new series of Britain's Got Talent next month - and we can't wait!

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