Ant and Dec will carry on their career for decades to come after McPartlin's recovery, says Mark Jefferies

Mirror Online Entertainment 1 month ago

Ant and Dec have a huge week ahead in terms of their TV careers.

It feels odd to even write that, given the incredible unmatched success the duo have had for the best part of three decades, since they met on Byker Grove.

But before we see them in the I'm A Celebrity jungle, viewers will watch their new revealing documentary Ant & Dec's DNA Journey.

It shows that at one stage last year it appeared the careers of Britain's most popular presenters could be over.

What has happened instead is the pair have changed in the last 12 months, perhaps even the dynamic of their friendship has altered, but they both men appear comfortable and re-energised for the second half of their careers.

Ant and Dec have a huge week ahead in terms of their TV careers

It may be the case that coming so close to losing what they had, both in terms of friendship and career, has made them even more thankful for what they have got.

“I had to think of everything other than work and concentrate on me and repairing relationships and being a better person and working out what was important and what wasn't,” Ant reflects at one point in the doc.

For Ant, this involved incredible upheaval of going to rehab, forming a new loving relationship with girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett and then rebuilding his friendship with Dec.

It feels odd to even write that, given the incredible unmatched success the duo have had for the best part of three decades, since they met on Byker Grove

Dec was devastated that Ant did not confide in him about his problems with drink and prescription drugs. But like all best friends, he forgave Ant and also realised he didn't really enjoy work without his pal.

Dec says: “For the first time in 30 years I had to think about what I was going to do and if I was going to go out on my own. The thought of that filled me with fear.

“It is such a relief to have him back. We are much stronger together and our friendship comes first.”

But before we see them in the I'm A Celebrity jungle, viewers will watch their new revealing documentary Ant & Dec's DNA Journey

The brilliant documentary is memorable for a number of reasons, and not just the honest and raw comments I picked out.

It is different in style to anything Ant and Dec have ever done before, which shows them being open to change in their choices of TV projects in the coming years. It mixes funny moments and family moments, and I think lots of viewers will laugh and cry with the boys.

It feels like a big step forward and makes me excited for the kind of TV programmes they are going to make over the coming years.

Making people laugh has never been a problem for these two, but it was also important that they also addressed the “elephant in the room” with regards to Ant's issues in the last couple of years.

They have found a way to do that on screen in the doc, which will answer a lot of questions and allow their careers to move on more easily. Fans will know and understand a lot more about what happened.

Less than a week after the doc airs they will be on-screen with I'm A Celebrity, a show Ant loves hosting and was sad to miss last year.

The brilliant documentary is memorable for a number of reasons, and not just the honest and raw comments I picked out

People warmed to his replacement Holly Willoughby, but I would back Ant & Dec to be better than ever with great gags when it begins next weekend. For me, it is the series that showcases their talent and chemistry the best.

They know each other so well, the comic timing is always there and they are excited to work on live TV together again. At a screening last week I have rarely seen them looking so happy or eager to get back to work.

Most importantly perhaps, Ant seems happy again which is great news. He is in a loving relationship with Anne-Marie and Dec has a wife and baby now too so they are maturing and able to enjoy time together, and also time apart with their own loved ones.

“Dec means the world to me, his wellbeing, his health,” says Ant in the doc.

“Being back at work is a bonus. Being back with my best friend, I know how lucky I am.”

And luckily for us, it means we will surely get to watch these two on screen for another couple of decades, in a ever widening variety of TV shows.

  • Ant & Dec's DNA Journey is on ITV on Sunday and Monday nights at 9pm. Mark Jefferies flew to Australia to cover I'm A Celebrity with Cathay Pacific.

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