The boys reveal they’re up for anything in ITV’s festive fundraiser, Text Santa, which screens Friday, December 20 on ITV..
What’s happening on this year’s show?
Ant: ”There will be loads of festive surprises and we’ll be catching up with Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Christine Bleakley and Paddy McGuinness, who’ll all be helping us present the show.”
Dec: ”I’m looking forward to the stars of Coronation Street performing ‘A Fairytale in Weatherfield’ and I can’t wait to find out who the special mystery guests are…”
Which charities will Text Santa be raising money for this year?
Ant: ”This year’s six charities are Age UK, Barnado’s, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices, which all do fantastic work helping people all over the UK.”
Some of the stories you hear must be heartbreaking…
Dec: ”Yes, I do well up. Most of us are having a really good time at Christmas, but not everyone is so lucky, so it’s really a nice thing to be able to help people at that time of year.”
On last year’s show you swapped places – for the first time ever Ant stood on the right and Dec on the left!
Ant: ”The viewers really loved that – we didn’t realise it would work so well!”
Dec: ”We’ll definitely be doing something special again this year. There’s a whisper we might be taking part in an Ant v Dec challenge live on the show. It’ll be a surprise to us, but we’re up for anything.”
Do you buy each other Christmas presents?
Ant: ”Last year we bought each other exactly the same thing!”
Dec: ”We both saw an Atari games console in New York and I remember thinking, Ant would like that and I’d like one myself. It was surreal, we ended up getting the same present!”
What are your plans for Christmas Day itself? Will you be seeing each other?
Dec: ”We see enough of each other the rest of the year! I’ll be going home to eat turkey, drink wine and watch telly with my family.”
Ant: ”I always try and watch the big film, but I usually fall asleep – that’s down to too much turkey!”
Fun #imacelebrity wrap party. Kiosk Keith was the life and soul of it. See how crazy he goes when he’s not at the shack. D
ON SET WITH ANT & DEC
Deputy editor Lisa snuck into Ant and Dec’s dressing room for a chat with the popular duo between takes…
How are you enjoying the shoot?
Ant ‘It’s great fun. The highlight for me so far has been watching Dec try to catch profiteroles in his mouth [for one of the shots]. He had a little rehearsal in here beforehand.’
Dec ‘I wasn’t very good at it, which is probably why it was a highlight for Ant. I’ve spent most of this morning being bashed about the face with profiteroles.’
How much food have you had to eat?
Dec ‘There is a lot of eating involved, which sounds amazing, but after an hour of eating pork crackling, I’m like, “can we move on to something else now? When’s dessert?”.’
Ant ‘We’ve tried it all. Neil and the rest of the Morrisons chefs invited us to join them for Christmas lunch back in July – on the hottest day of the year. They cooked us everything – and we ate literally everything. It was amazing.’
Have the chefs taught you any tricks?
Ant ‘Neil actually let me assemble Morrisons amazing Great British Christmas Crown. I was pretty good at it.’
Dec ‘We’ve also learnt about using different cuts of meat. That’s been one of our favourite things about working with Morrisons this year – we’ve learnt so much from the guys.’
So does that mean you’ll each be cooking Christmas lunch this year?
Dec ‘No. I keep out of the kitchen at Christmas. My mum does it all. She’s the boss. Nobody else is allowed in. I can chop the carrots but that’s about as far as it goes.’
Ant ‘I will, I love it. When my wife Lisa and I have Christmas at home we both chip in and do a bit each. We usually do turkey and even a little bit of beef sometimes. And we always have a ham on the bone, too.’
Dec ‘That’s proper carnivorous, that!’
Do you ever spend Christmas together?
Dec ‘That’s one day we don’t need to be together. We see enough of each other during the year. We’ll be busy leading up to Christmas with ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… We’ll have Christmas off, then we’re straight back in to January with theBritain’s Got Talent auditions. Then we’re getting ready for Saturday Night Takeaway. Christmas comes at a really good time in the middle of all of that, so it gives us a nice rest.’
What traditions do you each enjoy?
Ant ‘When I was a kid my mum would hold some presents back and give them to us throughout the day, to prolong the excitement. We still do that.’
Dec ‘All the family come round from about midday and we have a big present-giving session. We usually watch the Queen’s speech and we have dinner just after that. Then on Christmas night we have a big family quiz. There are about 24 of us, so we split up into loads of teams. I’m normally quiz master and I come up with the questions about the year that’s just gone. There are prizes and all sorts.’
So, who do you have on your Christmas-card lists this year?
Ant ‘I have to admit I don’t send out cards. My wife does them instead. She loves it.’
Dec ‘We’ve also got the handy excuse that we’re in Australia for quite a lot of the time leading up to Christmas, of course…’
Ant ‘…and people are like, “you’ve been saying that for 10 years now”.’
What are your favourite cracker jokes?
Dec ‘How many do you want? I love Christmas cracker jokes!’
Ant ‘How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizza? [in the tune] “Deep and crisp and even”.’
Dec ‘What did Cinderella say when her photos didn’t arrive on time? “One day my prints will come.” Ah, I’m feeling all Christmassy now.’
Ant ‘Me too. I might even write some cards this year…’
Apart from catching profiteroles, have you faced any other challenges?
Dec ‘The hardest thing for us is imagining the star of the advert, Ginger, is actually here. Getting our eyeline right, imagining him throwing candy canes in the air and us catching them, and imagining him throwing food at us has been the biggest challenge.’
What do you think of the ad?
Ant ‘We love the ad. The song’s a classic – everyone recognises Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast – and it’s just a really warm, feel-good, Christmassy advert. It’s magical – and that’s what Christmas is all about.’
Do you buy each other Christmas presents?
Ant ‘Yeah, we do.’
Dec ‘Normally golf- or football-related gifts.’
Ant ‘Or a box set. We have similar tastes so if I see something I like, I know Dec will like it too.’
What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
Dec ‘My favourite ever present was the BMX I got as a kid. I can remember coming downstairs and there it was – shiny blue with yellow wheels. That was the best Christmas ever.’
Ant ‘An Action Man. I was the first one in my street to get one.’
Ant & Dec in OK! Magazine (December 3, 2013)
Here are ten facts about the popular TV hosts:
1. For the past 20 years they’ve lived close to each other, having shared the same flat and then lived next door together. Even now, they live in the same road. “In 2006 I got married and Dec bought a house three doors down the road from my new marital home,” said Ant. “He’s basically a stalker, but he’s very good at his job so I’ll keep him on.”
2. Ant always stands on the left and Dec on the right. They call it the 180-degree rule.
3. Ant and Dec met on Children’s BBC series Byker Grove when they were 14. Dec played the part of Duncan and Ant played PJ and his on-screen mother was played by his real mum.
4. They have won Best Entertainment Presenter at the National Television Awards for the past 12 years.
5. Dec is the youngest of seven children of Irish parents who moved to Newcastle in the 1950s. “I grew up being called Eamonn-Martin-Dermott-Declan because I was the youngest of the boys and Mum would go through all their names first before she got to mine,” he has said.
6. When Ant married his make-up artist girlfriend Lisa Armstrong in 2006 at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire he chose Dec to be his best man.
7. Dec is two months older – they are both 38 – and Ant is two inches taller at 5’8”.
8. In Richard Curtis’s 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually, they appear as themselves.
9. They are insured against the other dying. “I’m not sure how much Ant and I are insured against each other,” said Dec. “I’ve heard it’s a couple of million. However much it is, it would never be compensation for losing your best mate.”
10. They host the Bushtucker Trials on I’m A Celebrity… but Ant has a phobia of spiders, while Dec is afraid of birds.