Ant and Dec have revealed the first time they came to blows in a punch up just hours before appearing live on breakfast TV.
The Geordie TV presenting duo have opened up about their career together in their new autobiography – Once Upon a Tyne: Our story celebrating 30 years together on telly – and have detailed the moment they found themselves swinging at each other after a few pints.
It was back in the day when Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin, now both 44, were trying to forge a pop career after gaining some fame in children’s TV show, Byker Grove.
Performing as PJ and Duncan, after their characters in the show, the jaunty duo were due to appear on GMTV’s Fun in the Sun with Anthea Turner, with the show coming live from Torremolinos in Spain.
In the book, Ant recalls: “It was a special summer holiday version of the ITV breakfast show, in 1995, we were promoting Stuck On U.”
The pair were given a rare day off and Ant remembers: “Our tour manager Kim Glover told us we had the day to ourselves before appearing on GMTV the following morning… so we went to the pub.”
Of course, one pint became two and more and before long the pair were a little worse for wear and Dec was looking to head back to bed at 10pm as they had an early start to the next day and a hangover was now a real prospect.
As Dec headed to the lift, Ant recalls saying: “What the hell are you going to bed for?”
With Dec continuing his “stumbling towards the lift,” Ant said that “something about that incensed me and I lost it.”
Trying to lay down his authority, Ant demanded: “Don’t you dare walk away from me when I’m talking to you.”
Dec said that he started ranting at Ant, asking “who the hell does he think he was, talking to me like that?”
Dec admitted in the book that at that point, Ant “was really pushing my buttons.”
The pair continued arguing in the lift, with Dec ranting at his singing partner as the floors went by. When Ant then tried to get his point across, Dec put his fingers in his ears and started saying: “La la la la, I can’t hear you.”
Ant admitted: “That made my blood boil… I punched Dec in the chest.”
Dec said he responded by trying to knock the cap off Ant’s head as the punches started to swing.
The pair proved they were no prize fighters and Dec said: “I didn’t quite hit the target and ended up just punching the peak of his cap.”
He went on to admit that “I proved Dec is rubbish at fighting when he’s had a few.”
Their tour manager Kim intervened, telling the pair to break it up but there were a few more ‘verbals’.
Just two hours later they were both in make-up at the breakfast show and maintaining their huffs as they refused to look at each other.
Once under the lights of the TV show and with the cameras rolling, the pair’s closeness returned and they claim they have never come to blows since, in the 25 years since that drunken moment.
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