Declan Donnelly, one-half of the popular television duo 'Ant and Dec', was "inconsolable" last night after his father died of cancer. Alphonsus Donnelly launched his son's career after encouraging him to audition for popular television programme 'Byker Grove', reports the UK's Sun newspaper.
Alphonsus later helped nurture his son's partnership with Ant Mcpartlin and the pair became the two of the biggest names on British television. A source said yesterday, "Dec is devastated by his father's death. It has hit him really hard and he is still trying to come to terms with it.He and Alphonsus weren't just son and father, they were great friends". Dec's father and his wife Anne moved to Newcastle from Northern Ireland in the 1950's - they had seven children, with Dec being the youngest. Family friend Pauline O'Donnell said, "Alphonsus was always very happy and cheerful, a hard-working man with a great sense of humour. He was well-known and loved.He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him".
Donnelly and his partner MCPartlin have enjoyed years of success in the British television industry - particularly with quiz and game shows such as 'Saturday Night Takeaway', 'Live and Kicking', 'Britain's Got Talent' and most recently 'Push The Button'.