This October marks a very special anniversary for Ant & Dec: 30 years in entertainment. Yes, it’s been 30 years since the boys first appeared on screen in Byker Grove as PJ & Duncan and began their career as the nation’s favourite TV duo. To celebrate, Ant & Dec will release a brand-new book, ONCE UPON A TYNE: CELEBRATING 30 YEARS TOGETHER, which will look back on three decades in the spotlight, sharing behind-the-scenes stories of the TV shows that made them the nation’s best loved stars, plus never-before-seen photos.
From their modest beginnings in Byker Grove through to their ‘unique’ time as pop stars and an award-laden TV career, 30 years have flown by in the blink of an eye. They’ve also featured an incredible cast of supporting characters, including their first scriptwriter (an unknown comedian called David Walliams), Saturday night fun and games with countless Hollywood A-listers, and celebrities they torture – sorry, work with – every year in the Jungle. Told through the lens of every TV show they’ve made, and including everything they’ve learnt along the way, this book charts the journey of two ordinary lads from Newcastle who went on to achieve extraordinary things.
EMILY BARRETT, SENIOR COMMISSIONING EDITOR, SAID: ‘Sphere is home to some of the biggest names and brands in the British entertainment world – including J. K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith, Val McDermid and The Great British Bake Off – so we’re ecstatic to be welcoming the Kings of Telly to join those ranks. I’ve been a huge fan of Ant and Dec for as long as I can remember so this is a personal thrill for me, and with a turbo-charged publicity and marketing campaign planned for the autumn to support publication, plus legions of devoted Ant and Dec fans who haven’t seen a book from their TV heroes for 10 years, this will without doubt be one of the biggest non-fiction books publishing in 2020. In this currently strange and anxious period of time we find ourselves in, it’s good to have positive and exciting things to look forward to and, with this book, Ant and Dec are giving their fans just that.’
ANT SAID: ‘We wanted to write this book to mark 30 incredible years. If you had told the 14-year-old us that we’d still be working together on some of the biggest TV shows in the world, we’d have laughed you out of Byker Grove. It would have been too much for our tiny minds to comprehend, but here we are still together and still having more fun than anyone really should be having at work. We also wanted to take this opportunity to stop and look back, so that we can look forward at what the next 30 years may hold and what our renewed ambitions will be. It is our way of giving people more than just what they see on TV, lifting back the curtain on our career so far and sharing the moments and stories that still make us smile.’
DEC SAID: ‘It took us by surprise that we’d been together for 30 years; it has gone by in a flash. When we realised, we began to reminisce and made ourselves laugh at some of the stories we remembered (we are admittedly our own best audience!). We thought it would be a shame to waste this period of reflection and set about writing a book to mark the anniversary. It has, until now involved a lot of tea (green for me, builders for Ant), chocolate biscuits and laughter. In this final period of writing it is mostly video calls with dogs on our knees, but still trying to make each other laugh – which in essence is what we’ve spent the last 30 years doing!’
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Ant: As the old Chinese proverb says, 'Good things come in pairs'.
Dec: And as another Chinese proverb says, 'If you've been in a double act with your best mate for thirty years, why not write a book about all your most memorable moments in three decades of showbusiness?'
Ant: Less catchy that one, isn't it?
Dec: But no less true. And after three decades together, we're writing that book. Covering everything from a pirate radio storyline in Byker Grove through to the biggest shows on telly, this is our story.
Ant: Thirty years, eh? Amazing.
Dec: Absolutely. Especially when you consider we are both still 27 years old.
Ant and Dec hold a special place in the hearts of TV viewers everywhere. This is their epic story, with never-before-seen photography and the very best tales from their 30 years in TV.
From their modest beginnings in Byker Grove through to their "unique" time as pop stars and an award-laden TV career, those three decades have flown by in the blink of an eye. They've also featured an incredible cast of supporting characters, including their first scriptwriter (an unknown comedian called David Walliams), Saturday night fun and games with countless Hollywood A-listers, and celebrities they torture - sorry, work with - every year in the jungle. Told through the lens of every TV show they've made, as well as everything they've learnt along the way, this is the riotously funny journey of two ordinary lads from Newcastle who went on to achieve extraordinary things.