When Ant McPartlin went public with his troubles, it was like learning that a family member was secretly in anguish

They transferred their natural rapport and quick wit to presenting with much-loved Saturday morning show SMTV Live – a knowing update of the Swap Shop/Tiswas format. At the turn of the millennium, game show Friends Like These launched their primetime careers. It was themed, as the title would imply, around friendship – something that the Geordie pair know a thing or two about, having been inseparable for two-thirds of their lives. 

With an almost telepathic bonds, these mind twins got exactly the same GCSE results and shared a flat for years. Even now, they only live a few doors apart in west London, sharing a car into work each morning and constantly texting each other when they’re apart. “Ours is a career built on a friendship, not a friendship built on a career,” says Donnelly.

One hesitates to use the B-word but it’s the ultimate bromance. Donnelly is reportedly heartbroken by his pal’s current pain.

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