Ant & Dec are to embark on an amazing journey of self-discovery in a new 90 minute ITV special that will see them leave their Geordie upbringings behind to go in search of their forefathers.
In a TV first, Ant & Dec's DNA Journey will use a unique combination of DNA and genealogy research to plot their family histories – going back further in time than any show has done before.
The pair – who have won the National Television Award for most popular presenter for 16 consecutive years – will use their long-standing shared history as a starting point to find out just how far back their bond goes.
The film will use the latest innovations in DNA science and technology to help trace their ancestors from thousands of years ago in a way that’s not been possible until now, enabling them to form a trajectory stretching from Newcastle to Neanderthal.
The duo will begin their historical search by providing saliva samples for DNA analysis to show the breakdown of their ethnic makeup and a route map of their genetic pasts.
The show - to be made by Voltage TV in co-production with Mitre Television – will follow the boys on an emotional journey that takes them across the Irish Sea and beyond as they unearth both their shared and individual histories. This is a modern biography that will give a unique and unseen insight into their lives.
Along the way they will be joined by family members as well as meeting long-lost distant relatives.
And in a unique twist, the show will culminate in a big reveal in which the best friends discover if either has blue blood - or if they are actually from pauper stock.
Informative on-screen graphics will also bring alive the cutting-edge DNA science behind the show.
Ant & Dec said: “Tracing our ancestors using pioneering DNA methods has been a fascinating and emotional process so far.
“We have discovered some amazing things which have shocked and surprised us and we still have hundreds of years to uncover! We are looking forward to sharing our journey with the audience.”
ITV Head of Entertainment Commissioning, Siobhan Greene, said: “Ant & Dec's DNA Journey is going to have the audience on the edge of their seats.
“Following the lads like we have never seen them before and with some twists and turns and parallels to each other's histories, this 90 minute film will leave viewers absolutely gobsmacked.
“And by Ant & Dec revealing their own personal family history we hope the audience at home will be inspired to wonder about their own.“