British TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly discovered they are related to each other as their hit series reached its conclusion.
The Geordie duo were both tracing their family histories as part of the series Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey.
They have been best friends since they first appeared on TV together as cast members of British teen drama Biker Gove.
Now it turns out they have an ancestor in common and share the same S660 DNA marker.
Both stars have Irish heritage and throughout the series they have discovered many fascinating and heart-breaking stories from their family histories.
During a visit to the Tyneside Irish Centre, Ant and Dec learned that they both had ancestors who fought in the First World War – although one was more heroic than the other.
Dec discovered that he is related to American wrestling legend Dixie Carter.
Ant also discovered that he was related to half the population of the Co Leitrim village of Drumkeeran.
However, the producers saved the biggest revelation for last as Ant & Dec found that they are related to each other.
The S660 DNA marker that they share is the same gene that was discovered in a Viking warrior whose skeleton was discovered in Dublin.
The duo’s Viking ancestor died around 790AD.
A genealogist said: “There’s only one way to share a DNA marker – and that’s because you’re related.
“Recently, a Viking age warrior’s skeleton has been dug up in Dublin. He was in his late 20s, and died over 1000 years ago.
“What’s amazing to me is that when his DNA was analysed, it was shown he carried the S660 marker – the same marker that Ant and Dec carry.
“This warrior is directly related to them, in the father line. He’s the first one warrior we’ve ever found in the world with the S660.”
Ant said: “We’re friends, we’ve got that brotherly connection. But it feels even deeper. Doing this show has made us look at each other in a different way. He means the world to me.”
Dec added: “I’m at my happiest and most content when we’re together. He’s like another part of me. It would be like losing a limb if I didn’t have him in my life. It’s proved again why we’re such good friends.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling