Ant McPartlin learns about his grandmother’s heart-breaking childhood as he traces his family history

Ant & Dec

British star Ant McPartlin became emotional after discovering the hardship his beloved grandmother suffered early in her life.

McPartlin has been researching his family history alongside presenting partner Declan Donnelly as part of their 2019 series Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey.

During the show, the star learned that two of the things he had always believed about his maternal grandmother Kitty were actually untrue.

Ant & Dec

Kitty was from Co Cork but moved to England when she was around 12-13 years of age.

McPartlin had thought that Kitty’s mother had died during childbirth. However, he learned that she actually died of tuberculosis when Kitty was two.

Tuberculosis was considered a shameful disease as it was associated with being ‘lower class’. It is likely that this is why the family would have hidden the truth from Kitty.

McPartlin had also been told that Kitty’s brother Michael had left Ireland for a new life in Canada.

However, he learned that his great-uncle never made it to Canada and died in Ireland after suffering with whooping cough.

Ant said: “So much pain for this young girl. It’s information my family has been dying to know for years.”

In a previous episode of the series, McPartlin discovered that he was related to around half the population of the small Co Leitrim village of Drumkeeran.

Upon making his discovery he went to the pub with his new found relatives and picked up the €600 bar tab.

McPartlin also learned about his heroic great-grandfather, Peter, who was part of the Tyneside Irish Brigade.

Peter took part in the Battle of the Somme and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.

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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcallingJoin our community