British TV star Ant McPartlin discovered he has quite a few Irish relatives during a TV special – in fact he is related to half the people in a village.
Both Ant and his co presenter Dec Donnelly have researched the family histories for their latest show Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey.
The Geordie Duo both have Irish heritage. Both their families come from Co Derry and moved to Newcastle, England around half a century ago.
Ant and Dec headed to Co Leitrim where they visited the tiny village of Drumkeeran after a DNA test revealed that Ant was related to half the population the village.
A source told The Irish Mirror: “They did DNA samples and were able to trace Ant’s roots back to Drumkeeran and to a former parish priest called Fr James McPartlan, who built the local church and died about 150 years ago.
“It is believed there was even a reunion of McPartlins in one of the local pubs for filming, with Ant getting to meet some of his distant relatives.
“His surname is a common one in the area although it’s spelt a few different ways.
The duo went to the pub with Ant’s newly discovered relatives and the star got the drinks in and paid off a €600 bar bill.
Ant later revealed that he had no idea that he was even part Irish, let alone having a village full of relatives.
He said: “I didn’t know much about it on either side. There was great intrigue from my mum about her gran, Nana Kitty. There was a real appetite from my side.
“I knew one generation, my dad and my grandad and my mum and grandparents but after that I didn’t know anything.
“I didn’t know if I was Irish, Scottish or I was from Newcastle for hundreds of years. The whole thing was quite revolutionary.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling