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Ant and Dec to trace their Irish roots in TV special

Presenters Ant and Dec will be tracing their Irish ancestry in a new ITV programme.

The Geordie duo will be using DNA science and technology in a bid to find out how far back their connection goes.

The announcement could possibly explain why the pair have recently been spotted in the Republic of Ireland, with fans snapping pictures of them in Drumshanbo and Drumkeeran.

They also made a surprise visit to Maynooth University.

Meanwhile on Monday, Ant and Dec were pictured at the Tullylagan House Hotel near Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

Dec's family hail from Desertmartin, County Londonderry.

Their trip down memory lane will be chronicled in a 90-minute special, described by ITV as "a modern biography that will give a unique and unseen insight into their lives", which will "leave viewers absolutely gobsmacked".

Ant and Dec's DNA Journey will see them travel across the Irish Sea where they will be joined by several members of their respective families along the way. They will also connect with long-lost distant relatives for the very first time.

Speaking about the programme, they 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."

With the aim of injecting a bit of healthy competition, a segment at the end of the programme will reveal which of the pair descends from royalty, and who comes from a line of paupers.

Siobhan Greene, ITV Head of Entertainment Commissioning, said: "Ant and 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 and Dec revealing their own personal family history we hope the audience at home will be inspired to wonder about their own."

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