Ant & Dec mark 30th anniversary with book for Sphere following 12-way auction

Ant & Dec mark 30th anniversary with book for Sphere following 12-way auction

Ant & Dec, aka Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, are publishing a book with Sphere this September–Once Upon a Tyne: Celebrating 30 Years Together on Telly–following a 12-way auction in January.

Publishing on 3rd September 2020, the book "charts the journey of two ordinary lads from Newcastle who went on to achieve extraordinary things". The deal for world rights was struck between senior commissioning editor Emily Barrett and Amanda Harris, director publishing at YMU Group.

A "turbo-charged" publicity and marketing campaign is promised for the autumn, and the book is the first from McPartlin and Donnelly in 10 years.

This October marks 30 years since the TV duo first appeared on screen in "Byker Grove" as PJ & Duncan, beginning their career as the nation's favourite double act. Their new book will look back on the last three decades they have spent together in the spotlight, sharing behind-the-scenes stories of the shows that propelled them to TV stardom, alongside exclusive photos.

Barrett said: "I’ve been a huge fan of Ant and Dec for as long as I can remember so this is a personal thrill for me, and with a turbo-charged publicity and marketing campaign planned for the autumn to support publication, plus legions of devoted Ant and Dec fans who haven’t seen a book from their TV heroes for 10 years, this will without doubt be one of the biggest non-fiction books publishing in 2020."

She added: "In this currently strange and anxious period of time we find ourselves in, it’s good to have positive and exciting things to look forward to and, with this book, Ant and Dec are giving their fans just that."

McPartlin said they had wanted to write the book "to mark 30 incredible years", calling it "our way of giving people more than just what they see on TV, lifting back the curtain on our career so far and sharing the moments and stories that still make us smile".

"If you had told the 14-year-old us that we’d still be working together on some of the biggest TV shows in the world, we’d have laughed you out of Byker Grove. It would have been too much for our tiny minds to comprehend, but here we are still together and still having more fun than anyone really should be having at work," he said.

"We also wanted to take this opportunity to stop and look back, so that we can look forward at what the next 30 years may hold and what our renewed ambitions will be."

Donnelly said: "When we realised [it had been 30 years], we began to reminisce and made ourselves laugh at some of the stories we remembered (we are admittedly our own best audience!). We thought it would be a shame to waste this period of reflection and set about writing a book to mark the anniversary.

"It has, until now involved a lot of tea (green for me, builders for Ant), chocolate biscuits and laughter. In this final period of writing it is mostly video calls with dogs on our knees, but still trying to make each other laugh—which in essence is what we’ve spent the last 30 years doing!"

Their debut book, Ooh! What a Lovely Pair, first published with Penguin in 2009 and has sold 370,252 copies through Nielsen BookScan to date, across all editions.