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Declan Donnelly's career move to prioritise children Isla and Jack with wife Ali Astall

The Saturday Night Takeaway host and his wife have a five and a one year old  

Ali Astall and Declan Donnelly on the BAFTA red carpet
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Declan Donnelly is known for being one-half of TV's best-love double act, Ant & Dec, and fans will be delighted to know that the presenting pair are returning this weekend for a new series of their ITV variety show, Saturday Night Takeaway.

But it's bittersweet for them and viewers alike because the new series marks the final one before Ant & Dec take a break from the show.

The pair confirmed that series 20 would be the last for a while, with Ant stating: "We love making Saturday Night Takeaway, but reaching the milestone of 20 series seemed like the perfect time to pause for a little while and catch our breath."

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly attends the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2023 in London, England. © Iona Wolff
Ant and Dec are taking a break from Saturday Night Takeaway

Dec, meanwhile, added: "We still have a momentous 20th series to look forward to first so we will do our best to go out (for now) with a bang in 2024!"

It seems that there's a little more to their reason for stepping back from Takeaway, however, as the pair have both insisted that the career move means they get to spend more quality time with their families.

Speaking to Fault magazine, Ant explained: "Part of the reason we're pausing Takeaway is we need a break ourselves, and we need to spend some time with our family." He added: "We've both got children that we need to spend time with for a little bit."

Ant is currently a stepfather to his wife Anne-Marie two teenage daughters from her previous relationship, but some began speculating that they are set to welcome their first child together after photographs of them returning from a holiday in Dubai were published at the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, Dec is a father-of-two. He and his wife, Ali, whom he married in 2015, welcomed their firstborn, daughter Isla, in 2019, and their son, Jack, in the summer of 2022.

Ali Astall and Declan Donnelly at Royal Ascot© Getty
Dec and his wife, Ali Astall

The family prefer to keep their family life out of the spotlight and Dec stepping back from Saturday Night Takeaway will mean that he can spend lots of weekend time at their home in west London.

The family of four's property not only boasts seven bedrooms, but it features a swimming pool and cinema room, meaning their little ones have endless entertainment at home. 

MORE: Ant and Dec: A look back at their friendship from Byker Grove days to Eternal Love music video 

MORE: The special meanings behind Dec Donnelly's rarely-seen children's names 

Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall attend the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England© Jeff Spicer
Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall

The house also features an at-home gym, aptly decorated in a black-and-white theme to pay homage to Dec's beloved Newcastle FC.

Speaking about becoming a dad in their member, Once Upon a Tyne, Dec said: "Becoming a dad has completely transformed me. 

"At first, like all expectant parents, I didn't truly understand how much it was going to change me. "I just thought it was another little person coming to live in the house... 

"It opened up a whole other side to me, a side I didn't know existed. I felt a love that I didn't realise it was possible to feel. Everything I do, every day, is for my daughter now." 

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