This warmly entertaining and engaging book celebrating the duo’s 30 year career is certainly a tonic to read.
From Byker Grove to I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, it is hard to believe that Ant and Dec have been gracing our screens for thirty years. To mark the occasion, they have released this book that allows them to reflect on their time together and some of the hilarious and times that they have had together.
Written as more of a conversation between the pair as opposed to a traditional autobiography style, Once Upon a Tyne allows the reader to feel as though they are in the same room as the duo as they recount some of their favourite moments and stories from their career so far. As well as this style making it easier to engage with the book, it also makes it feel so much more personal. This is really highlighted in the final section of the book in which they ask each other five questions that just enhances how strong their friendship is – particularly when asked about what annoys them the most about the other person.
As well as stories, there are also little interjections from some of the people that they have worked with over the years including Simon Cowell and David Walliams that opens the book up a little more – highlighting how humble both Ant and Dec are, enhancing the feeling of just how grateful they are to have had such a career and partnership.
There are so many stories that really make the reader giggle – whether it is turning up to the Brit Awards in an ice cream van or saving Dame Shirley Bassey from getting a face full of mud – this is a book that is a real tonic to read.
But underneath the laughter and humour there is also moments of serious reflection and honesty – particularly given the DNA Journey section of the book in which they reflect on family and their own friendship. It is interesting to hear how doing that show it has allowed Ant to rebuild a relationship with his own father which is really quite touching to hear, while Dec reflects how he did the show for his daughter – shows how both have developed and changed individually over the years.
The reader also gets a sense of just how hard working and dedicated they are to providing entertainment for audiences – always pushing new ideas and even confronting Simon Cowell about how unhappy they were at one point doing Britain’s Got Talent. It is as much about this as it is their sense of humour that makes them so beloved with the public.
Overall, this is a delightfully funny read that gives the reader real insight – here’s to the next thirty years of Ant and Dec!
By Emma Clarendon
Once Upon a Tyne is available to buy now.