Why are they famous? Ant and Dec
Sunday 04 May 1997
Appearance: Shopping mall good looks. Ant: shorter hair, dark eyes, cheeky eyebrows. Dec: mousey, longer hair, slightly more thoughtful yet still quite cheeky eyebrows.
Cheeky Monkeys: Their public persona is finely honed, for Ant and Dec cleverly recall a canon of "cheeky" actor/pop stars from Tommy Steele through to early Beatles, David Essex and the Monkees - indeed, they paid homage to the Unfab Four with a cover of I'm Not Your Stepping Stone. Soft subversion plus schoolboy surrealism is the winning formula.
Gaye Bykers On Acid: It was in Byker Grove, a slab of gritty realist soap set in a Newcastle youth club, that Ant and Dec got their break in their mid-teens. They were then known as their characters, PJ and Duncan. Then a producer saw them on Gimme 5, a local TV prog, and suggested a sketch show. Hence two BBC series of Ant and Dec Live. Now the likely lads are on Channel 4 with their new show Ant And Dec Unzipped.
Too Sexy For Their Shirts: Girls love them. Back home in Newcastle, Ant was beaten up by "jealous lads" and girls began to nick Dec's undies off his line. A move to Chelsea has abated the madness.
Rootsy Toons: Ant and Dec held an election party on Thursday, and are said to have voted for Labour, just as salt-of-the-earth, working-class Geordies should. They love Newcastle United, and profess to stay "mates" with their old Tyneside buddies.
The Road To Wisdom: Ant and Dec almost split up last year, when fame all got a bit much. But they decided to continue, after seeking advice from the sagacious Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher. Those pearls of oracular wisdom? "Have a good time and go to parties." Robbie also taught them a good scam: when in a hotel go round to fans' rooms and cadge beers from their mini-bars. "You get legless for nowt!" marvelled youthful millionaire Ant.
Kit Off For The Lads: Ant is randy. He has shagged for Tyneside: on golf courses, nightclub lavatories, kitchen floors. Now officially goes out with Lisa Armstrong, ex of the group Deuce. Dec officially goes out with actress Clare Buckland, but has deeply unhinged the UK's womenfolk, including one 28-year-old mother who has changed her name to Declan Donnelly.
What next?: As wealth increases, will probably start to purchase shares in Tyneside institutions: football teams, Newcastle Brown Ale. Bright enough to age gracefully, they will hopefully avoid the Tarby and Forsyth golf and supper-club circuit and might even display political ambitions, standing as joint Fenham candidates for Super New Labour in the next century.
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