Ant and Dec’s April Fools’ Day prank backfires, momentarily distressing fans

Presenting duo’s ‘big news’ caused shockwaves among fans

Live competition guest whips off wig after winning prize

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly left fans feeling momentarily distraught after sharing some revelatory “news”.

The television presenting duo, known as Ant and Dec, announced on Thursday (1 April) that they were planning on rebranding themselves as Dec and Ant after 30 years of working together.

“Some big news for you guys,” a message on their official Twitter page read. “After 30 long years together we’ve decided a change is needed, and so without further ado, we can announce we’ll now be officially known as Dec & Ant.”

While this was their idea of an April Fools’ joke, many fans were left devastated upon reading the opening of the statement believing they were about to announce they were parting ways.

“This didn’t even have the desired effect on me because I thought it was a goodbye tweet, thought you were saying you had enough!” one relieved fan wrote, with another stating: “When I tell you my heart rate dropped whilst reading the first half of that caption.”

Another added: “When I read that ‘change is needed’, I got a mini heart attack thinking that you’re doing something even more horrible.”

Doubling down on the prank, the pair released hilarious statements reflecting on the name change.

“I’m over the moon, we agreed back in the Byker days that he’d take the first 30 years and I’d take the rest... It’s really the only reason I’ve been hanging around with him for this long,” Donnelly said.

McPartlin added: “I’ve had a good run, but it’s time to hand over the reins. Hopefully this step back will give me more time to focus on some of my neglected hobbies... such as stamp collecting and medieval battle reenactments.”

The pair were most recently seen presenting Saturday Night Takeaway, which was watched on average by eight million viewers a week.

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