Sunday 25 September 2016

Ant gets Dec to the church on time as he ties knot with manager Ali Astall

Published 01/08/2015 | 14:02

Newly married Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall after their wedding at St Michael's Church, Elswick, Newcastle.
Newly married Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall after their wedding at St Michael's Church, Elswick, Newcastle.
The ceremony took place in Newcastle before a host of celebrity guests
TV host Declan Donnelly arrives with Ant McPartlin before Donnelly's wedding to Ali Astall, at St Michael's Church, Elswick, Newcastle
The public and media wait outside St Michael's Church, Elswick, ahead of the wedding of Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall

Ant McPartlin joked that people clapped and cheered at the wedding of his best friend and TV presenting partner Declan Donnelly "because he's finally got married".

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Dec, 39, celebrated like he had just scored a goal as he waved to the cheering crowds outside the inner city church where he married his manager Ali Astall.

Showbiz and sporting friends including Phillip Schofield, Alan Shearer and a pregnant Fearne Cotton, joined the couple, as well as the newlyweds' sausage dog Rocky.

Dec and his bride looked delighted as they waved to the hundreds of wellwishers gathered outside St Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Elswick, Newcastle.

He waved to the fans, and squatted almost to the floor in a demonstration of his joy, before walking his wife to the waiting Rolls-Royce Phantom which whisked them away to a private reception, believed to be in Northumberland.

Moments before, Ant and wife Lisa had come out of the church and Dec's presenting pal said Ali had looked "amazing".

Ant said: "She looks beautiful.

"It was really emotional."

Asked what the cheering and applause that could be heard outside the church, Ant joked: "Because he's finally got married - she's made an honest man of him."

The bride's silk zibeline full A-line dress was designed by Phillipa Lepley. She also wore a silk three-quarter length veil with hand worked duchesse satin bound edge.

Donnelly's blue suit was made by London tailor Tom Baker.

Best man Ant drove his childhood friend to the church in an Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon, revving loudly as he pulled up.

They then greeted the hundreds of locals gathered outside the church behind barriers, and the pair posed for selfies with the excited crowds.

The church was where Donnelly family worshipped when he was growing up and was the venue for his father Alphonsus's funeral in 2011.

Dec's brother Father Dermott, the Dean of St Mary's Cathedral, lead the ceremony.

Among the famous faces seen arriving at the church were Holly Willoughby, Vernon Kay, Tess Daly, Marvin and Rochelle Humes, Ashley Roberts, Stephen Mulhern and Jonathan Wilkes.

Leigh Francis, better known as Keith Lemon, took pictures of the photographers in the press pen.

Schofield blew kisses to the crowd as he arrived but the biggest cheer was for local hero Shearer, followed by ex-England man Peter Beardsley.

This morning Donnelly joked from the pair's Ant and Dec Twitter account: "Morning! I know I've got somewhere to be today but I can't for the life of me remember where...."

The Geordie presenter got engaged to Miss Astall, who is his manager, in November last year on an island off the coast of Australia, before travelling to the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! for the latest series.

In an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show earlier this year, Donnelly said he proposed as the sun set.

He also admitted it was ''a little strange'' when the couple first got together because they had been work colleagues for so long, but added: ''It's going good. Everything's hunky-dory.''

Donnelly was best man at his on-screen partner's 2006 wedding to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong and McPartlin said he was looking forward to returning the favour.

"I can't bloody wait! He was best man for me, I've been married eight years now. His speech was very good, very funny so I've got a lot to get him back with!" he told Ross.

Donnelly, who first found fame with McPartlin in teenage drama Byker Grove, previously dated actress Clare Buckfield and TV presenter Georgie Thompson.

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