Ant McPartlin supports Declan Donnelly as late brother's funeral takes place

Declan Donnelly was supported by his best friend and TV co-star Ant McPartlin at the funeral for his late brother, Father Dermot Donnelly.

Donnelly was amongst the mourners carrying the coffin of his brother, Father Dermott Donnelly into St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle for a Requiem Mass. 

McPartlin was also pictured ahead of the service, which took place on Friday, alongside his wife Ann-Marie Corbett.

Catholic priest, Fr Donnelly, died aged 55 after he suffered a sudden serious illness.

His death was announced on July 8 by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, who said in a statement that the priest had ‘died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.’

The Bishop said the news has ‘come as a great shock to all of us’, adding: ‘Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.’

His devastated brother later confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: ‘I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, @TweeterPriest, sadly passed away this afternoon.

‘We are all beyond devastated. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support, they are appreciated.’

Donnelly was pictured on Thursday preparing to say his final goodbye to his late brother, carrying his coffin into the church.

Fr Dermott had conducted the Saturday Night Takeaway presenter’s wedding to Ali Astall in 2015, which took place in the same church as Friday’s service.

The TV favourite and Astall recently welcomed their second child together, a baby boy named Jack Anthony Alphonsus.

The pair chose to keep the news quiet until the arrival of the little one, with many fans noting it was the first they’d heard of Astall’s pregnancy.

Others also clocked Jack’s middle name is a nod to Donnelly’s co-star McPartlin, who he has worked with for over 30 years.

More to follow…

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