Declan Donnelly confirms the birth of their second child

‘A very welcome ray of light’: Declan Donnelly and wife Ali Astall confirm the surprise birth of their second child – two weeks after the sudden death of TV presenter’s brother (and Ant gets a nod in the name!)

  • Declan Donnelly has confirmed the birth of his second child, a baby boy, with wife Ali Astall – just two weeks after the sudden death of his older brother
  • The TV presenter confirmed the surprise birth in an Instagram post shared with followers on Sunday evening and revealed they had named the child Jack Anthony Alphonsus
  • The newborn child’s name is in part a tribute to Dec’s long-term presenting partner Ant McPartlin and his Northern Irish father, Alphonsus Donnelly, who passed away in 2011 after battling cancer
  • Dec and Ali became first time parents in 2018, welcoming baby daughter Isla Elizabeth Anne into the world in August of that year 

Declan Donnelly has confirmed the birth of his second child, a baby boy, with wife Ali Astall – just two weeks after the sudden death of his older brother. 

The TV presenter confirmed the surprise birth in an Instagram post shared with followers on Sunday evening and revealed they had named the child Jack Anthony Alphonsus. 

The newborn child’s name is in part a tribute to Dec’s long-term presenting partner Ant McPartlin and his Northern Irish father, Alphonsus Donnelly, who passed away in 2011 after battling cancer. 

News of the birth comes as the TV personality, 46, grieves the loss of his Roman Catholic priest brother Dermott following his unexpected death at the age of 55 on July 8.  

Happy news: Declan Donnelly has confirmed the birth of his second child, a baby boy, with wife Ali Astall – just two weeks after the sudden death of his older brother

Taking to his social media platforms, Dec – who also raises three-year old daughter Isla with his wife – wrote: ‘Shortly before 10am yesterday, 23.7.2022, Ali and I welcomed the arrival of our son, Jack Anthony Alphonsus, a very welcome ray of light. 

‘He is wonderful and Isla is beyond excited to be a big sister.’ 

Dec accompanied the message with a photo of his newborn son’s tiny hand clutching onto his finger.

Update: The TV presenter confirmed the surprise birth in an Instagram post shared with followers on Sunday evening (pictured in 2018)

Speculation mounted that Ali was expecting when she missed the Bafta TV Awards in May this year.

Ali’s absence was notable as Ant’s wife, Anne-Marie Corbett, joined the Geordie duo for the glittering ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, where they won the Best Entertainment Show prize for Saturday Night Takeaway. 

Instead, a casually dressed Ali, 43, spent the weekend doing chores near their home in Chiswick, West London, where she was seen wearing a hoodie, leggings and sliders, with an onlooker telling the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden: ‘She looked as if she might be pregnant.’ 

Dec and Ali became first time parents in 2018, welcoming baby daughter Isla Elizabeth Anne into the world in August of that year.  

Happy parents: Dec and Ali became first time parents in 2018, welcoming baby daughter Isla Elizabeth Anne into the world in August of that year

Doting dad: Dec was seen carrying daughter Isla in his arms as he walked alongside wife Ali (pictured in 2019)

Happy couples: (L-R) Anne-Marie Corbett, Ant McPartlin, Dec and Ali are seen at the National Television Awards in London last year

Ant and Dec’s official Twitter page confirmed the exciting news at the time with a sweet snap of their newborn daughter delicately holding her proud dad’s hand.

An accompanying caption read: ‘Ali and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our baby girl, Isla Elizabeth Anne, who was born just after 9 o’clock this morning. Mother and daughter both doing well, Dad is head over heels! D x’

Dec has previously spoken about how fatherhood in 2018 changed his life after he married Ali, his former manager, in 2015.

‘Becoming a dad has completely transformed me,’ said Dec, 46. ‘I felt a love that I didn’t realise it was possible to feel. Everything I do, every day, is for my daughter now.’

Dec is set to lay his beloved brother to rest at a funeral next Friday after racing to be by his sibling Father Dermott Donnelly’s side after he collapsed earlier this month. 

The priest’s death was later confirmed by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.

Friends and family of Father Donnelly, who died at the age of 55, will gather in Newcastle next week to bid an emotional farewell and pay their respects.

Sad news: The TV star raced to be by his Father Dermott Donnelly’s side after he collapsed earlier this month but the priest later died after a serious illness (Father Dermott pictured in 2015)

In addition to loved ones from Dec’s parents’ native Ireland, priests and clerics from across the North East region of England, where Dermott served in the Catholic church, will attend, according to the Mirror.

The Donnelly family said in a statement: ‘Due to limited space, we would encourage those who wish to participate in the Requiem Mass on Friday 29 July to gather at St Michael’s church.

‘The Mass will be live-streamed and Holy Communion will be made available. Following the Requiem Mass, Fr Dermott’s cortege will pass St Michael’s for those who wish to pay their respects.’

Siblings: Declan Donnelly’s brother (centre) died aged 55 after being rushed to hospital with a ‘mystery illness’ (Pictured: Ant and Dec with Dec’s brother Dermott)

Heartache: The TV presenter wrote on Twitter: ‘I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, @TweeterPriest, sadly passed away this afternoon’

Father Dermott was taken into hospital after a series illness and his body will be received into St Michael’s, Newcastle on Thursday. 

In a statement after Dermott’s death, the Donnelly family said in a statement: ‘It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

‘This has come as a great shock to all of us.

‘Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.’

An insider had earlier revealed to The Sun how Dec – one half of the presenting duo Ant and Dec – had returned to the north east of England to join his family at Father Dermott’s bedside.

They told how the priest’s loved ones had been praying that he would ‘pull through’ after becoming ‘extremely unwell’ in hospital.

The source said: ‘Dec arrived with other family members. There are around 12 of them there at the hospital.’

After Father Dermott’s death, a spokesman for the Saturday Night Takeaway host said: ‘It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital surrounded by his family and close friends. We ask for the utmost privacy for the Donnelly family at this difficult time.’

Father Peter Kyi Maung, who served with Dermott at St Joseph’s Church in Stanley, Co. Durham, said: ‘He was hardly breathing in the bed, it was so sad. They think he had bleeding on the brain. 

‘Declan had come to be with him and their mum was there as well, I saw her at the hospital and it was so hard for her, a mother seeing her dying son. When she hugged me, I knew how much she was suffering.’

Father Dermott conducted Dec’s wedding to Ali Astall in 2015 in front of a star-studded guest list, which included the star’s TV sidekick Ant McPartlin and presenter Dermot O’Leary.

The parish priest from County Durham was also recently pictured outside 10 Downing Street after being invited by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to join religious leaders to pray for peace in Ukraine.

Difficult times: Dec and his late brother Dermott carried the coffin of their father Alphonsus Donnelly at his funeral in 2011

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