Dec considered quitting showbiz to become a priest after ‘crushing rejection’

Declan Donnelly is one half of the UK's most recognisable presenting duos today, but he almost quit showbiz for a life on the altar.

The 44-year-old Britain's Got Talent and I'm A Celebrity presenter considered leaving showbiz behind to join the priesthood, he has revealed, after an acting audition went badly wrong.

Dec, who works alongside his best pal Ant McPartlin as the dynamic duo Ant and Dec, considered becoming a priest after he was turned down for a role on Geordie Racer.

The funnyman opened up about the career turning point in his joint autobiography with Ant, titled Ooh! What a Lovely Pair, which was released in 2009.

In an extract of the book shared by The Mirror, he wrote: "After that crushing rejection, I made a momentous decision: that was it – I was going to retire from acting.

"I was eleven."

He added: "Later on, when I was about fourteen, I did briefly consider following in his footsteps, and the footsteps of my Godfather, Father O'Connell, and becoming a priest."

Dec's brother, Father Dermott O'Donnell, is a priest, and even conducted the ceremony of his wedding to his wife Ali Astall back in 2015.

However, Dec realised life as a man of the cloth wasn't for him when he started to question the "abstinence" part of the job.

He said he "knew right there" that such a lifestyle wasn't for him when he boarded a school bus that was "full of lasses" from the nearby from the all-girls school.

Since deciding against the priesthood, Dec is happily married, and shares his adorable baby Isla, one, with his wife Ali.

In their 30-year career, Ant and Dec enjoyed huge success as a comedy duo, after becoming best friends on the set of Byker Grove back in 1990.

As their characters PJ & Duncan, they went on to release the hit single Let's Get Ready To Rumble, before making the move from music to presenting.

Today, they front some of the UK's most popular shows, hosting the likes of Britain's Got Talent, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

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