One half of Ant and Dec, Declan Donnelly is to marry his talent manager Ali Astall next summer
One half of Ant and Dec is engaged! Declan Donnelly proposed to his 36-year-old girlfriend Ali Astall over the weekend in Australia, where he is preparing to start the new series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.
The couple are planning to tie the know next summer.
A source told the Daily Mirror: ‘Dec and Ali are completely besotted with each other. They have been best friends for a long time. Dec soon realised he’d met the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and felt ready to settle down.
‘They’re keen to start a family and want to get hitched next year.’
So who IS Ali Astall? Here are five things you need to know about her:
1. Ali has known Dec for 10 years
As his manager, Ali has been representing the I’m A Celebrity co-presenter for a decade but they never quite got together properly until a year and a half ago.
Dec, 39,previously revealed: ‘I think we’ve always been attracted to each other but it has always been that thing of we work together.
‘This is the first time we’ve given it a try. We always hung out.’
2. Ali already lives with Dec
Ali used to live 200 metres from Dec‘s eight-bedroom pad in Chiswick, West London which is handy for sneaking around to his for a cheeky snog. But they decided to take it one step further and just move in together at the beginning of this year.
They got a sausage dog together in May as Dec was very upset about his ex Georgie Thompson taking their dachund Rollo when they split.
Funnily enough Ant McPartlin lives next door to them with his wife Lisa Armstrong.
3. Ali used to enjoy Valentine’s Day dates with him when they were single
Aww! They really are made for each other, these two! The pair used to get together in a platonic fashion whenever they were both single on the day of lurve.
‘When she was single and I was single we’d go out for dinner on Valentine’s night together because we didn’t have partners. This year we went out as couple,’ he’s confessed.
Dec was linked to 33-year-old former Pussycat Doll and I’m a Celeb contestant Ashley Roberts in 2013 and before that he was in an 11-year relationship with 38-year-old actress Clare Buckfield but they parted ways in 2003.
Dec – who dated 37-year-old Sky Sports presenter Georgie Thompson for two years before breaking up in 2011 – admits there was no dramatic lead-up to their romance, it ‘just happened there was no big ta-da.’
4. Ali has been ‘holding out for Dec’
The duo went on holiday together with Ant and his spouse in 2006 where, according to the Sunday People newspaper, they had a bit of a fling. Although it didn’t last and he went on to date someone else, apparently Ali has been in love with her client for a long time and patiently waited until they got together recently to start anything serious.
5. Ali also represents Fearne Cotton
It’s not just Ant & Dec who she’s led to success. Ali works at celebrity agency James Grant Management – which has Marvin and Rochelle Humes as well as Holly Willoughby on their books – and is Head of Entertainment. We love the fact she’s so successful in her own right.
Congratulations Ali and Dec!