Viewers said they went though a “rollercoaster of emotions” as Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly told how their friendship was tested in the wake of McPartlin’s drink-driving arrest.
Many fans said they were sobbing as the pair opened up in ITV’s Ant And Dec’s DNA Journey, which saw them investigating their ancestry together.
Filming for the programme began in 2017, but was halted after McPartlin crashed his car in March 2018 while more than twice the alcohol limit, before entering rehab.
The star struggled with a two-year addiction to super-strength painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.
In emotional scenes in the programme, Donnelly said at times he thought their decades-long relationship would not “survive”.
The 44-year-old also admitted that he was “incredibly angry” that his friend did not confide in him.
He said: “I was incredibly angry at the start. So angry, disappointed in him that he didn’t ever come to me and say, ‘I’m struggling and I need you’.”
“He never came to me and that hurt me a lot,” he said.
However, the friendship did survive the turbulent time, and Donnelly noted: “We are much stronger together now.”
Viewers said they were moved to tears by some of the scenes.
One fan posted on Twitter: “That last ten minutes had me sobbing so much. They’ve been a part of my life for 20 odd years, ever since the SMTV days!
“I’m so proud of Ant for taking control of his priorities and taking a break to focus on himself.”
“Oh my god!! Best bit of telly EVER!!! Bloody sobbing here!!!” said another.
“Ah lads you’ve me in tears now, so so happy to see you back together stronger than ever. What an incredible friendship you have,” another person posted.
Another person said: “This @antanddec #DNAjourney has everything – fun, laughter, tears. A emotional rollercoaster. It’s brilliant to watch and very poignant. It emphasises the bond you both have.”
One fan tweeted: “i’m sobbing… they’re talking about what happened to ant and how it affected their friendship. i’m so glad they came out of the other side. i love them so much and i couldn’t imagine a life without them both working together and just being friends.”
“Dec said he’s never cried so much on the telly, while I have never cried so much WATCHING the telly!!!” said another viewer.
“My heart @antanddec such a rollercoaster of emotions,” tweeted another fan.
Ant And Dec’s DNA Journey continues on Monday.