We know them as Ant and Dec, the two cheeky chaps who appear like Geordie genies from an ITV-shaped lantern whenever there's a talent contest to be hosted, a camel bollock to be choked down by a z-list celebrity, or a goal to be eaten.

However, they would be more aptly named as 'Ant and-y Dec', because as it turns out, this comic duo is actually a threesome.

That's right, it would be impossible for two men to write all that material by themselves, which is where third member, Andy, comes into the equation.

Credit: Twitter/ItsAMilligan

Andy Milligan has been hiding away behind the scenes for well over a decade now, while his energetic pals perform to the camera.

Ant and Dec fans were left stunned when it was revealed that Andy writes some of the best gags for the pair on I'm A Celebrity and Saturday Night Takeaway.

Fellow Geordie, Andy, is the duos full-time comic writing assistant and works late into the night in Australia, preparing the jokes for the following day's show.

But before any of the material can be aired the trio must refine and perfect, starting at around 4.30am with a meeting in which the gags are learned, before a super speedy rehearsal.

"It might be Ant and Dec on screen, but off it they regularly work as a trio and it is Ant and Dec and Andy,' a source has revealed to The Mirror.

Credit: Twitter/antanddec

"The boys have him involved in all of their big shows - Takeaway, Britain's Got Talent and I'm A Celebrity - and haven't made a project without him in more than a decade."

At the beginning of the latest series, Ant had recently come out of rehab for a prescription painkiller addiction, but Andy helped him to fit right back in with a few light-hearted jabs.

"This year there was lots of scrutiny around Ant, but once again Andy has helped the boys look brilliant on screen," the source added.

Poking fun at the idea of Ant being replaced at the beginning of the series, Dec joked, "It's me and the gorgeous Holly Willoughby", before adding: "Guys, that's the wrong script," and to Ant: "Nobody was sure if you'd make it."

Ant replied, "Unbelievable, I was always gonna make it. Come on, I'm back my friend," and the pair enjoyed a nice hug.

So, not all is as it seems in the crazy world of television. Well, we kind of knew that anyway.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013