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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 12:29 GMT
Dec in split from actress girlfriend
Clare Buckfield and Declan Donnelly
The couple will remain friends
Geordie TV star Declan Donnelly has split from his actress girlfriend after nearly a decade.

But he and Clare Buckfield, former star of the BBC1 sitcom 2 Point 4 Children, are to remain "firm friends".

Dec, who along with TV partner Ant McPartlin is one of the most popular stars on screen, met Clare when they were both teenage actors.

At the time he was starring in Newcastle-based children's show Byker Grove, which set him on the road to fame.

The couple have split briefly on a number of occasions but have always rekindled their relationship.

The time they have spent apart with Dec's thriving career has been blamed for the split.

Dec has had to spend extended spells in Australia for two series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

And Ant and Dec's commitments to Pop Idol and their weekend show Saturday Night Takeaway have also eaten into their time.

A statement issued by Dec's agent said: "Over the last year, Claire and Dec have spent a lot of time apart due to work commitments.

"While they remain firm friends, they've decided to part and give themselves time and space. They confirm that no other parties are involved on either side."

Ant, Dec's best pal, dates former Deuce chart star Lisa Armstrong.

The Geordie duo will be hosting a global talent contest World Idol on Christmas Day and New Year's Day for ITV1.

Winners of Pop Idol contests from around the world will be competing.





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SEE ALSO:
Comedy stars vie for public vote
14 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Ant and Dec 'top TV talent'
03 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Ant and Dec set for US screens
11 Jul 03  |  Entertainment


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