Declan Donnelly’s American relatives ‘heartbroken’ as he suggests they ‘want nothing to do with him’

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Declan Donnelly’s long-lost American cousins have expressed ‘heartbreak’, as he suggested they ‘wanted nothing to do with [him]’ after meeting on a DNA TV show.

The TV personality, 44, was seen meeting more than a dozen US-based relatives he’d never before heard of during his appearance on ITV’s DNA Journey in November.

And while the emotional scenes appeared to be the beginnings of a strong familial bond, he has since suggested in his and presenting partner Ant McPartlin’s book Once Upon a Tyne that they weren’t keen on maintaining contact.

Heartbreak: Declan Donnelly's (right) American cousins have expressed 'heartbreak', as he suggested they 'wanted nothing to do with [him]'. Pictured with co-host Ant McPartlin

Heartbreak: Declan Donnelly’s (right) American cousins have expressed ‘heartbreak’, as he suggested they ‘wanted nothing to do with [him]’. Pictured with co-host Ant McPartlin

Writing in their tome, he recalled: ‘There was also Greg and Meg, relatives of mine in Connecticut, who were lovely and… what’s the word I’m looking for?’

‘Billionaires,’ Ant responded, evoking the popular duo’s TV presenting style. 

‘That’s it,’ said Dec. ‘I’ve emailed them a few times, but I’ve not heard anything back yet. Either I’ve got the wrong email address, or they want nothing to do with me.’

Long-lost: The TV personality, 44, was seen meeting more than a dozen US-based relatives he'd never before heard of during his appearance on ITV's DNA Journey in November

Long-lost: The TV personality, 44, was seen meeting more than a dozen US-based relatives he’d never before heard of during his appearance on ITV’s DNA Journey in November 

‘I know which one my money’s on,’ joked Ant, as they spoke about the encounter, which was shown on screens back in November.

However, the star’s cousin Chris McGuigan has insisted that any such suggestion would be hugely inaccurate, telling The Sun: ‘We were heartbroken to see he thinks that we would ignore him.’

She said: ‘I was one of the cousins that was part of the DNA Journey Program in the US where we all met and filmed in Connecticut at our cousin Meghann’s home.

‘We are stunned here [to read about the ‘ghosting’ claims] actually, because all of us have been trying to find a way to connect and follow up with Declan since the show — including Meghann.

Arriving in style: The wealthy relatives, who were previously unknown to Dec, provided a helicopter for him to travel in and greeted him by laying out a large banner on their lawn

Arriving in style: The wealthy relatives, who were previously unknown to Dec, provided a helicopter for him to travel in and greeted him by laying out a large banner on their lawn

‘I believe there must be terrible miscommunication. Many of us have bonded and it has been wonderful. We would love to have that family connection and heartfelt feeling shared with Declan.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Declan Donnelly for comment. 

During the show, which aired late last year, Dec was seen shocked as he discovered he had more than a dozen cousins he didn’t know existed – and some of them were almost as well off as him. 

While the pair were in the US doing research for the show, they were told that Dec had a DNA match before he went off to meet his cousin Meg and her husband Greg.

The couple, who were previously unknown to Dec, provided a helicopter for him to travel in and greeted him by laying out a large banner on their lawn. 

‘We have the same great, great grandparents,’ said Meg, before adding: ‘I have a little surprise for you, I have a few of your cousins here.’

More than a dozen people then entered the room and Dec was left struggling for words. 

He said: ‘Oh wow, this is amazing. I’m really emotional. Oh my goodness. Nice to meet you all. This is quite overwhelming!’

Dec was then introduced to another of his cousins, Tom, who was a firefighter in Manhattan that was on duty during 9/11.  

American family ties: Dec was then introduced to another of his cousins, Tom, who was a firefighter in Manhattan that was on duty during 9/11

American family ties: Dec was then introduced to another of his cousins, Tom, who was a firefighter in Manhattan that was on duty during 9/11

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