Declan Donnelly, half of famous TV duo Ant & Dec, has said he is “heartbroken” following the death of his brother on Friday.

The TV star broke his silence to pay tribute to his brother who tragically passed away in a heart breaking statement.

Father Dermott Donnelly, a Catholic priest, has died aged 55, the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle has confirmed.

A statement shared by the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said: “It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the death of Fr Dermott Donnelly who died peacefully this afternoon in hospital.

“This has come as a great shock to all of us.

“Please pray for the repose of his soul and keep his family, especially his mother, in your prayers at this difficult time.”

Declan Donnelly breaks silence following death of brother

Taking to Twitter, voa the Ant and dec Twitter account, Declan released a short statement.

He said: "I am heartbroken to tell you that my darling brother Fr Dermott, @TweeterPriest, sadly passed away this afternoon. We are all beyond devastated. Thank you for your messages of sympathy and support, they are appreciated DD"

People had been asked to be “respectful” to Father Dermott, as well as his family at this difficult time.