5 Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will the TV presenters make of our existential questions?
What is the meaning of life?
Ant: To feel love and give love – it’s the greatest feeling there is.
Dec: To show kindness and treat others as you would like to be treated.
What is the difference between right and wrong?
Dec: Right is what you should do, wrong is what you really want to do [laughs].
Where is your happy place?
Dec: Newcastle. Once I arrive, my shoulders drop and I feel instantly relaxed.
Ant: Mine is outdoors, with my girlfriend, walking the dogs.
Nature or nurture?
Ant: I do believe that nurture has a great deal to do with how you end up as a human being.
Is it more important to be liked or respected?
Dec: If one was to trump the other then I’d like to be liked.
Ant: See, I’d say respect. We struggle so much with wanting everybody to like us, we weaken ourselves at times.
If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?
Dec: Feeding a kangaroo testicle to Joe Swash [both laugh]. No… for making people laugh and forget about their troubles for a while.
Who or what is your greatest love?
Dec: My family, my wife, my child, my dog and Newcastle United – all equally.
Ant: My family, my partner, her girls, our dogs… and Newcastle United.
When did you last lie?
Dec: In the previous question. I actually love Newcastle United more than my wife, but don’t tell her that.
Does the supernatural exist?
Dec: I think there is more to this world than we can possibly fathom. There’s got to be.
Are you fatalistic?
Dec: Yes. I think the two of us meeting was fate.
Ant: In a way, but I think there are many, many paths.
What is your greatest fear?
Dec: Falling from a height.
Ant: It used to be spiders but we spent so long in Australia that you get used to them.
Animals or babies?
Dec: Animals are great but babies are the most magical thing ever.
Ant: I’m going to go animals so we’ve ticked both boxes. Two days ago, I cried my eyes out at a donkey sanctuary advert on TV, ended up giving some money and now they haven’t stopped calling.
What talent do you yearn for?
Ant: I’d love to be able to play the piano.
Dec: I learnt violin at school and hated it. I wish I’d learnt guitar or piano.
Do you like to be complimented?
Ant: Yeah, course, everybody does.
Dec: I’m not very good at taking compliments, I think people are lying.
Do you have a high pain threshold?
Ant: Yes. I’ve had various operations over the years. I took my own stitches out once.
Dec: I thought I did until my wife decided to squeeze my blackheads. It was the most painful experience I’ve ever had.
What book do you recommend most to others?
Ant: William Boyd, Any Human Heart. It’s a wonderful story of a man’s life; the ups, the downs, the loves, the losses.
Dec: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. It’s a beautiful book of philosophy. Get it, take yourself off with a cup of tea and have a little weep.
Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?
Ant: That it’s OK to ask for help. I think men especially struggle with that a lot.
Dec: Mine would be: don’t spoil the present by worrying too much about the future.
What food sums up happiness?
Ant: A good roast with all the family.
What have you never understood?
Dec: Long division, still can’t do it.
Ant: Why women carry their handbags like that [holds arm up at right angle with fist raised].
What is the one thing you want to know before you die?
Dec: How to do long division.
Ant: Why women carry their handbags the way they do [both laugh].
Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?
Dec: I wouldn’t say I’m scared of it, I am intrigued.
Ant: No, but in the same breath, I love life, so long may that continue.
Quinoa or Quavers?
Dec: Quavers. You forget how good they are until you open another bag.
Ant: And I’m sure there would be a clever way of crunching up Quavers so you could breadcrumb a chicken in them. Get Jamie Oliver on the phone.
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is on Saturdays on ITV1