Heartbreaking backstory of couple given £260k home by Ant and Dec

A couple given a £260,000 new home on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway have a heartbreaking backstory.

Simon and Petra Williams were stunned when they were plucked from the audience at Saturday evening's taping and brought onstage to be given the amazing news, Chronicle Live reports.

The Northumberland husband and wife thought they were in London to film a documentary about charities when they were invited to be part of the crowd for the first episode of the new series of the ITV show.

The Williams couple run Darcey's Dream, a charity that supports grieving families. It was named after their daughter Darcey-Leigh who died three years ago from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

They're currently living in a rented house with their three young children.

Ant and Dec brought the confused couple onstage and showed them a live link video of kids Emelia-Paige, 5, Layla-Grace, 3, and Bailey, 2, all standing outside a fully-furnished three-bedroom house on the Moorfields Estate.

Dec told them: "We know the family relies on your overtime, Simon, as a delivery driver to make ends meet and as a result you've never been able to go on loads of luxurious holidays or own your own home. That is, until tonight."

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Ant added: "You see, Petra and Simon, that brand new house – the house your kids are outside right now – that house now belongs to you. And here are the keys."

It's believed to be the biggest prize ever given away on Saturday Night Takeaway in its 18-year history.

The emotional couple were stunned by the "fantastic" news, with Petra saying: "I'm very rarely speechless, but I am to be fair!"

Darcey's Dream was set up after Emelia-Paige, two at the time of her baby sister's death, told Petra: "Mummy, nobody cares about me and I miss Darcey too."

It inspired the grieving mum to set up the charity which offers practical and emotional support – including counselling, days out, support groups and a 24-hour helpline – to siblings who have lost loved ones.

Petra has earned an unsung hero award at 2018's Glass Slipper Awards – run by The Chronicle Sunshine Fund – for her work.

The couple were deemed deserving candidates for the first giveaway of Saturday Night Takeaway's new season.

Jason Honeyman, chief executive officer for property developer Bellway, said: "The opportunity to work with Saturday Night Takeaway and to help a family who have done so much for others was something we were keen to embrace.

"Significant efforts were required to preserve the mystery until the broadcast and it was rewarding to see the family's reactions to this life-changing prize.

"We hope that being able to live mortgage-free will enable them to continue their valued work helping families at the time when they are most in need."

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