Ant McPartlin’s week has gone from bad to worse after reportedly being handed some bad news following his drink-driving charge and another stint in rehab.
McPartlin was told he could be ‘dropped from a £20 million deal’ with car manufacturer Suzuki following the charge.
Suzuki are reported to be holding talks to decide the future of his and Dec’s contracts as ambassadors.
The presenting duo are seen in a number of Suzuki adverts, which are involved in sponsorship of Ant and Dec’s ITV show Saturday Night Takeaway.
McPartlin is set to miss the final two episodes of the show after crashing his Mini on Sunday afternoon in south-west London. He was interviewed under caution before returning home.
According to The Sun, a source said:
Unfortunately [Suzuki] are looking at the prospect of ending things for now.
It’s possible Suzuki will retain a wider deal with the programme, but very unlikely Ant will appear in an ad for them again.
McPartlin was formally charged with drink-driving on March 21 before reportedly checking himself into rehab.
The presenter’s publicist, Simon Jones, has released a statement saying:
Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments.
He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future.
As such ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ will not be going ahead this Saturday.
It was revealed yesterday (March 22), Dec would host the show without McPartlin after the pair agreed that was the right thing to do.
According to reports, McPartlin told Dec, who he’s been presenting with his entire career, to go ahead with the final two shows in the series without him – breaking a pact they’d made.
The multi-award winning pair have enjoyed an impressive 30-year career – and friendship – and it’s believed they’d vowed to never work without each other because they think it’s their friendship which leads to their success.
It’s this level of friendship which meant Dec would only go ahead with Ant’s blessing.
A source told the Mirror:
Dec wouldn’t go ahead without Ant giving him the OK because of their previous pact to work together throughout their career.
In their 2010 autobiography Ooh! What A Lovely Pair, Ant said they’d made this pact early on in their joint careers.
The extract written by Ant reads:
We made an agreement – whatever happened, we’d be mates for ever and neither one of us would ever be on our own out there.
If it all ended tomorrow, we’d still speak everyday, we’d still see each other all the time and we’d still be best mates. And that’s something we’re both very proud of.
Dec agrees, writing:
Throughout it all, we’ve always had one constant that’s kept us sane – each other. In two decades, we’ve never spent more than two weeks apart.
Some people might not understand it but our friendship is a massive, massive part of where we are today.
Dec released a statement after going to see Ant at his home:
Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale and we will honour that.
Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.
Ant will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on April 4.
If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 for advice and support.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.