Fans have grown increasingly worried about beloved TV personality Ant McPartlin after his return to rehab.
The 42-year-old presenter was arrested on suspicion of drink driving following a collision which resulted in a young child being taken to hospital.
Ant will appear before magistrates next month, April 4, on charges of drink-driving, with his long-time co-host Dec Donnelly presenting the final two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway solo.
my heart is actually breaking for ant mcpartlin?? such a charismatic and talented man, you never ever know what someone is going through
— Chloe (@chloenattrass) March 19, 2018
After failing a roadside breathalyser test, police officers took Ant away for questioning. A witness told The Sun how the 42-year-old presenter appeared to be ‘agitated and argumentative.’
Ant’s mum Christine Woodhall had been in the car with him at the time of the crash, which took place at a roundabout in Mortlake, south west London.
This post about Ant McPartlin is so true. pic.twitter.com/yfGfIEBqDD
— Em Sheldon (@emshelx) March 22, 2018
A source told the Mirror how Ant had a tearful heart-to-heart with Christine after being questioned by officers.
According to the source, Ant admitted to being ‘burnt out:’
Ant spoke to his mum soon after. He was in a complete state. It was a very emotional conversation.
An emotional Ant reportedly told Christine, ‘I’ve really messed up this time.’
@Ant_McPartlin good luck with everything. Looking forward to seeing you back on our screens making me laugh.
— Steve Crompton (@CTID68) March 25, 2018
This latest incident comes after a traumatic time for the presenter, who has publicly spoken about his battle with alcohol and prescription drugs addiction.
After spending time in rehab, Ant returned to work in November for his annual appearance on Im a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! The pair even joked about Ant’s rumoured absence from the show.
In January 2018, Ant split from his wife, make-up artist Lisa Armstrong after being married for 11 years. Pressure was reportedly put on the marriage due to Ant’s addiction issues.
While accepting the duo’s 17th TV presenter prize at the National Television Awards, Ant spoke with emotion about the issues he had been experiencing:
I had a very tough summer last summer, I had to face up to a lot of things and my one thing was just getting back to work with my best mate.
Hate to see Ant McPartlin like this. He’s a great guy (genuinely, a delight to work with in an industry full of…. less delightful people) who’s obviously going through a lot of inner turmoil. Just hope he now gets the proper time & help he needs to sort himself out. pic.twitter.com/9Gp5pYDb8q
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 22, 2018
Ant’s publicist Simon Jones made the following statement in the aftermath of the arrest:
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.
As someone who has grown up with Ant and Dec’s work, I’m sure I speak for many people when I say how heartbreaking it is to see the likeable presenter struggling in this way.
Here’s hoping he will receive the support he needs to get himself back on track, ready to become the fun uncle we know him to be for Dec’s unborn baby.
#antmcpartlin seeing you fall apart is like seeing PJ go blind again. He found strength and so can you. Be strong. I believe in you xx
— Helen Clark (@C1icho11s) March 25, 2018
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.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.