Television presenter Ant McPartlin has pleaded guilty to drink driving in court today.
Originally meant to appear at the Wimbledon Magistrates Court on April 4, his hearing was adjourned until today (April 16).
Fined £86,000, McPartlin has also been banned from driving for 20 months.
— Rachael Venables (@rachaelvenables) April 16, 2018
The popular host of Saturday Night Takeaway, Britain’s Got Talent and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! was involved in a collision with two other cars while driving his Mini in Richmond, London, on March 18.
Appearing at Kingston police station on March 21, after being interviewed under caution McPartlin was charged with drink driving.
It is understood he was twice the legal limit during the incident which caused minor injuries resulting in a three-year-old girl being hospitalised.
The 42-year-old was arrested at the scene of the accident after he failed to pass a breathalyser test.
His drink-driving conviction could have resulted in up to six months in prison, a driving ban of at least a year and an unlimited fine.
Hojol Uddin, Partner and Head of Motoring at UK law firm JMW Solicitors, one of the leading experts in motoring offences in England and Wales, spoke to UNILAD about the trial.
The fact that Ant has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity and actively sought treatment prior to going to court will have been viewed favourably by the judge, with a reduction in the fine imposed.
He will also be eligible for a course to reduce his 20 month driving ban.
However, the fact that he was alcohol-dependent at the time of the offence could cause issues with the DVLA if he is to drive again in the future due to his medical fitness to drive.
It’s a possibility a medical test maybe required before having his license returned to him after serving the disqualification imposed by the Court.
McPartlin’s plea was taken into account by the district judge when his sentence was being decided.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 16, 2018
Speaking outside court, McPartlin admitted he had ‘let people down’.
As reported by the BBC, he told the crowd of journalists:
I just want to say I am truly sorry for what happened. Higher standards are expected of me.
I expect them of myself. I let myself down. I let a lot of people down. For that I am truly sorry.
I would like to apologise to everyone involved in the crash. I am just thankful nobody was seriously hurt.
I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all those concerned.
Following the crash McPartlin returned to rehab, he first entered a rehabilitation centre in June 2017 after developing an addiction to alcohol and prescription painkillers.
After he was charged, his publicist confirmed the presenter would be taking time off his television commitments.
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As reported by the BBC, McPartlin’s publicist Simon Jones released the following statement:
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.
McPartlin has also had to pull out of Britain’s Got Talent’s live shows which Declan Donnelly will be presenting alone.
According to The Sun, ITV announced the news in a statement on Tuesday April 10:
Dec will be hosting the live shows, which for the first time ever are coming from the Hammersmith Apollo, while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now.
We send Ant all our love. And we know that Dec will do a brilliant job.
Dec did smash presenting Saturday Night Takeaway alone so we are sure he will do a fantastic job once again!
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We wish him all the best with his recovery in rehab.
If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 for advice and support.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.