Ant McPartlin’s personal life in the spotlight

Ant McPartlin started 2017 on a high when he was honoured with an OBE, but several months later his personal life took a turbulent turn as he entered rehab.

While his professional life has flourished, the 42-year-old’s personal difficulties have made headlines in recent months.

Following his rehab stint, the TV star recently called time on his marriage with wife of 11 years Lisa Armstrong, and he has now been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

McPartlin received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for his services to entertainment and broadcasting in January last year along with his presenting partner, Declan Donnelly.

Ant McPartlin is made an OBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in January 2017 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Six months later, McPartlin said he was entering a rehabilitation centre following a battle with depression, alcohol and substance abuse.

He revealed he had been addicted to painkillers since a failed knee operation in 2015.

He later described how he had hidden pills in different places to avoid his addiction being detected and said that, after undergoing another botched operation in June, he realised he needed help.

“I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take,” he told the Sun on Sunday newspaper in August, after spending two months in rehab.

“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me ‘You could have killed yourself’.”

He said that, after undergoing surgery on his knee in June, he had asked Armstrong to call an ambulance in the early hours of the morning because he had binged on tramadol, morphine and alcohol.

McPartlin said it was a conversation with his wife and Donnelly that got him on the road to recovery.

The revelation about his personal struggles had cast doubt over whether he would be well enough to travel to Australia to host I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in the autumn.

Ant and Dec at the National Television Awards in January 2018 (Matt Crossick/PA)

However, McPartlin appeared for the very first episode of the reality TV series in November along with Donnelly, and they jovially referred to his troubles on air.

Donnelly joked that he would be co-hosting the reality programme with Holly Willoughby and explained, to an incredulous-looking McPartlin, that it was in an old script because “nobody was sure if you would make it or not”.

McPartlin hugged his partner and said it was “good to be back”.

In January, following months of speculation, McPartlin confirmed that he and Armstrong were separating after 11 years of marriage.

McPartlin, who married Armstrong in 2006, had often spoken of their struggle to have children.

Ant McPartlin and his wife Lisa Armstrong in 2015 (Ian West/PA)

Just three days after the split announcement, McPartlin was back at work on the new series of Britain’s Got Talent with Donnelly.

The following week, he made his first public appearance at the National Television Awards, where he picked up three prizes on the night, including the presenter award with Donnelly for the 17th consecutive year.

McPartlin said winning meant a lot following a “tough 12 months”, and thanked “best mate” Donnelly for helping him through it.

He then returned to work on the duo’s popular variety show Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in late February, celebrating their 100th episode the following week.

The next episode of the ITV programme, which is set to air this Saturday, is now in question following McPartlin’s arrest.

He was involved in a collision with two other cars while he was driving his Mini in Richmond, south-west London, on Sunday, and was arrested at around 4pm after failing a roadside breathalyser test.

McPartlin was taken to a south London police station for questioning and has since been released under investigation, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said, adding that inquiries will continue.


 

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