Ant McPartlin back in rehab with career on hold after ‘drink-drive crash’
TROUBLED Ant McPartlin has gone back to rehab following his arrest on suspicion of drink-driving.
The star has pulled the plug on TV work with presenting partner Declan Donnelly for the ‘foreseeable future’ after being involved in a three-car smash on Sunday.
His team last night revealed he will seek further help having first received treatment for drink and prescription drug addictions last summer.
‘Ant has decided to step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Declan and ITV and asked for time off,’ a spokesperson for the 42-year-old said.
ITV confirmed that this weekend’s episode of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will not air.
Discussions are being held over the last two episodes of the series, due for broadcast on March 31 and April 7.
If the two shows do air, Ant will not appear.
An ITV spokesman said: ‘Ant is taking time to seek treatment. We very much hope he gets the help that he needs.’
McPartlin was shown getting out of his black Mini after the crash, appearing bewildered, in footage posted by Mail Online yesterday.
It is claimed he drove the car into a green Mini and a maroon BMW as he and mum Christine Woodhall returned home from Richmond Park, south-west London.
They had been walking his dog — a chocolate labrador called Hurley. Faheem Vanoo and wife Shilpa Dandekar — who own a west London restaurant — were with daughter Amaira, four, when their Mini collided head-on with the presenter’s car.
She was taken to hospital for checks but released shortly afterwards.
‘The whole experience has just been a nightmare,’ Mr Vanoo told MailOnline. ‘We are just grateful no one was hurt. It has been a terrible experience. It feels like we are coming out of a nightmare. It has left us all shaken up.’
A witness claimed McPartlin became ‘agitated and argumentative’ with a policewoman after failing a breathalyser test at the crash scene. The source said: ‘The woman was trying to arrest him and get him in the police car but he clearly wasn’t having it.’
The Met said the Geordie, worth a reported £62million, was taken to a station for questioning and later released under investigation.
Fans have raised fears that the crash has put McPartlin’s future as co-host of Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity in jeopardy.
One tweeted: ‘Ant McPartlin’s arrest could be the end of Ant and Dec.’
Another added: ‘Can’t see #SaturdayNightTakeaway being renewed for a new season until Ant gets some help. He’s clearly in a bad way.’
McPartlin’s wife Lisa Armstrong, 41 — a make-up artist on Strictly Come Dancing — said she was ‘not interested’ in discussing his latest woes.
The couple, who revealed in January they have separated after 11 years, are preparing for a divorce that could cost him more than £30million. There was no answer at the west London home of Donnelly, also 42, last night.
Author: Tom Stichbury