“I don’t want to lose Ant”
When Scarlett Moffatt posted a W sexy selfie to her 1.7m Instagram followers last week, she sent the rumour mill into overdrive as eagleeyed fans spotted a framed snap of Ant Mcpartlin on her bedside table.
The picture – which featured the Gogglebox star, 27, along with Ant, 42, and his co-host Declan Donnelly, 42, behind the scenes at Saturday Night Takeaway – caused a social media storm, with some fans predicting the “beautiful couple” would get together soon.
Other comments were far nastier (see pics left) and one fan commented, “Busted – nobody keeps a photo of their co-workers on their bedside table unless they are more than friendly.” But Scarlett quickly defended herself, saying, “Well I do. Ant and Dec are my heroes.”
It came just days after viewers of the NTAS speculated that the pair were more than friends as they sat together in the audience. One fan wrote, “Ant Mcpartlin is deffo seeing Scarlett Moffatt – deffo saw a connection or something last night… and she looks like a younger version of his wife – defo gonna be announced their a couple in the future [sic].”
The pair were quick to deny gossip they were in a relationship amid Ant’s marriage split.
Then last week, there was further speculation about the split after his estranged wife, make-up artist Lisa Armstrong, 41, “liked” a string of Tweets making digs at her ex, and reports previously suggested she could be going for a record £153m divorce payout.
One Tweet Lisa liked apparently claimed her ex was “hiding something or someone” and another she reacted to appeared to be from a former friend, saying, “We fell out when I criticized Ant… I was probably right but you were loyal.” Ant has not commented and there is nothing to suggest he’s done anything wrong.
IN A PANIC
Now pals say Scarlett is upset that her platonic friendship with Ant has caused gossip, which makes her feel she should exclude him from her life to let the speculation die down.
A source says, “Scarlett posted the photo innocently and never once thought people would comment on her picture with Ant. She went into a panic after all the speculation they were having a love affair, and some people were so vicious. It’s the last thing she’d want.”
Fellow Geordies Scarlett and Ant became pals after Scarlett’s appearance on I’m A Celeb! in 2016. She was crowned jungle queen and went on to launch a presenting career, hosting dating show Streetmate before co-presenting I’m A Celeb! spinoff Extra Camp last year.
The source says, “While she’s done nothing wrong, Scarlett is worried that the only way to silence the gossip is to stop hanging out with Ant. She doesn’t want to lose his friendship, but thinks they should keep their distance.” Since she split from her longterm boyfriend, hairdresser Luke Crodden, last year, Scarlett has also been linked to TOWIE’S James “Arg” Argent and Love Island winner Kem Cetinay.
The source adds, “She’s been incredibly down over the last few weeks as rumours have continued to swirl. It’s tormenting her – she can’t stand how she’s romantically linked to any man she’s pictured with or pals with and how it affects all her friendships, which in turn makes her feel lonely and isolated. She’s struggling to sleep and is comfort eating. She’s been deeply affected by the false rumours and just wishes they’d stop.”
Last week, reports surfaced that Scarlett’s been dating fitness model Lee Wilkinson – whom she’s known for over a decade – since Christmas. It was claimed that she’d initially captioned the now infamous selfie (of her with the Ant and Dec pic in the background) “Date night @ leewilkinson” but later changed it to “#selfie #ootd” Sources believe she may be trying to silence the recent rumours about her and Ant by referring to a date night with Lee.
JUST A FLING
The source says, “Scarlett knows how much stress and heartbreak Ant’s going through and she doesn’t want to add to it.
“Her friends wonder if the romance with Lee is just a fling and that she’s doing what she can to quieten down the recent rumours. It’s very early days with Lee due to her crazy schedule and it’s been difficult for them to spend much time together, so everyone is surprised that news of their romance has come out.”
❛SHE THINKS THE ONLY WAY TO SILENCE THE GOSSIP IS TO STOP HANGING OUT WITH HIM❜