I feel I’ve let you down, says ITV host as he checks himself into rehab
Ant McPartlin, one half of presenting duo Ant and Dec, has checked himself into rehab following a battle with alcohol and substance abuse and depression.
McPartlin, 41, most famous for presenting I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me out of Here and Britain’s Got Talent, said: “The first step is to admit to yourself you need help. I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I’m truly sorry. I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends for helping me through this really difficult time. I’ve spoken out because I think it’s important that people ask for help if they’re going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery.”
The Sun on Sunday reported that McPartlin has checked into a rehabilitation facility, where he will remain for up to two months for treatment for issues that stemmed from failed knee surgery two years ago.
The presenter is said to have started taking prescription drugs to cope with chronic pain and depression. A source said that alcohol had also become a cause for concern among his friends. His busy work schedule is said to be an additional factor in his struggle with anxiety.
Presenting partner Declan Donnelly tweeted a message to fans: “Thank you for all the kind messages and well wishes for the big fella. He will be touched.” McPartlin’s wife, Lisa Armstrong, also thanked fans on Twitter: “Completely overwhelmed by all your love & support it means so much. I’m relieved he’s receiving the help he needs, we just need him better.”
Other stars have commended McPartlin for speaking out about his personal issues. The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar said: “Very brave [for] Ant to go public. This is the first stage of the road to recovery. All the best Ant, it will all be sorted for sure.” Olympic runner Kelly Holmes said: “As I say at every speech I do, we are all human! Best wishes to Ant ... You will come back stronger, your fans love you #itsgoodtotalk.”
McPartlin has been in the public eye since childhood. He and Donnelly forged their professional partnership after starring in the children’s drama series Byker Grove in the 1990s.
They went on to enjoy a music career under the names of their characters PJ & Duncan, releasing songs such as Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble and Shout.
Jobs on the entertainment shows Pop Idol and Friends Like These launched their primetime career at the turn of the millennium. In November the two men signed a new three-year deal with ITV estimated to be worth £30m.
They have won the TV presenter award at the National Television Awards for 16 consecutive years and last year were awarded OBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours for their services to broadcasting and entertainment.