He finally broke his silence about his personal life and professional woes in an explosive new interview this weekend.
But it was back to work for Ant McPartlin on Sunday afternoon for day three of the Britain’s Got Talent auditions, hours after his bombshell revelations about his drink-driving arrest and new girfriend Anne-Marie Corbett came to light.
The presenter, 43, was back to his best as he reunited with his best friend and co-host Declan Donnelly once again, putting on a jovial display as they graced the London red carpet together.
Red carpet return: Ant McPartlin was back at work for day three of the Britain’s Got Talent auditions on Sunday afternoon, hours after his bombshell revelations in a new interview
Showing no signs of his inner turmoil, the TV personality flashed a big grin as he greeted the fans who has showed up to support him.
Ant slung his hands in his pockets, cutting a nonchalant figure as he prepared for another action-packed day of auditions in front of a studio audience.
The Geordie looked like he’d never been away from our screens at all – despite his extended career break following his drink-driving arrest last year.
Joking around: The presenter, 43, was back to his best as he reunited with his best friend and co-host Declan Donnelly once again, putting on a jovial display on the red carpet
Arrival: Ant slung his hands in his pockets, cutting a nonchalant figure as he prepared for another action-packed day of auditions in front of a studio audience
Beaming: Showing no signs of his inner turmoil, the TV personality flashed a big grin as he greeted the fans who has showed up to support hi
Never straying far from his best friend’s side, Dec shared a laugh with Ant as they made their grand entrance together.
Ant’s red carpet return comes after he revealed that he turned to alcohol in a bid to escape his ‘underlying unhappiness’ ahead of his shocking drink-driving arrest.
In a candid interview with The Sun On Sunday, the presenter, whose marriage to Lisa Armstrong ended in 2018, stated that he was secretly drinking in order to cope with the ‘stresses and strains’ of his life.
Back again: The boys have been hard at work on the BGT set for the last three days
United: Never straying far from his best friend’s side, Dec shared a laugh with Ant as they walked down the red carpet together
Leading the way: The dynamic duo were the first stars to arrive on the red carpet
He also revealed that, following his drink-driving arrest, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a mental condition which he has says is strongly linked to alcohol dependency.
‘Life hit me hard,’ Ant told The Sun of his spiral into heavy drinking. ‘I was going through a lot of personal stuff that was very publicised. The problem is you take something or you drink to escape from an underlying unhappiness.’
Ant pleaded guilty to drink-driving following a car crash in London in March. And the TV star — who has enjoyed a successful on-screen partnership with Dec Donnelly — confessed to being ‘dependent’ on alcohol around the time of the crash.
He confessed: ‘I was still drinking in a dependent state. Not all the time. But enough to worry about it. I hadn’t addressed it. It was building up which led to the day of the crash which was the single worst day of my life.’
Underlying unhappiness: Ant’s red carpet return comes after he revealed that he turned to alcohol in a bid to escape his ”underlying unhappiness’ ahead of his drink-driving arrest
Quit boozing: Ant has revealed that he has since given up alcohol. Pictured with his hosting partner Declan Donnelly in April 2006
After a period of being ‘so traumatised’ following the shocking crash, Ant subsequently entered rehab in a bid to regain control of his life, and the popular star says he no longer drinks alcohol.
He also revealed that he had been diagnosed with ADHD, telling the newspaper: ‘I never knew that until afterwards. I was so thoroughly examined and diagnosed, I found stuff out about me I hadn’t addressed for years. There are a lot of links to alcohol-dependency, which I studied a lot when I was away.’
Back in April, it was revealed in court during his drink-driving trial that a doctor saw Ant lying motionless in his Mini after a smash that left her nine-year-old son screaming: ‘I’m dying, mummy!’
Coping: The TV presenter, whose marriage to Lisa Armstrong ended in 2018, admitted he was secretly drinking in order to cope with the ‘stresses and strains’ of his life. Pictured in 2015
Moving on: The 43-year-old Britain;s Got Talent host is now in a relationship with former personal assistant Anne-Marie Corbett. Pictured together in September 2018
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Dr. Audrey Ng was driving the BMW that the TV star ploughed into while twice the legal alcohol limit. He also hit another Mini and a four-year-old girl who was in it needed hospital treatment.
Her son — who was in the back seat — later told her the Mini came ’round the corner like a rocket,’ the court heard.
The Britain’s Got Talent star, who earns £130,000-a-week, said he was ‘ashamed and mortified’ as he was fined a record £86,000 for drink-driving.
It is thought to be the highest fine ever handed out by a British court for drink driving, topping the £54,000 fine given to footballer Yaya Toure in 2016 for the same offence.
Plead: Ant pleaded guilty to drink-driving following a car crash in London in March. And the TV star confessed to being ‘dependent’ on alcohol at the time. Pictured in April 2018
Ashamed: The Britain’s Got Talent star, who earns £130,000-a-week, said he was ‘ashamed and mortified’ as he was fined a record £86,000 for drink-driving. Pictured in April 2018
As he left court this afternoon, the Ant, who is now dating his former personal assistant Anne-Marie Corbett, told reporters: ‘I let myself down. I let a lot of people down and for that I’m truly sorry.’
Ant was driving his mother, Christine Woodhall, through west London when he lost control of his black Mini and smashed into two family cars – a Mini and a BMW – while twice the legal alcohol limit.
He was also banned from the road for one year and eight months – but could be back behind the wheel in less time if he takes a drink drivers’ awareness course.
District Judge Barbara Barnes told the star: ‘You were struggling with personal problems and issues with alcohol and that had been going on for some months.
Break: The round of legal troubles led to Ant taking a break from co-presenting a batch of TV shows with his longtime sidekick Declan Donnelly. Pictured together on Friday
‘Your level of driving was unacceptable that day. You recognise you have let down so many people, your friends, family and colleagues.’
Asked how long it would take to pay the massive £86,000 fine, Ant’s barrister said: ‘Two to five days’.
Ant’s lawyer Liam Walker had told the court: ‘Anthony McPartlin is sorry and is doing everything he can to ensure this never happens again.
‘He hopes that in time he can make himself better and that he might be forgiven by all of the many people he knows and he feels he has let down terribly.’
Return: He made a triumphant return to his co-hosting duties on Britain’s Got Talent on Friday
He had been seeking help for ‘alcohol and emotional issues’ at the time, but was in the midst of ‘a brief relapse’, which his mother did not know about.
The round of legal troubles led to Ant taking a break from co-presenting a batch of TV shows with his longtime sidekick Declan Donnelly.
As a result, Holly Willoughby stepped in for him late last year, jetting out to Australia for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
However, Ant was back at work on Friday, when he returned to Britain’s Got Talent and got a standing ovation from the audience, as well as the show’s judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.
Best friends: Declan told his pal that he’d missed him as they took to the stage together at the London Palladium. They posed for a snap together ahead of the show on Friday