Back behind the wheel: Ant McPartlin returns to the roads after driving ban

Ant McPartlin is back behind the wheel 15 months after he was banned from the roads for drink-driving.   

The TV star was banned and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving a Mini while more than twice the legal limit in London last year.  

Magistrates handed him a 20-month ban, but it was reduced to 15 months after he completed a drink-driving referral course. 

His new licence was issued this week, MailOnline understands. 

Pictures which emerged last night showed him behind the wheel of a Range Rover with his girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett in west London. 

Ant McPartlin - pictured in the moments after the car crash that led to his drink-driving ban last year - has returned to the roads after his ban was shortened by five months

Ant McPartlin - pictured in the moments after the car crash that led to his drink-driving ban last year - has returned to the roads after his ban was shortened by five months

Ant McPartlin – pictured in the moments after the car crash that led to his drink-driving ban last year – has returned to the roads after his ban was shortened by five months 

McPartlin told police he was ‘ashamed and mortified’ after crashing his car while drink-driving with his mother in the passenger seat last year.  

His £86,000 fine eclipsed the £54,000 imposed on footballer Yaya Toure for the same offence in 2016, reported at the time to be the biggest sanction of its kind in the UK. 

The 20-month ban always had the option of a five-month reduction if Ant completed the referral programme, which he has now done. 

Friends of the TV star said he had completed a course that was available to anyone, and had not received any special treatment.   

Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court heard that McPartlin had been seeking help for ‘alcohol and emotional issues’ at the time of the crash in Richmond, west London, on March 18, having recently split from his partner of 11 years.  

He and his wife Lisa had confirmed they were splitting last January and were granted a divorce in October 2018. 

The I’m a Celeb host and his teenage sweetheart had married in 2006. 

They first met in Newcastle in 1994 before exchanging vows at a stunning country house in Buckinghamshire, in 2006.

Court documents alleged that McPartlin had ‘committed adultery’ and that his former wife found it ‘intolerable to live with’ the TV star. 

Following their split, it was revealed that Ant was dating former PA and mother-of-two Anne-Marie Corbett, 42. 

Lisa has since revealed she didn’t know personal assistant Anne-Marie and her ex-husband were dating until she saw pictures of them together in a newspaper. 

After the drink-driving case he stepped back from his role in Saturday Night Takeaway. 

Ant McPartlin and girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett are seen leaving the Wimbledon Championships earlier this month

Ant McPartlin and girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett are seen leaving the Wimbledon Championships earlier this month

Ant McPartlin and girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett are seen leaving the Wimbledon Championships earlier this month

He also took a break from his role as a presenter on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, as Holly Willoughby replaced him for last year’s edition. 

Yesterday it was claimed he was set to return to work on I’m a Celebrity with Declan Donnelly.  

Earlier this year Ant and Dec revealed how they had considered ending their partnership over McPartlin’s drink-driving conviction.  

A sentencing judge told him his behaviour had left fans disappointed and stripped him of his former ‘exemplary’ character.  

Speaking on the court steps following sentencing McPartlin said: ‘I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened.

‘High standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself. I’ve let myself down, I let a lot of people down. And for that I am truly sorry.

‘I’d like apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.’

McPartlin pleaded guilty to driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The TV star  (pictured outside court last year) was banned and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving a Mini while more than twice the legal limit last year

The TV star  (pictured outside court last year) was banned and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving a Mini while more than twice the legal limit last year

The TV star  (pictured outside court last year) was banned and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving a Mini while more than twice the legal limit last year

He collided with another Mini Cooper before driving ‘straight into the front of an oncoming car’ – a BMW with a doctor and her nine-year-old son on board.  

The driver of the other Mini said in a statement: ‘Myself and my family were in deep shock as we believed we could have died as a result of Mr McPartlin’s reckless driving.’

The driver of the BMW – named only as Dr Ng – said she immediately looked over at her son following the crash to make sure he was OK and he said: ‘I’m dying mummy, I’m dying.’

‘I saw he was physically fine with no major injuries, but in shock,’ the statement said.

‘He described how the car was coming around the corner ‘like a rocket’.’

She told how the airbags of McPartlin’s Mini had deployed and said she feared for the life of the driver inside.

‘I’m horrified at how someone can drive so dangerously. I genuinely thought the driver of the black Mini had died as there was no movement and it was a really forceful crash,’ she added.   

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