Ant McPartlin reveals unlikely celebrity helped him through addiction

He's gone back to work!

Ant McPartlin

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

Ant McPartlin's life has been well-documented over the last 18 months. Not only has he been through rehab twice to help him with his addictions to alcohol and prescription painkillers, but he also had a less-than-amicable split from his wife of 11 years, Lisa Armstrong, and is now in a happy relationship with their former PA, Anne-Marie Corbett.

Thankfully, he's come out the other side and is now back at work, having gone back last week for the start of the Britain's Got Talent auditions, reuniting him with his co-presenter and best pal, Declan Donnelly, who successfully presented I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! last year with Holly Willoughby.

And now, the 43-year-old has revealed that there was one celebrity in particular that he turned to throughout his problems, thanks to their own experiences with addiction struggles.

Speaking to The Sun, Ant confessed that he'd turned to The X Factor judge Robbie Williams in his time of need, who has suffered with alcohol addictions in the past.

Swipe through to see Ant and Dec's career timeline through the years...


Ant and Dec's career timeline (slider)

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And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec as PJ and DuncanIn 1989 Dec landed a part on BBC children's drama Byker Grove, playing Duncan. A year later Ant was cast as PJ – PJ and Duncan was born.Another career change for the boys came in 1994, when they began as co-presenters of children's show Gimme 5 on CITV. Just a year later they landed their own programme, The Ant & Dec Show, this time on CBBC.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec became popstarsIt wasn't just acting for the boys: PJ & Duncan were pop stars for a while, and became best known for their 1994 UK top 10 Let's Get Ready to Rhumble.Their last studio album, The Cult of Ant and Dec, was released in 1997, managing to chart at number 15.

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And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec hosted SMTV and CD with Cat DeeleyThis kicked off their kids' TV careers, and landed them their first BAFTA Awards.After various other presenting gigs, Ant & Dec started hosting ITV's Saturday morning shows SMTV and CD , alongside Cat Deeley, in 1998.But, in 2001, they made the move from Saturday morning to prime time – for a little show called Pop Idol…

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CREDIT: Pop Idol

Ant & Dec: Primetime career

They hit the prime time with talent show Pop IdolThey presented Pop Idol for two years, before it replaced with The X Factor and Kate Thornton took over.This gave them the opportunity to create and present Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which is about begin its 13th series.In 2002, a year after Saturday Night Takeaway's debut, the boys joined I'm a Celebrity and have become huge parts of the show.

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CREDIT: Instagram

Ant & Dec: Awards

Among their numerous gongs, Ant & Dec have received the National Television Award for Most Popular Entertainment/TV Presenter for 15 years running. Most recently, at the 2018 NTAs, the duo won Best Presenter.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Ant & Dec: Relationships

In 2015 Dec married his longtime manager Ali Astall and Ant was, of course, best man. And in July 2006, Dec acted as best man at Ant's wedding to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong. Ant and Lisa, however, filed for divorce this year after 11 years of marriage.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Ant & Dec: Friendship

Ant previously revealed his friendship with Dec started in 1990, when he sent him a Christmas card and invited him to a football match.He said: "And that was that. It just happened immediately. We clicked. We'd spend all day making each other laugh and annoying everyone and quoting Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer lines to each other."When their parts were written out of Byker Grove, the boys vowed to stick together. Dec told Weekend magazine: "We made a pact. We said to each other, 'Look, whatever happens, I'll always be there for you and you're never in this life on your own or against the world – you've always got a mate looking out for you."Even though they work together, Ant & Dec make sure they go out together at least once a week – and even live three doors apart in London!Dec said: "It's our choice to socialise outside work. And we both get to go to work with our best mate every day. And that keeps our feet on the ground."Ant added: "We love each other, definitely."

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CREDIT: Instagram

Ant & Dec: Britain's Got Talent

Establishing themselves as the busiest presenters in the country, Ant & Dec signed up for Britain's Got Talent in 2006 – and a year later signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with ITV, which was thought to be worth £40 million.

He said, "Rob’s been a constant and still has been through this. I've seen him quite a lot recently. I gave him my twopenn’orth and I thought he was brilliant," adding that Robbie's wife Ayda Field Williams had also been a great source of comfort.

Ant has also opened up about his new relationship with Anne-Marie, describing her as his "rock" and a "beautiful soul", adding that he's now in "the best place" he's ever been "in my life".

Ant and Dec
©Ant and Dec with Robbie Williams in 2011 © Getty Images

This comes after Ant and Dec were reunited over the weekend at the Britain's Got Talent auditions, sharing a sweet snap of them together on Twitter whilst on their way, with the caption, '#BGT 2019. Audition day 1. The boys are back in town!'

In a video from the first audition, Dec can be heard introducing Ant to the crowd before the pair embrace for a hug. Dec said, "The judges are back, the buzzers are back... and someone else is back. My co-host for this series, would you please welcome - Mr Ant McPartlin!"

As Ant appeared on stage, the 43-year-old said, "Oh god, I'm really, really emotional now. I've missed you all." Ant then turned to Dec and said, "As for you! I've missed you," before the pair hugged it out on stage.

Turning to the crowd, Ant added, "What a lovely welcome. What a great show to come back to. I'm thrilled, I'm over the moon. Shall we crack on before I cry?

Britain's Got Talent does not yet have a start date, but is expected to return in April 2019.

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