ITV boss confirms Ant McPartlin WILL return to presenting

ITV's chief executive has spoken out

Ant McPartlin

by Alex Ross |
Published on

It's been a tough year for popular TV presenter Ant McPartlin, the 42-year-old returned to rehab and stepped down from all TV duties following his arrest for drink driving in March. He was later charged, fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months.

But whilst Ant continues to stay out of the limelight to help him recover from his addictions, ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall has confirmed the Geordie star will return to his presenting roles when he is ready.

Ant McPartlin
©Ant McPartlin © REX/Shutterstock

Carolyn told ITV News, "So, we wish Ant well. Clearly he won't come back a moment too soon.

"So I mean, he will come back when he's well and when he is ready to come back, and ITV will not be putting him under any pressure to come back unless he's well and fit enough to come back."

Ant and Dec
©Ant and Dec © REX/Shutterstock

After Ant's arrest in March, ITV initially released a statement confirming the presenter would be returning to rehab.

The statement read, "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future."

Ant's best friend and co-presenter Dec Donnelly then done a grand job of hosting the final two episodes of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, as well as the Britain's Got Talent live shows.

See all of the Britain's Got Talent winners to date:

Despite ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall confirming that Ant will return, it's not understood when, although fans will be hoping he's back in time for the brand new series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! later in the year.

However, Ant's friend Stephen Mulhern seemed to rule out any hope of Ant appearing on the show in November, admitting he doesn't expect him to return until 'next year'.

Speaking to Best Magazine, Stephen said, “Fingers crossed, Ant will get the treatment he needs and be back to his old self for next year.

"But he does need the rest and to be left alone, and given the time to recover."

Check out Ant and Dec's career timeline below:

Gallery

RADIO Ant and Dec career timeline SLIDER with cover pic

Ant and Dec's career timeline1 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 ITV Pictures

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

Ant & Dec in Byker Grove: 19892 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC

Ant & Dec in Byker Grove: 1989

In 1989, Dec landed a part on BBC children's drama Byker Grove, playing Duncan. A year later Ant was cast as PJ – and thus, PJ and Duncan was born.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Shutterstock

Ant & Dec's friendship blossomed: 1990

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."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" as Ant added, "We love each other, definitely."

Ant and Dec's children's TV shows: 19944 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Ant and Dec's children's TV shows: 1994

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: u00a9 Shutterstock

Ant and Dec's pop career: 1994

It 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'. After the pair performed it on Saturday Night Takeaway, the song went to Number 1 in March 2013.Their last studio album, The Cult of Ant and Dec, was released in 1997, managing to chart at number 15.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Shutterstock

Ant and Dec on SMTV: 1998

This 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.

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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

Ant and Dec on Pop Idol: 2001

But, in 2001, they made the move from Saturday morning to prime time – for a little show called Pop Idol... They presented Pop Idol for two years, before it replaced with The X Factor and Kate Thornton took over.

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway: 20028 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway: 2002

This gave them the opportunity to create and present Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which is on hiatus until 2020 after Ant McPartlin decided to take a step back from presenting.

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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

Ant and Dec on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!: 2002

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. In 2018, Ant decided not to host the show, and This Morning's Holly Willoughby stepped in to present with Dec.

Ant and Dec in Love Actually: 200310 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 StudioCanal

Ant and Dec in Love Actually: 2003

Ant and Dec had become such huge names in the UK in 2003, that director Richard Curtis invited them to have cameos in Love Actually, where they cautiously interview Bill Nighy's character, Billy Mack who hilariously calls Dec 'Ant or Dec'.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Ant and Dec

Ant and Dec on Britain's Got Talent: 2006

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 and have been hosting the show ever since.

Ant marries Lisa Armstrong: 200612 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Ant marries Lisa Armstrong: 2006

Ant married his long-term girlfriend Lisa Armstrong in 2006, with Dec acting as best man. Sadly, the marriage ended in 2018 after Ant's addiction struggles.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Dec marries Ali Astall: 2015

In 2015, Dec married his longtime manager Ali Astall with Ant acting as best man - of course. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Isla in September 2018.

Ant and Dec awarded OBEs: 201714 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 Twitter/ antanddec

Ant and Dec awarded OBEs: 2017

Ant and Dec were awarded OBEs in the 2017 Queen's honours for services to broadcasting and entertainment at Buckingham Palace. They said, "We're humbled and honoured and ecstatic about the whole thing. We hope it can inspire young people from backgrounds like ours that things like this do happen to us sometimes. Put your head down and work hard and you can achieve what you want. You can end up in Buckingham Palace."

Ant's addiction struggles: 201715 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Ant's addiction struggles: 2017

In 2015, Ant was prescribed painkillers for botched surgery on his knee. Over the next two years, he became dependent on the drugs and on alcohol. In 2017, he entered rehab to deal with his addictions, and returned to work in the November. However, in March 2018, he was involved in a three-car road collision which involved a young family. He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, and pleaded guilty in court in April. He was fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months, and stepped down from his TV duties in August 2018, returning in January 2019.

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CREDIT: Instagram

Ant and Dec's National Television Awards record: 2019

Among their numerous gongs, Ant & Dec have received the National Television Award for Best Presenter for 18 years running. They were also awarded a Guinness World Record for the most wins of the award in January 2019.

Meanwhile, as he recovers from his addictions, Ant is enjoying spending time with PA, Anne-Marie Corbett.

Anne-Marie, who separated from her husband last October, has been seen with Ant since March this year, with reports suggesting the couple are now dating.

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