Ant McPartlin was supported by Robbie Williams, who also battles drug and alcohol addiction, during his time off

Ant McPartlin was supported by Robbie Williams, who also battles drug and alcohol addiction, during his time off

COURAGEOUS Ant McPartlin was supported by close friend, pop star Robbie Williams, 44 — who also battles drug and alcohol addiction. He says: “Rob’

Danniella Westbrook leaves rehab to have tumour removed from womb saying ‘I feel like a boxer used me as a punchbag’
You Should Pay Attention To This Lawsuit If You Care About The Opioid Crisis
Power Plant Accident Casts New Light On New York’s Dirty Fuel Addiction

COURAGEOUS Ant McPartlin was supported by close friend, pop star Robbie Williams, 44 — who also battles drug and alcohol addiction.

He says: “Rob’s been a constant and still has been through this. I’ve seen him quite a lot recently.

Ant has revealed that close friend Robbie Williams supported him during his recovery
Rex Features

“He’s an ITV colleague now. We did talk about it before he took the X Factor job.

“I gave him my twopenn’orth and I thought he was brilliant. And Ayda (Robbie’s wife) was good as well.”

But Ant has been buoyed most by the support of the public.

‘I could hear criticism — a lot was justified’

Ant and Dec have known Robbie for years
Rex Features
Robbie was able to support Ant during his recovery as he also battled drug and drink addictions in the past
Rex Features

He says: “I wasn’t away in such a bubble that I didn’t feel stuff.  I could hear criticism when it was out there — a lot of it was justified and I’m man enough to take it.

“When you’ve done something like drink-driving you’ve got to be able to take it because it’s wrong.

“But I think, taking time off work, people have really seen how seriously I’m taking it.

“The support actually brought me to tears the other day. A grown man came out of his van to hug me and say, ‘Get yourself well, we miss you on TV. It’s not the same without you’.


The TV presenter has come along way since he crashed his Mini whilst under the influence of alcohol last year
Peter Jordan – The Sun
A court issued Ant with a £86,000 fine over the incident
Rex Features


  • Ant McPartlin breaks silence on drink drive arrest to The Sun and reveals how new lover Anne Marie Corbett saved his life in world exclusive interview
  • Ant McPartlin weighs in on ‘girl code’ row between ex Lisa Armstrong and new lover Anne Marie Corbett and reveals he doesn’t speak to former wife
  • Ant McPartlin reveals he and ex Lisa Armstrong just ‘want the best for beloved dog Hurley’ as they fight over his custody
  • Ant McPartlin on how he feared he’d injured his mum as star relives horrific drink drive crash that ‘brought him to his lowest’
  • Ant McPartlin opens up about his battle with alcohol dependency and drug addiction in heartbreaking interview
  • Ant McPartlin says biggest ever drink-driving fine of £86k ‘is what I deserve’ after car crash
  • Dermot O’Leary has apologised to Ant McPartlin over ‘foolish’ National Television Awards joke ahead of ceremony

“Another reason for talking today is that if it gets another bloke in his 40s who would not talk to anybody else, then good, I’m glad I did the interview.

“Just pick up the phone and say, ‘I think I’m struggling a bit. I’m probably drinking a bit too much’.”

The telly legend has admitted that Holly Willoughby did a fantastic job on I’m A Celebrity — but insists she will not return.

There has been speculation that ITV could try and get all three stars to host the celebrity jungle series this year.

Ant says it will just be him and Dec hosting this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity
ITV Press Handout

But in our exclusive interview, Ant — who has reunited with Dec after a ten-month split — said: “No it’s not going to be a trio. It’s back to us two (Ant and Dec) this year.

“That was the great thing about Holly. It was a one-year gig. That was the brief, a one-off. I was thankful that it was her because she was looking after my mate out there and looking after the show. And she doesn’t need the work — she can’t get off the telly!”

He found the show too painful to watch and went on holiday with his girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett to avoid it. But Ant is adamant that he is happy about the success Holly, 37, and Dec, 43, had.

He says: “I wanted the show to be big and thank God it was. Not one part of me wanted that show to fail.

Ant, Holly and Dec have been friends for years
PA:Press Association
Holly did a great job of standing in for Ant last year but her stint on the show was a ‘one-off’
Rex Features
Ant says Holly was ‘the perfect replacement’

Ant was involved in talks with ITV and Dec about mutual pal and This Morning host Holly replacing him on last year’s show. It came after the Geordie star decided he needed more time to focus on his recovery.

He says: “It’s not a show you can do on your own.  It’s a two-hander comedy show that we have developed over the years.

“I always knew — we both knew — there would have to be a replacement. It was ironic because the year before we’d joked about Holly on the show.

“But when you boil it all down when we talked about, she is the perfect replacement. She’s a friend. She offers a completely different dynamic to what Dec and I have had in the past.

Ant says he found it hard watching the show last year

“She’s gorgeous to look at. She’s funny. I get on really well with her. He gets on really well with her. It made sense — and she wanted air miles.”

Ant decided to switch off all social media about the show so he wasn’t distracted on holiday. But a massive gaffe from a boss at ITV shattered his media ban.

He says: “I’ll tell you a funny story.  I told the senior executive at ITV that I’m not going to watch the show because it will be hard for me.

“I haven’t been on social media. I got through the day. Anne-Marie and I had a lovely lunch for my birthday. But I was lying in bed and I don’t know how the show’s gone.

Ant whisked girlfriend Anne Marie away on holiday to avoid being in the UK while I’m A Celeb was on TV
The couple looked loved up as they strolled around Florence
The TV legend looks fit and well as he prepares to start filming shows for BGT
Dan Jones
Fans will be excited to see Ant presenting again
Getty – Contributor

“I turned me phone on and a text came through from a senior ITV executive.

“It just said: ‘Congratulations on a hilarious opening, well done you two. He’d clearly gone to text Holly and Dec but texted me.

“I replied: ‘Funny, I didn’t see it myself.’

But I let Dec know about it. It was funny. I was fine by that point.”

Ant appears to have recovered tremendously from his drug and alcohol addictions
Getty – Contributor
Ant and Dec were seen leaving the London Palladium after filming their first scenes for the new series
Getty – Contributor

On his return from holiday, Ant saw brief moments of Holly in his familiar role. He says: “I’ve seen bits since I’ve got back. I thought they’ve done a great job.

“I thought Holly was fantastic. I thought she was a real tonic for the show.

“Me and Dec are long in the tooth now — we’ve seen every Bush Tucker trial there is. So to see someone’s reaction for the first time. I knew she’d be a success. The line-up was brilliant.”

  • GOT a story? RING 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL