Ant McPartlin, one half of Ant and Dec, has revealed he is heading to rehab after admitting he is battling alcohol and drug addiction.
The 41-year-old spoke to The Sun about his demons, as he admitted he has “let people down” while thanking his wife Lisa Armstrong and co-star Declan Donnelly for the support provided.
In his frank admission, it was revealed he faces at least two months of treatment in a clinic after depression led to an addiction to prescription drugs along with alcohol and substance abuse problems.
The Sun revealed the devastating problems that led to McPartlin’s rehab stay including chronic pain caused by a knee injury two years ago, anxiety over failure to conceive with Lisa and depression which led to his substance abuse.
His statement to the publication read: “The first step is to admit to yourself you need help.
“I’ve let people down. I’m truly sorry. I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I’m truly sorry. I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends through this really difficult time.
“I have spoken out because I think it is important that people ask for help if they are going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery.”
He has been battling his condition for two years after an operation on his knee went wrong, leaving him in constant pain. Following his knee operation he began taking the opioid painkiller Tramadol and became addicted.
It was said people close to him had become concerned that Ant was combining the drug with alcohol, worsening the effects.
McPartlin underwent further knee surgery at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London last Tuesday and is expected to be in a wheelchair for weeks. Doctors had feared his knee could collapse, leaving him crippled. It is not known where he is undergoing his rehabilitation.
In a candid interview in 2013, McPartlin confirmed he and Donnelly had ‘dabbled’ in drugs, as he told The Guardian’s Weekend magazine: “Years ago, yeah (we tried drugs), but we’re not really druggy people, that’s the thing.
“I think you either go into that crowd as a kid or you don’t, and we didn’t. We found the love of alcohol very early on and we stayed with it.”
Donnelly added: “There’s a real pub culture where we’re from in Newcastle, so we’re just more boozy people.”
McPartlin and Donnelly are close friends and regular visitors to pubs near their multi-million-pound homes in Chiswick, West London.
For a long time McPartlin managed to hide his problems from those around him, but there had been concern among people who worked with him on the recent finals of Britain’s Got Talent about his condition. It was Donnelly, 41, who urged his friend to get help.
Ant came to stardom on the children’s tv show Byker Grove playing the role of P J opposite Donnelly, where the pair become best friends on and off set.
They were catapulted into the charts and scored a series of hit songs as P J and Duncan AKA and the pair have hosted a series of programmes including Pop Idol and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
McPartlin, who has amassed a $105 million fortune, signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with ITV in 2007, worth around $53 million, with co-host Donnelly, launching them into the premier league of British television earners.
New Zealand Herald