Thursday 19 July 2018

TV star Ant returns to rehab after 'drink-driving accident'

Ant and Dec at Buckingham Palace, where the pair received OBEs last year. Photo: Getty Images
Ant and Dec at Buckingham Palace, where the pair received OBEs last year. Photo: Getty Images

Lucy Mapstone

Television presenter Ant McPartlin is stepping down from his television commitments and will head back to rehab following his arrest on suspicion of drink-driving at the weekend.

'Saturday Night Takeaway', which McPartlin co-hosts on ITV with presenting partner Declan Donnelly, will not air this weekend as scheduled.

McPartlin's publicist said: "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV and asked for time off for the foreseeable future. As such, 'Saturday Night Takeaway' will not be going ahead this Saturday."

An ITV spokesman said: "ITV has taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec's team not to broadcast 'Saturday Night Takeaway' this weekend. We will be reviewing options for the last two episodes of the series (March 31 and April 7) which would not feature Ant, who is taking time off to seek treatment. We very much hope that he gets the help that he needs."

McPartlin (42) was involved in a collision with two other cars while he was driving his Mini in Richmond, west London, and was arrested at around 4pm on Sunday after failing a roadside breathalyser test.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said he was "taken to a south London police station for questioning and has since been released under investigation" and that inquiries continue.

Police confirmed that a number of individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries, and a child from one of the cars was taken to hospital as a precaution.

It marked the latest in a string of setbacks for the star, who works with Donnelly as Ant and Dec. He entered rehab last year after struggling with an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.

He returned to screens in November for 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' and jokingly mentioned his rehab stint along with his TV partner.

In January, McPartlin confirmed he and wife Lisa were separating after 11 years of marriage. At the National Television Awards a few days after the split, McPartlin referred to his "tough year" while picking up the presenting prize with Donnelly.

Irish Independent

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