Ant McPartlin steps back from TV work following drink-drive arrest

McPartlin previously entered rehab last year after struggling with an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation in 2015. Picture: PA
McPartlin previously entered rehab last year after struggling with an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation in 2015. Picture: PA
0
Have your say

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

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

McPartlin’s publicist said in a statement yesterday: “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. 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 that he was “taken to a south London police station for questioning and has since been released under investigation” and that inquiries continue.

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

It marked the latest in a string of personal setbacks for the star, who works as Ant and Dec with Donnelly.

McPartlin 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 that he and his wife Lisa were separating after 11 years of marriage. McPartlin, who married Armstrong in 2006, had often spoken of their struggle to have children.

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.

He then returned to work on the duo’s popular variety show Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in late February, celebrating their 100th episode the following week.