For about three decades, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, better known as Ant and Dec, have been one of the most beloved duos on British TV. However, recent developments surrounding Ant have forced the iconic pair to make some radical changes.
Ant & Dec Are Finished
In the wake of Ant’s recent troubles, it should come as no surprise that the person who is most concerned about the duo’s future is his partner in crime, Dec, who JUST opened up about the news for the FIRST time.
Ant Decides To Step Aside
It makes sense that Dec would have a lot to say about Ant’s troubles over the last couple of years. But what exactly does the radical turn of events mean for him? In light of Ant’s well-publicized departure from TV, Dec has finally opened up about it. It seems that in the blink of an eye, the duo have become an “uno.” Just before they were about to host another episode of Saturday Night Takeaway, Ant decided to pull out…
Ant Seen For The First Time
Dec was as shocked as anyone to hear that Ant was stepping down from the many TV projects he had recently been involved in. Ant’s publicist claimed that the TV star was taking some much needed time off “for the foreseeable future” in an aid to recover from his recent troubles and seeking treatment. However, every bubbling issue ends up coming to a head. So what was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Ant?
Ant Went Missing From The Jungle
An early indication that something wasn’t right was when Ant didn’t appear alongside his partner in crime Dec on their show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! It was soon revealed that Ant had temporarily departed the show as he had been admitted into recovery. Despite the rumors that the duo would permanently step away from the show, ITV confirmed that both Ant and Dec would return to host the series. However, new developments have emerged since then…
Life Changing Incident
Ant’s world was turned upside down when he was recently involved in a car crash. He took his dogs out for a walk before driving back to his West London home in his black Mini sports car. However, things took a turn for the worst when he reportedly crashed into two other cars. Although there were no serious injuries, the Metropolitan Police claimed that one child had to be taken to hospital as a safety precaution.
Witnessed By Many
According to numerous witnesses, the aftermath of the crash was just as ugly as the crash itself. One witness claimed that Ant was being argumentative with police officers who arrived on the scene. “Ant looked in a right state and was acting argumentatively toward a policewoman,” Jake Spencer said. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw who it was… He was not making it easy for her and he seemed to be trying to wriggle out of her clutches. He was not in a good way.”
Actions Have Consequences
One of the families who was affected the most by the crash were the Vanoos. Faheem and his wife Shilpa were driving another Mini nonchalantly, with three-year-old daughter Amaira in the back seat. Before they knew it, they had been hit from behind by Ant. Faheem told The Sun that Ant “was driving like a maniac.” “I don’t care whether he’s a millionaire [and] a famous TV star – he could have put my daughter in a wheelchair.”
Ant originally left I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in order to go into some form of rehab. “I’ve spoken out because I think it’s important that people ask for help if they’re going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery,” he said. “I was at the point where anything – prescription [substances], non-prescription [substances] – I would take…And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself.'”
Rocky Couple Of Years
It seemed like after his departure from I’m A Celebrity, Ant had a topsy-turvy life, walking in and out of rehab. He claimed that his addictions came from a knee operation in 2015 that caused a lot of pain for him. “I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry,” he said. Although he appeared to be fully sober before returning to the reality TV show, Ant ultimately relapsed, and as a result, the car crash happened.
Praised For Speaking Out
Although Ant’s troubles were far from over, many fans and celebrities alike were quick to turn to social media to express their support for the star. After he spoke up about his problems, many were sympathetic. Even Sir Alan Sugar and Kelly Holmes wrote on Twitter in support of Ant. “Very brave Ant to go public,” Sugar wrote. “This is the first stage of the road to recovery. All the best Ant it, will all be sorted for sure.”
Another person who took to social media after Ant’s issues was ex-wife Lisa Armstrong. Despite the support from fans and celebs alike, McPartlin went through some tough times behind the scenes with Lisa. The star confirmed that he was in the middle of divorcing the lady who he had been married to for over a decade. However, after Ant’s car crash, she liked a tweet by a man who lost his wife to leukemia. It read, “I’d never known loneliness…until now.”
What Went Wrong?
It was reported that McPartlin and Armstrong had been “drifting apart from some time.” One report read that “Ant has been difficult to live with for a long time and was keeping more and more secrets from Lisa the longer the marriage went on…They got to a difficult place and there was no way their relationship could recover, the best thing now is they both move on.” Amazingly, it is believed that it was actually Ant who ended the things with Lisa for her benefit.
Making Things Right For Lisa
Despite things coming to an end between the two, Ant is determined to make sure that Lisa is financially stable. Some reports suggest that she could end up receiving half of McPartlin’s £62 million fortune. One report said that “he will obviously look after her in the settlement…He wants it to be amicable and friendly…Ant and Lisa have been together for over 20 years and married for 11. They’re best friends. She’s always stood by him and been supportive.”
Since 2018, Ant and Dec’s popular show Saturday Night Takeaway has traveled to the U.S. and been broadcast live at Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort. The series finale, which was scheduled to bring 200 fans from the UK on a private plane, ended up being canceled at the very last minute after Ant’s car crash. The public were shocked by the news. “[McPartlin] has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments,” Ant’s publicist wrote in a statement.
Ant’s publicist said that “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.” However, it appears that the show will carry on and that the series’ final two episodes will air. The saddest part of it though is that it means that it will be the first time in the show’s history that Dec will host Takeaway without his buddy.
Long Break Expected
Not only will Ant be taking a break from Saturday Night Takeaway, but he will also be taking some time off all the shows that he has been hosting with Dec in recent times. That’s not all though; it is also believed that he will be taking a much longer break than expected to focus on rehab and getting himself back up to speed. It is the first time that Ant and Dec would have worked separately.
Never Worked Alone
The fact that the pair has been attached to the hip all these years was emphasized in their 2010 autobiography Ooh! What A Lovely Pair: Our Story. A long time ago, when they were just coming up in the entertainment industry, McPartlin and Donnelly made a pact, promising to each other that “neither one of us would ever be on our own out there…Some people might not understand it, but our friendship is a massive, massive part of where we are today.”
No More Double Dates
Another tragic part of Ant’s recent divorce is that the pair were each other’s best men! When McPartlin tied the not with Lisa back in 2006, Donnelly was obviously the best man. Then in 2014, Dec announced that he was engaged to their manager Ali Astall. The couple recited their nuptials the following year and naturally, Ant was Dec’s best man too. What made the ceremony more meaningful was that it was conducted by Dec’s brother Dermott, who happens to be a priest.
Although Ant and Dec might still feel like your friendly pals from Newcastle, the duo have come a long way since their days on Byker Grove. This can be seen clearly in the amount of money they have earned over the years. In 2006, the pair signed a deal with ITV that is reported to have been in the region of £30 million. Just a year later, they signed an even bigger deal estimated to be £40 million. They each have a net worth of £62 million.
After hosting so many popular British shows and warming people’s hearts on a week-to-week basis with their cheeky, light-hearted humor, Ant and Dec made history after winning a staggering 37 National Television Awards, first winning the Most Popular Entertainment Presenter award back in 2001. This means that the duo have the record for the most NTA awards, an incredible achievement. These mainly come from their work on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
Where It All Began
The duo’s success started way back in 1989 when Dec joined the popular BBC children’s drama, Byker Grove, playing the role of Duncan. Just a year later, McPartlin joined the cast and played the character PJ. It was bromance at first sight, and although they didn’t start off in the same storyline, the duo’s lives became intertwined as soon as their paths crossed. Life imitated art when the on-screen buddies also became real-life best friends.
It turns out that their characters PJ & Duncan inspired Ant and Dec to start a career in pop music. Some of their most successful singles included “Lets’ Get Ready To Rhumble” and “Shout.” It was during this time that Ant knew that they needed to look out for each other. “We were eighteen-years-old and about to start our music career,” Ant said. “We didn’t have a clue what the future held for us…If it all ended tomorrow…we’d still be best mates.”
Most fans will agree that Ant and Dec’s success lies in their abilities as charismatic TV show hosts. The duo were able to gain early experience in this field in their early 20s, hosting a variety of children’s TV shows such as SMTV Live and CD:UK. They worked with friend Cat Deeley for three years playing beloved games such as Eat My Goal, Wonkey Donkey and Dec Says, to name a few. It was these fun years that paved the way for the duo’s future primetime endeavors.
Big Time Surprise
For many, Ant & Dec’s transition into primetime TV came as a bit of a shock. Many were skeptical as to whether the duo could appeal to an older audience. However, they swiftly proved the skeptics wrong and after their first Saturday-night game show Friends Like These, the pair knew that they had found their new niche. Other classic shows followed such as I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, Britain’s Got Talent and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
Loved By The Queen
Not only have Ant and Dec won a staggering number of National Television Awards in consecutive years. They also received an honor that was far beyond their wildest dreams. During the Queen’s birthday honors ceremony, McPartlin and Donnelly were awarded OBEs in honor of their services to broadcasting and entertainment. If anything clearly demonstrated that Ant and Dec are British TV royalty, then this is it. The best buddies have come very far in their young lives.
Dec Speaks Up
If there was one person who is bound to have an opinion on Ant’s recent troubles, then it has to be his best friend Declan Donnelly. According to his representative, Dec is “absolutely devastated” that he won’t be able to work alongside his best friend anytime soon. It should go without saying, seeing that, for the most part, Ant and Dec have never had any personal issues. At least, they haven’t had any issues that have reached the public eye.
Dec Is Devastated
As hard as things might be for Ant, there is no doubt that Dec must be struggling to come to terms with his best friend’s issues. “This has been a bit of a bombshell for Dec,” a friend of the duo told The Sun. “He’s very upset and needs time to make any decisions, which is why this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Takeaway was canceled.” Of course, Dec wouldn’t make any decision without 100% communication with his partner in crime, Ant.
Not only is Dec apprehensive to make any rash decisions moving forward, but the network that the duo are signed under, ITV, are aware how delicate the situation is and want to make sure that they don’t rush into things. After all, this is one of the most important and successful acts that the network has to offer. “ITV understood that the show couldn’t go ahead without Dec and that he’ll have to make a final decision about what happens,” their friend reported.
Awards Keep On Coming
Despite the troubles that have stopped them from working together in the foreseeable future, Ant and Dec are still getting nominated left, right and center for their work on Saturday Night Takeaway. They were recently nominated for two awards at the Royal Television Society (RTS) awards. While it has been confirmed that McPartlin won’t attend the ceremony, Donnelly hasn’t confirmed yet whether or not he will be in attendance. The duo have been nominated for Best Entertainment Programme.
Future Is Unclear
Whatever the future holds for Ant and Dec and beyond remains to be seen. It is unclear whether they will ever get back together on a professional level. Everything depends on how Ant’s rehab goes and whether he’ll be prepared to return to the world of TV. One thing is for sure though; the duo seem to remain faithful to the pact they made all those years ago. Whatever happens on-screen, Ant and Dec will continue to remain the best of friends off-screen.