Belfast Telegraph

I am so sorry, says TV's Ant as he enters rehab to fight demons

By Lucy Mapstone

Ant McPartlin has said he feels he has "let people down" ahead of reportedly entering rehab following a battle with depression, alcohol and drug abuse.

The TV star, one half of presenting duo Ant and Dec, said he wanted to speak out about his issues in order to help others.

McPartlin (41) told The Sun on Sunday: "I feel like I have let a lot of people down and, for that, I am truly sorry.

"I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends for helping me through this really difficult time.

"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."

McPartlin is believed to have checked into a rehabilitation facility, where he will remain for up to two months.

The newspaper has reported that McPartlin's problems stemmed from failed knee surgery two years ago.

With an ongoing knee complication, McPartlin is said to have started taking prescription drugs to cope with the pain.

A source said that alcohol has also become a cause for concern among friends of the presenter.

His busy work schedule, which sees him, along with professional partner Declan Donnelly, front programmes such as I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and Britain's Got Talent for a large portion of the year, has been an additional factor in McPartlin's battle with anxiety.

Several stars have commended him for speaking out about his personal issues. Apprentice boss Lord Sugar wrote on Twitter: "Very brave Ant to go public. This is the first stage of the road to recovery. All the best Ant, it will all be sorted for sure @antanddec."

Dame Kelly Holmes said: "As I say at every speech I do, we are all human! Best wishes to Ant @antanddec You will come back stronger, your fans love you #itsgoodtotalk."

McPartlin and Donnelly forged their successful working partnership after starring in children's drama series Byker Grove together in the 1990s.

They are now best-known for their stints on I'm A Celebrity, Britain's Got Talent and Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

Donnelly thanked fans for their messages of support for McPartlin.

He wrote on Ant and Dec's official Twitter page: "Thank you for all the kind messages and well wishes for the big fella. He will be touched.

"Your support is, as ever, much appreciated. DD xx."

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