This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have said their friend Ant McPartlin must take responsibility for his actions after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving on Sunday.
The TV presenters appeared sombre as they addressed McPartlin’s recent troubles, which have seen him step down from his television commitments in order to return to rehab.
Schofield said they were “shocked and saddened” by the news and that it was difficult for them to talk about because they were “talking about a friend”.
He added: “The overwhelming feeling we believe has to be that, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, if you get into a car having had a drink the responsibility is entirely yours.
“We wish Ant and all those involved in these sad events all the very best.”
The two This Morning presenters were criticised by fans on Twitter on Monday for not speaking of McPartlin’s arrest, despite it being covered on ITV’s other daily programmes including Good Morning Britain.
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 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.
The TV star, who is one half of presenting duo Ant and Dec with Declan Donnelly, will now head back to rehab and their popular programme Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled this weekend.
McPartlin’s publicist said in a statement: “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.”
It marked the latest in a string of personal setbacks for the star, who first entered rehab last year after struggling with an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.
In January, McPartlin confirmed that he and his 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.