Ant McPartlin steps down from TV roles to seek treatment

TV presenter was arrested on Sunday night on suspicion of drink-driving

TV presenter Ant McPartlin: taking time off for foreseeable future. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA

TV presenter Ant McPartlin: taking time off for foreseeable future. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA

 

TV presenter Ant McPartlin is stepping down from 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.

No decisions have been made about the final two episodes of the show, due to be broadcast on March 31st and April 7th, but they will not feature McPartlin.

His publicist said he had cancelled his current TV commitments and was taking time of “for the foreseeable future”.

McPartlin (42) was involved in a collision with two other cars 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.

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 31st and April 7th] 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 marks 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 separated from his wife Lisa Armstrong after 11 years of marriage.

McPartlin and Donnelly are one of the most popular British TV double acts and have won a string of awards including Baftas. They were also voted by viewers as TV’s best entertainment presenters at the National Television Awards in January for the 17th consecutive year. – PA, Agencies