Ant was not wearing his wedding ring when he touched down in the city and was seen looking “anxious” as he made his way through the airport.
Speaking to The Sun, a source shared: “This is a really tough time for Ant.
“Ant doesn’t feel there is any future in the marriage, and while Lisa is hoping there’s a chance they can turn things around, he doesn’t see how they can.
“He felt it was best he spent Christmas up North with his mum and gave them both some space to think ahead of the New Year.”
It is expected that the Geordie favourite will spend several days in his home town with his loved ones, with the star living apart from his wife since completing a stint in rehab earlier this year for painkiller addiction.
The insider continued that lisa is “struggling to cope” with her and Ant’s apparent marriage breakdown, adding: “They have met up since Ant came back from Australia, and met up again this week at their house, to talk through how they feel after a few months apart.
“They are committed to making a decision together in the New Year.”
Ant previously praised his wife for the way that she handled his stint in rehab, admitting that he put her “through hell” as he battled with depression and addiction.
The TV star told The Sun: “I’ve put Lisa through hell with mood swings and depression and how it affects you.
“I’m very sorry about the effect it has on partners. This kind of stuff puts strains on any marriage.
“In hindsight, I should have mentioned it earlier but you’re embarrassed about it.”
Ant first met Lisa in 1994 when she was in the band Deuce, just five years after he and his co-star Declan Donnelly first found fame in CBBC drama Byker Grove.
The pair tied the knot in 2006.
Yahoo Celeb UK have contacted Ant’s reps for comment.