Ant McPartlin has broken his silence after checking out of rehab for a secret drug addiction and depression battle.
The TV favourite shocked fans in June when he announced that he was seeking professional help after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers following botched surgery on his knee that left him in crippling pain.
Speaking out in a new interview, Ant has now revealed that if he didn’t get help when he did then his addiction could have killed him.
Talking to The Sun, Ant explained: “I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take.
“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’.”
He also revealed that he checked into rehab after being hospitalised following a binge on tramadol, morphine and alcohol.
Getting the wake-up call that he so desperately needed, Ant continued: “It was five in the morning and I was screaming in pain so I rang Lisa [his wife].
“She was upstairs because I was living in the living room because I couldn’t get around [following his second knee surgery]. I said, ‘You’re going to have to call me an ambulance. I’m in a bad way’.
“I was insane. It sends you crazy. It was to the point of hearing things, seeing things in the garden and still the pain was getting worse.
“The ambulance came and took me to Chelsea and Westminster. I was depressed through the whole thing because I was in pain and immobile.”
Ant, 41, is now clean of all drugs other than paracetamol after descending into dangerous prescription drug addiction in 2014.
Recalling how his addiction started, the star shared: “Initially I was prescribed co-codamol, codeine, the normal stuff you would get, and then a lot of opium-based stuff. As a general rule, anything that is opium-based can be addictive.
“I would go for it first because it would make the pain disappear and kind of numb it but then we found my pain had been caused by a hole in my knee bone — it was shot.
“I was moved on to tramadol, which is where the real problems started.
“They’re very hard to come off. I was taking them more regularly, more regularly. And I drank with them, which was stupid and very reckless.
“I didn’t think how dangerous they are. You just think you know best — I’m in more pain, I’ll just whack another one down. That’s the danger — self-medicating.
“They’re very easy to get a hold of. I went to three private doctors. That’s how you can get more. I’ve got the means to speak to people.
“And there were medical teams at shows who would give me them too. I would take as much as I could to just get through stuff.”
Ant’s addiction came to a head whilst filming Saturday Night Takeaway earlier this year, sharing: “The pain I was in was just ridiculous.
“There was a point on Saturday Night Takeaway last year when we performed with Take That.
“I knew there was a dance routine involved. I took a load of stuff that day just to get through the day and I couldn’t feel anything on the night. But that did a lot of damage.
“We had to call the doctor up and get an injection to just get through the show.”
Ant then flew to America where he got more prescription drugs from US medics, admitting that they were “a lot stronger”.
The pain in his knee continued to worsen as Ant put off his vital operation to honour his work commitments, such as Britain’s Got Talent.
He admits: “What I should have done is stopped, dealt with it and maybe missed BGT. But I didn’t. I put up with it.”
Ant finally had the operation in June but the agonising surgery only made his addiction worse, sharing: “I was prescribed tramadol again for the pain.
“It was getting out of control then. I was taking them whenever willy-nilly. I ran out of my supply very quickly.”
Ant confessed that he then started to drink heavily, and taking sleeping pills.
The TV presenter finally agreed to go to rehab following a make-or-break intervention from his wife and co-star, Declan Donnelly, who were left concerned following his hospital dash.
Ant admitted that he didn’t tell anybody until “the very end”, adding that he was “embarrassed” about his addictions so would lie about it to his nearest and dearest.
He shared: “I would hide pills in different places so it would look like you only had a small supply when you in fact had a much bigger supply.
“Coming out of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, that was when we sat down and it was decided I needed to go into rehab.
“Dec came around and he kind of knew it was at the point where I needed help.Once I admitted I was in a bad way, they then helped get a team together because obviously I wasn’t in a fit state to do it myself.
“We had an hour’s conversation then I packed my bag and I went.
“Lisa and Dec gave me a bit of a send-off from mine. And they’ve been brilliant throughout.
“I’m lucky because I have the means to do that. But there are a lot of people who don’t. So I’m very grateful.”
Ant is now out of rehab and continuing to recover following his ordeal.