It has been confirmed that Ant and Dec’s Ant McPartlin has checked into rehab following an emotional confession that he is addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol.
The Sun report that Ant will spend at least two months in the clinic after the 41-year-old star broke down and wept as he admitted to his problems to his wife Lisa and co-star Declan Donnelly.
Speaking to the publication, Ant shared: “The first step is to admit to yourself you need help.
“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.”
It is thought that the star, who shot to fame in CBBC drama Byker Grove back in 1989, first began to suffer two years ago when he had an operation to fix cartilage in the knee, he was unaware that he was suffering a fracture in the kneecap and reportedly eroded the bone until the kneecap slipped.
A source explained: “The sad truth is that Ant is in agony nearly every waking moment. He makes sure the mask never slips in public, but off camera is a different matter.
“He can often be found lying on his dressing room floor, his face contorted in pain. If he didn’t have a knee brace, then he wouldn’t be able to stand up at all.
“He never wanted his fans to know of his despair because he thought it would ruin the happy-go-lucky act for everyone.
“His attitude has always been, ‘The show must go on!’”
The star was unable to play golf, his favourite way to unwind off-camera, as a result of the injury, with the insider adding: “Ant liked nothing better than a round of golf to unwind — but now he has been told he may never play again. You’ve never seen him so down.
“He’s been trapped in his house causing him to turn to substance abuse as a way of escaping his troubles.”
Ant reportedly ended up becoming reliant on prescription medication Tramadol, and friends became concerned when he started combining alcohol with the prescription.
A friend explained: “The boys [Ant and Dec] love a drink together. But in recent months, after they went to the pub, Ant would go home and carry on drinking alone.
“It was at these times that he began abusing substances when he was drunk. Part of it was that the alcohol helped numb the physical pain he has been enduring but it was clearly more than that.
“The drugs and alcohol were playing an increasingly important role in helping Ant function each day. He hid it very well from those closest to him but it was obvious that it had become an issue at home.”
Ant’s constant agony and dependency on prescribed medication has meant that his and Dec’s gruelling schedule also started to take a toll, with the TV presenter reportedly the subject of discussion backstage at Britain’s Got Talent.
Now Ant will take at least two months overcoming his addictions in rehab before jetting off to Australia for November’s series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!.
A source said: “It has taken courage for Ant to face up to his problems which we understand will be a big help in the rehab process.
“He knows he has a problem which means he accepts he needs help. The important thing is that he will receive expert help and support in rehab — and he will realise he’s not alone, that there are others going through what he is.
“He will be allowed visitors but how often and at what stage in the rehab process can vary from clinic to clinic.”
The move comes just days after Ant had surgery to fix his knee injury, and it is thought he’ll need to spend the next six weeks in a wheelchair.