Ant McPartlin has finally broken his silence since his step away from his television hosting duties. Speaking exclusively to The Sun, McPartlin told the paper that his presenting partner Declan Donnelly was angry at him over his drink-driving arrest.
The 43-year-old said: “He’s angry, of course he’s angry. But it’s justified and I understood it.”
He continued: “I saw Dec the day after the crash and we didn’t even speak work. It wasn’t about that. It was about, ‘How are you?’ I said: ‘I’m not right.’ You know, mentally I wasn’t in a good place.
“We’re friends first and foremost. And we’re friends from the age of 13. But of course there’s going to be tensions there. Underneath all of that is love and still is love. And that’s what we talked about more than anything,” he said.
McPartlin added that their decision for him to pull out of hosting last year’s Britain’s Got Talent midseason was a ‘quick decision.’
“It was a very quick discussion. We both agreed Dec would do that on his own. I couldn’t have done the show, I wasn’t ready,” he explained.
He said he hadn’t watched the remainder of Britain’s Got Talent as he ‘couldn’t even think of work.’
As for the bosses at ITV, he said they were very understanding of his need to take time off.
“We’ve been on that channel since 1998 and worked our socks off. They were like, ‘Take as long as you want. Your job is always here when you want to come back, just get yourself well,” he said.
After McPartlin was arrested for drink-driving in March of last year, he pleaded guilty to the offence, was fined £86,000 and served a 20-month driving ban. He also entered a rehab programme at The Priory for substance abuse.
Now after 10 months away from working in television, the longest of his entire career which spans back to his debut on Byker Grove in 1989, McPartlin admits he is both excited and anxious to return to BGT.
“I am absolutely gagging to get going. I’m a bit anxious, a bit nervous, but ultimately a feeling of excitement and happiness.
“It’s been a long time. I want to be back doing what we do. I’m lucky that I love my job. I just want to get back to that.”
Britain’s Got Talent has begun filming auditions and is expected to air on ITV this spring.