Declan Donnelly has taken to his and Ant McPartlin’s shared Twitter account to thank fans for their unwavering support after Ant checked into rehab for substance abuse and addiction yesterday.
The TV star has broken his silence after being inundated with well-wishes by shocked fans.
Writing on his and Ant’s joint account, Dec told their 6.58million followers: “Thank you for all the kind messages and well wishes for the big fella. He will be touched.
“Your support is, as ever, much appreciated.”
The star is understandably said to be devastated after his best friend of more than two decades opened up to him about his issues, with it being reported that Dec was even the one to contact counsellors on Ant’s behalf.
Although Dec was concerned about Ant, he didn’t know the severity of his addiction problems, with Ant revealing last night that he is struggling with addiction to painkillers and alcohol after botched knee surgery left him in absolute agony.
Speaking to The Sun, a source explained: “For Dec it was a bit of a bombshell hearing about these addiction problems. He had no idea of the full extent of the torment his best friend was going through.
“Dec couldn’t believe his ears through some of it. Soon the truth was all coming out: the substance abuse, the painkillers he was hooked on, the secret drinking sessions.
“It was almost too much for Dec to take in.”
Dec is said to be “determined” to do whatever he can to help his friend, with Ant expected to spend at least two months in rehab just days after undergoing surgery to fix his knee – which will reportedly leave him in a wheelchair for six weeks.
Just hours before news of Ant’s troubles broke, Dec was photographed at an airport by a fan asking for a selfie, with the star clearly putting on a brave face despite his anguish.
It is thought that the star is also taking some time away from London to come to terms with everything whilst Ant seeks professional help.
In a statment, Ant said: “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.”