How did ‘Teflon’ Ant McPartlin survive a series of scandals to sign a new £30m deal for Ant & Dec TV?

How did ‘Teflon’ Ant McPartlin survive a sequence of scandals to signal a brand new £30m deal for Ant & Dec TV?

Huddled within the nook of a central London bar, a contemporary face Ant McPartlin giggled with greatest good friend Declan ‘Dec’ Donnelly and her former co-host Cat Deeley.

The three TV stars laughed their heads off.

The well-paid trio had been visitors of honor at a reunion for the employees of SM:TV, the now-defunct youngsters’s program that catapulted them to stardom nearly 25 years in the past.

However whereas others partied into the wee hours eventually April’s bash, Ant – who observers insisted was clinging to bubbly water – left early and took a taxi again to the £6million mansion he was taking shares along with his two-year-old spouse Anne -Marie Corbett.

Settled: Ant McPartlin (right) with second wife Anne-Marie (left) in 2021

Settled: Ant McPartlin (proper) with second spouse Anne-Marie (left) in 2021

Ant with his first wife Lisa at their 2006 wedding

Ant along with his first spouse Lisa at their 2006 wedding ceremony

Such conduct represented fairly a change for the 47-year-old star. 5 years in the past, Ant would have feasted into the wee hours.

Again then, his drunken escapades had been legendary even by the requirements of the alcohol-soaked tv trade. Most individuals who’ve labored with him over time will, when it comes right down to it, share loads of stunning anecdotes about his hellish way of life.

However then, in June 2017, Ant lastly admitted to being hooked on alcohol and prescribed drugs and entered rehab. Some known as him “courageous” – ​​others thought his profession was over.

His issues solely acquired worse when, a 12 months later, he crashed his automotive head-on into one other automobile whereas intoxicated.

However what a distinction a couple of years could make. There was no point out in any respect of Ant’s hardship when Last week, corks were popped at ITV to celebrate the duo’s decision to sign with the channel for a further three years – in a ‘golden handcuffs’ deal value a staggering £30million.

I’m advised that it was not mentioned through the negotiations both.

ITV bosses are stated to be “thrilled” they’ve managed to fend off streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime and preserve their most prized possessions.

Welcoming the deal, Kevin Lygo, the channel’s government director of programming, stated, “The world of tv and streaming is all the time a a lot brighter place with Ant and Dec on the heart.”

The £30million bonanza is proof, if want be, that Ant would not appear to the touch something in the long term – for all its broadly publicized flaws.

Actually, sources on the community say nobody mentions Ant’s earlier scratches — ever. “It is pretty much as good as forbidden,” says one. “It is the unspeakable inside the group, it is prefer it by no means occurred. Ant has a lot unwavering assist from ITV’s larger echelons.’

In just some years he was welcomed again by the nationwide outcast as a beloved stalwart of our tv screens. how did he do it

To reply that query, we now have to return to that horrific second in March 2018 when a drunk ant, driving her black Mini, crashed into an oncoming automotive close to her dwelling in Mortlake, south west London. His mom, Christine Woodall, was within the passenger seat.

Ant & Dec's latest TV venture, Ant And Dec's Limitless Win (pictured), launched with an impressive six million viewers

Ant & Dec’s newest TV enterprise, Ant And Dec’s Limitless Win (pictured), launched with a formidable six million viewers

He was arrested and located to have twice exceeded the drink driving restrict. Wimbledon Magistrates’ Courtroom later heard that within the different automotive – one other Mini Cooper – a nine-year-old boy yelled at his mom, who was driving, “I am dying, mum, I am dying!”

The ugly episode would absolutely have spelled profession demise for some other TV star.

Ant was fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months. He apologized profusely, introduced he was returning to rehab and withdrew all his TV commitments for the remainder of the 12 months, together with ITV’s I am A Celeb. . . Get me out of right here. Dec alone needed to host the final episode of this season’s Saturday Night time Takeaway in addition to the finale of Britain’s Acquired Expertise.

Lots of people in present enterprise thought Ant was lifeless. However his rock-solid community of {powerful} buddies had different concepts.

Ant – with Dec in fact – has been important to the ITV model. The station bosses felt they needed to do no matter they may to assist him.

Ant’s omnipotent administration workforce is London-based YMU, who’re broadly believed to have had a major affect on ITV because of their roster of movie star shoppers that embody Claudia Winkleman, Davina McCall and Phillip Schofield. They went in to punch for him – exhausting. In the meantime, Ant’s tremendous loyal PR man Simon Jones defended him by way of all his troubles. Dec was additionally by his greatest good friend’s facet of 30 years (they met at age 13 whereas engaged on the kids’s tv sequence Byker Grove).

When requested if he is thought of going solo, Dec admitted, “I would be mendacity if I stated the thought hadn’t occurred to me. Ant had rather a lot to work on. He needed to assume rather a lot. So have I. Finally, a very powerful factor I wished was for Ant to come back again wholesome and glad and for us to get our relationship again on monitor.

All effectively and good. However the issue for Ant wasn’t the loyalty of his buddies or his paid allies. The issue was the British public. They usually weren’t so eager on the antics of the one-time household favourite.

Social media was teeming with folks offended that Ant hadn’t been disowned. “I nonetheless cannot imagine how a lot assist this junk will get from a human,” stated one. Others vowed by no means to see him once more.

ITV was involved. It had spent greater than a decade prioritizing its “golden 4”: Ant, Dec, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

“When Ant’s drink-driving incident occurred, ITV thought they actually screwed it up,” says a supply. “Dec is adored however he could not do it alone, they’re a double pack, the Morecambe and Smart of their time.”

Ant McPartlin felt embarrassed after drunk driving accident in which he crashed into two other cars

Ant McPartlin felt embarrassed after drunk driving accident through which he crashed into two different vehicles

Round 18 months later – in December 2019 – ITV’s Caroline Flack was accused of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton. However as a substitute of being handled with child gloves, Flack was fired.

Devastated, she usually requested her buddies why ITV stood by Ant whereas they hung her out to dry – though ITV insisted it “made it clear the door was left open for her return”. Tragically, Flack took his personal life in August 2020, after which ITV stated: “We’ll miss all of them dearly”.

By now, one can think about the reduction at ITV – and inside Workforce Ant – that the star’s former spouse, Lisa Armstrong, has remained silent about his behaviour. ITV insiders inform me they imagine this was the one most essential consider Ant’s enduring recognition.

Their marriage resulted in early 2018 – 12 years after they had been married on the Cliveden Home Lodge in Berkshire – at which era Ant noticed Anne-Marie, his and Lisa’s assistant. (Ant and Anne-Marie have all the time maintained their relationship, which started after their earlier marriages failed.)

Lisa, an award-winning make-up artist, has by no means advised what went on at her £5million mansion in Chiswick, west London. And he or she assures buddies she by no means will.

One advised the Day by day Mail: “Ant and Lisa have been by way of rather a lot. She gave him 23 years of her life after which he walked away together with her private assistant. She was completely devastated.

‘Had she advised her facet of occasions, Ant may need been uncomfortable. There are positively some particulars he’d fairly not share on the market.

Custody of their chocolate Labrador, Hurley, performed a giant half within the couple’s lengthy divorce battle. Ultimately, they agreed to share entry, with Dec usually performing as an middleman.

Armstrong handed £31million in divorce settlement It was reported that Ant wished her to signal a gag order however she refused. Lisa, too, had an ambivalent relationship with Ant’s hard-nosed PR man Jones – who oversaw the profitable marketing campaign to revive his shopper’s fame.

Jones, who has a fame amongst showbiz journalists for being aggressive, wasn’t afraid to herald Ant’s attorneys when issues acquired powerful.

In the meantime, Ant has discovered a brand new dwelling in Wimbledon with mother-of-two Anne-Marie. After a sequence of interviews with The Solar, Ant began residing underneath the radar.

Lisa saved the marital dwelling, which meant Ant and Dec weren’t residing on the identical road for the primary time in 20 years.

The transfer additionally spelled an finish to his dreary pub crawls alongside Chiswick Excessive Street. As a substitute, tea turned his favourite beverage and he started exercising, swimming, and jogging usually.

In August 2021, Ant married Anne-Marie at St Michael’s Church in Heckfield, Hampshire. Throughout his groom’s speech, he confirmed his outstanding closeness to their two daughters, reportedly saying, “They’re superb women and I am grateful they name me ‘Dad’.”

In the present day, he and Anne-Marie lead a quiet life and infrequently seem in public.

This low-key method is one other consider restoring its fame.

Having just signed their lucrative new ITV deal, Ant and Dec are about to have their busiest year yet.

Their newest TV enterprise, Ant And Dec’s Limitless Win, launched with a formidable six million viewers and they’re going to additionally current I am A Celeb All Stars from South Africa later this 12 months, that includes a lot of earlier contestants.

Her bigger roles at ITV have some employees questioning what Ant would ever must do to lose his job. “We’ll positively be seeing Ant on TV for a couple of extra years,” stated one. ‘He is completely Teflon.’


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