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 finest 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 workers of SM:TV, the now-defunct kids’s program that catapulted them to stardom nearly 25 years in the past.

However whereas others partied into the wee hours ultimately 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 through the years 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 pharmaceuticals and entered rehab. Some known as him “courageous” – ​​others thought his profession was over.

His issues solely received worse when, a yr later, he crashed his automobile head-on into one other car whereas intoxicated.

However what a distinction a number 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 price a staggering £30million.

I’m informed that it was not mentioned throughout the negotiations both.

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

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

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

In reality, sources on the community say nobody mentions Ant’s earlier scratches — ever. “It is nearly as good as forbidden,” says one. “It is the unspeakable throughout the group, it is prefer it by no means occurred. Ant has a lot unwavering help from ITV’s greater echelons.’

In only a few 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’ve got to return to that horrific second in March 2018 when a drunk ant, driving her black Mini, crashed into an oncoming automobile close to her residence 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 automobile – 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 loss of life for another 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 yr, 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 useless. However his rock-solid community of {powerful} associates 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 help him.

Ant’s omnipotent administration staff is London-based YMU, who’re extensively believed to have had a major affect on ITV due to their roster of superstar purchasers that embrace 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 all his troubles. Dec was additionally by his finest good friend’s facet of 30 years (they met at age 13 whereas engaged on the youngsters’s tv sequence Byker Grove).

When requested if he is thought of going solo, Dec admitted, “I might be mendacity if I stated the thought hadn’t occurred to me. Ant had lots to work on. He needed to assume lots. So have I. In the end, crucial factor I wished was for Ant to return again wholesome and joyful 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 associates 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 individuals indignant that Ant hadn’t been disowned. “I nonetheless cannot imagine how a lot help 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 Clever 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 automobiles

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 frequently requested her associates 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 are going to miss all of them dearly”.

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

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

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

One informed the Every day Mail: “Ant and Lisa have been by lots. She gave him 23 years of her life after which he walked away along with her private assistant. She was completely devastated.

‘Had she informed her facet of occasions, Ant may need been uncomfortable. There are undoubtedly some particulars he’d slightly 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 appearing 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 consumer’s popularity.

Jones, who has a popularity amongst showbiz journalists for being aggressive, wasn’t afraid to usher in Ant’s attorneys when issues received robust.

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

Lisa stored the marital residence, 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 Highway. As an alternative, tea grew to become his favourite beverage and he started exercising, swimming, and jogging frequently.

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

At this time, he and Anne-Marie lead a quiet life and infrequently seem in public.

This low-key strategy is one other consider restoring its popularity.

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’ll additionally current I am A Celeb All Stars from South Africa later this yr, that includes a variety of earlier contestants.

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


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button