Ant McPartlin has told of how his “rock” Anne-Marie Corbett helped him recover from a drink-driving arrest and stint in rehab.
The TV presenter has recently returned to work with Declan Donnelly on the new series of Britain’s Got Talent after almost a year on the sidelines.
McPartlin, 43, said he was separating from wife of 11 years Lisa Armstrong last January and stepped away from his roles last March after a drink-driving arrest.
He was fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months.
Speaking to the Sun on Sunday about his tumultuous 2018 and the support from his former PA-turned-girlfriend, he said: “Anne-Marie honestly is the fundamental reason for the great change in my life.”
The star struggled with a two-year addiction to super-strength painkillers following a knee operation in 2015, his stint in rehab coming six months after he was awarded an OBE for services to entertainment and broadcasting along with his presenting partner, Declan Donnelly.
McPartlin told the paper his drink drive arrest was like “an explosion of the worst possible moment in my life”, adding he felt “shame, guilt, remorse, embarrassment” after the airbag in his Mini struck into his face.
The star’s black Mini hit two other cars in Richmond, west London, on March 18 after losing control as he drove around a sharp bend at “considerable speed”, a court heard.
He collided with another Mini Cooper before driving “straight into the front of an oncoming car” – a BMW with a doctor and her nine-year-old son on board.
McPartlin pleaded guilty to driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
He told the Sun on Sunday: “I thank God every night that no one was seriously injured in that crash.”