Ant McPartlin has revealed how he almost died after a secret two-year battle with pain relief drugs.
The presenter checked himself into rehab in June this year after hiding his battle with a dangerous mix of addictive drugs and alcohol from his wife Lisa and TV pal Declan Donnelly.
His descent into addiction followed a knee operation in 2014 which required stronger and more addictive pain killers as the pain failed to go away, leaving Ant popping pills ‘willy nilly’, as he recalls.
And now, speaking for the first time about his horrifying battle behind the scenes as he leaves rehab, the brave star admits he fell into depression with his addiction, which doctors also warned could have killed him.
Ant revealed: ‘I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take. And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, “You could have killed yourself”.’
He explained how he was first prescribed co-codamol and codeine before doctors discovered his intense pain was being caused by a hole in his knee bone, so he was moved onto tramadol, which he says is ‘where the real problems started’.
Recalling an episode of Saturday Night Takeaway where he and Dec performed at the end of the show with Take That, Ant remembered: ‘The pain I was in was just ridiculous
‘I knew there was a dance routine involved. I took a load of stuff that day just to get through the day. And I couldn’t feel anything on the night. But that did a lot of damage.’
He then had work commitments with Britain’s Got Talent and openly admits putting off an important operation to stick to his filming schedule.
However, despite finishing his prescribed tramadol quickly, he says he had no problem getting hold of more from private doctors.
And the TV star, 41, admitted by June this year, things had got so bad he was bingeing on tramadol, morphine and alcohol until one night, he phoned his wife Lisa, who was in their bedroom, while he was in their lounge where he was living as he couldn’t get around easily, to ask her to take him to hospital.
He added to The Sun: ‘I was insane. It sends you crazy. It was to the point of hearing things, seeing things in the garden and still the pain was getting worse.
‘I was depressed through the whole thing because I was in pain and immobile.’
It wasn’t until June this year, when he admitted to Lisa and Dec that he was in trouble, that he’d spoken to anyone about it. ‘I was embarrassed about it’, he added.
Ant is set to return to work alongside Dec on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in November.
Reps for Ant have been contacted for comment.