Ant McPartlin’s ‘A Squad’ of pals who saved him – from Prince Harry to Vicky Pattison and Robbie Williams


It’s been a turbulent three years for the TV host, but he’s had one hell of a support circle to get him through it all.

From Vicky Pattison and Elton John, to Prince Harry and Robbie Williams – Ant McPartlin was surrounded by his pals in the darkest times.

The Girl Pals

Scarlett Moffatt, 29, and Vicky Pattison, 32

Ant McPartlin became friends with Vicky Pattison after she won I’m A Celebrity, she was the one of the first to support him when his addictions were exposed

Vicky, who struck up a friendship with Ant during her victorious stint on I’m A Celebrity! in 2015, was one of the first to text when his problem with drink and drugs was exposed in 2017.

After eight weeks in rehab, Ant reportedly turned to 2016 winner Scarlett, talking to her “non-stop” and also acting as her shoulder to cry on after her painful split from ex Luke Crodden.

Ant and Dec later became Scarlett’s go-to for career advice before she was recruited to host spin-off show I’m A Celebrity: Extra Camp.

The partner

Anne-Marie Corbett, 44

Ant started dating Anne-Marie Corbett in 2018, she stayed sober to help him quit drinking and has never failed to be there

Ant credits his girlfriend and former PA for helping “put him back together again”. Anne-Marie started dating Ant in early 2018.

She’s remained sober to help keep him off booze and attended the police station after his arrest, before supporting him in court a month later when he pleaded guilty to drink-driving and got a 20-month driving ban and an £86k fine.

After Ant’s second stint in rehab that April, she whisked him away from London to recover then went with him to Oz for his return to I’m A Celebrity!

The pair now live together in Wimbledon.

The a-listers

Prince Harry, 35, and Elton John, 72

Prince Harry sent Ant a letter in which he thanked him for speaking out about his mental health, following his first stint in rehab

Hazza, who launched the Heads Together campaign with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sent Ant a letter on behalf of him, Wills and Kate thanking him for speaking out about his mental health following his first stint in rehab.

Ant said: “I wish I’d spoken out a lot earlier, but what a great time to get that letter.”

Ant’s plight also sparked encouragement from Sir Elton John, who left him a supportive voicemail.

“It’s quite funny having Elton on the answer machine,” said Ant. I’m saving that one.”

The mum

Christine Woodhall, 63

Ant’s mum Christine Woodhall moved in with him to help him out and take care of his drinking problem

After her husband Raymond left when Ant was 10, Christine worked three jobs to raise him, younger sister Sarah and half-siblings Emma and Robert.

She then moved into his £5m marital pad in Chiswick to help him out after his first stint in rehab.

When he split from make-up artist Lisa in January 2018, Christine relocated to Ant’s £2m rented west London home to care for him.

Christine was also in Ant’s Mini Cooper during his crash that March. She and Anne-Marie were the only people granted contact with Ant during his second stay in rehab.

The Best Pal

Declan Donnelly, 44

Declan Donnelly is Ant’s best pal and has never left his side, even through the drink-driving which was a test for their friendship

Ant and Dec met aged 13 on BBC kids drama Byker Grove. Their friendship was tested when Ant was arrested for drink-driving and entered rehab to solve “alcohol and emotional issues”.

Convinced his pal had quit booze and drugs following rehab a year earlier, Dec said: “I wanted to punch him and hug him at the same time”.

When the pair won Best Presenter at the 2019 NTAs for the 18th consecutive time, Ant said it was all down to “Dec’s hard work”.

They’re now preparing to sign a three-year deal with ITV worth a reported £40million.

The Publicist

Simon Jones, 45

Ant’s long term publicist Simon Jones attended his court hearings, dealt with the media and was one of the first to visit following his arrest

Ant and Dec’s long-term publicist was one of the first to visit Ant following his March 2018 arrest, spending 90 minutes at the star’s home for crisis talks.

As well as attending his court hearings and dealing with the media, Simon has been a sympathetic friend. Other members of Ant’s team also stand by him.

ITV boss Kevin Lygo said the channel was in “complete support” of him, while BGT boss Simon Cowell applauded Ant for tackling his mental health problems.

“When someone has the courage to own it… we would a million percent support him,” he said.

The Mentor

Robbie Williams, 46

Ant’s mentor has been Robbie Williams, himself a former alcoholic, he invited him to his LA home to step away from the substance abuse

Former alcoholic Robbie hasn’t touched booze for 20 years, but had rehab treatment in 2007 after taking a “heart-stopping” cocktail of drugs and is someone Ant feels understood by.

Last January Ant revealed: “Rob’s been a constant.”

Robbie admitted in June 2017 that he was shocked to hear of Ant’s substance abuse sparked by a “botched” knee op, fertility issues and depression, and invited Ant to his LA home to recuperate for a week.

Following in Robbie’s well-inked footsteps, Ant has had two tattoos to celebrate his sobriety – one on his left wrist based on the AA symbol and another on his right, an S for “sober”.