Ant McPartlin, 43, recently addressed his decision to speak to his absent father, who left when he was a young child, after spending many years estranged from each other. The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! host opened up about his relationship with his dad while filming for his new show, Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey, alongside his co-host and friend Declan Donnelly.
During the programme, Ant divulged: “My dad left the family when I was about 10 and I’ve seen him sporadically over the years.
“I haven’t seen him for a long while now. We didn’t speak for quite a while… but last year we started texting each other and I spoke to him on the phone for my birthday, which was lovely.”
Ant explained he had a change of heart about having a relationship with his dad when he decided “life is too short” to “hold grudges”.
The TV personality said: “To be fair, life is too short. There is no point holding grudges or anything like that. You get to that age…
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“I turned 40 and I just thought let’s stop messing about, let’s get in touch because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Ant discussed his dad while filming at his mum’s house in his native town Newcastle, and joked to her and his two sisters, Emma and Sarha: “When is Dad coming?”
The presenter was raised by his mum Christine Woodall after his dad left and remarried.
The father and son began to work on re-establishing their relationship in 2017.
Elsewhere on the show Dec addressed his feelings about Ant’s troubles when he took a break from the spotlight to battle an addiction last year.
Ant checked into rehab to beat his addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol.
He was also fined £86,000 and disqualified from driving for 20 months after a crash in Richmond, London.
While Ant spent time away from his TV projects, Dec fronted their show Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway alone and teamed up with Holly Willoughby for I’m A Celebrity.
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The pair reflected on Ant’s issues at the London press screening of their programme, with Dec admitting he thought he had lost his best friend.
The presenter said: “You know the last few years have been quite emotional, hard, they have been testing I would say in terms of how strong your love is and how strong your friendship is.”
Dec added: “It has been a tough couple of years and it has tested the bond we have shared since we were 13-years-old. I was incredibly angry at the start, so angry.”
The father-of-one went on to admit he was disappointed that Ant didn’t reach out to him about his struggles at the time.
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He said: “I was disappointed that he didn’t ever come to me and say, ‘I am struggling, I need you’ because that is what I would do if the shoe was on the other foot.
“And he never came to me and that hurt me a lot.”
“I knew he was angry and understandably so because my actions affect him and his loved ones,” Ant explained.
Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.
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