Ant, of Ant and Dec, has admitted to a secret struggle with drink and drugs

Millions of fans are sure to have been shocked at Ant McPartlin‘s recent admission of a struggle with issues relating to substance abuse, drug use and alcohol.

Now, as he begins his stay in a treatment facility, the other half of Ant & Dec, Declan Donnelly, has broken his silence on the revelation – and has thanked the public on behalf of his best friend and colleague for their kind messages.

More: Ant McPartlin checks into rehab to tackle issues with drink and drugs

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Ant, 41, revealed on Sunday (18th June) that he’d turned to alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with chronic pain, which has now resulted in a problem for which he’s sought serious help.

Opening up to the world about such a sensitive issue must not have been an easy feat – but happily, thousands of fans took to social media to commend him on his bravery for opening up, and wishing him well on his recovery.

Writing a message from their joint Twitter account, Dec addressed their 6.5million followers on Sunday afternoon:

‘Thank you for all the kind messages and well wishes for the big fella. He will be touched. Your support is, as ever, much appreciated.’

Spotted at a London airport soon afterwards, it is thought that Dec is taking some time to clear his head after ensuring that Ant made it to rehab successfully.

In a very frank interview with The Sun on Sunday, Ant admitted that he broke down in tears when admitting his hidden struggles not only to his wife, Lisa Armstrong, but to Dec as well. It has since been claimed that Dec, also 41, took the news with great difficulty, unaware of the extent to which Ant was struggling.

‘Dec couldn’t believe his ears through some of it,’ claims an insider. ‘Soon the truth was all coming out: the substance abuse, the painkillers he was hooked on, the secret drinking sessions.

‘It was almost too much for Dec to take in.’

Since Ant will be without his phone, or without visitors for at least two months during his stay, this is likely to be the longest time the friends of over two decades will spend without contact. We wish Ant well on his recovery, and can’t wait to see them happy and reunited.