The immediate future of Ant and Dec is uncertain
It’s been reported that Ant – who revealed over the weekend that he’s seeking help for an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol – has been offered the chance to take a paid year-long sabbatical by ITV, meaning Dec might have to go solo in the meantime.
If this happened it would mark the first time one of the duo has presented without the other in 23 years.
‘It is all still too early to say for sure what will happen, but all anyone wants is for Ant to get well again,’ a TV insider says.
‘He and Dec are the backbone of the ITV family and … Ant has the network’s complete and utter support.
‘Formally, Ant has no work commitments until November and obviously the hope is that he will be completely better by then, and able to fulfil them. But ITV will not rush him in any way, and the feeling is he must take as long as he needs.
‘If he wants a 12 month sabbatical, frankly he deserves it.’
Despite this, it’s believed that Ant will most likely be back in time to host I’m A Celebrity with Dec in November.
‘The sense is though that both Ant and Dec love working,’ the source tells the Daily Mail. ‘And Ant will want to get back down to work before the end of the year.’
A friend of Ant and Dec, both 41, insists that the possibility of Dec presenting solo hasn’t been discussed.
‘At the moment it is not an issue,’ the pal claims.
It’s thought that Ant will be ‘more selective’ about the work he chooses to take on in future though as he ‘doesn’t want to burn out again’.
Ant shocked fans when he revealed in a statement just a few days ago that he’s checked into rehab to battle his demons.
‘The first step is to admit to yourself you need help,’ he explained. ‘I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry.’
Both Ant’s wife Lisa Armstrong and best pal Dec have since spoken out to thank everyone for their kind messages.
ITV have also sent their support, with a spokesman saying: ‘We are sending Ant our very best wishes for a speedy recovery and, of course, he has our full support.’