The Sunday Mirror reports 41-year-old Lisa Armstrong has moved out of the pair’s £2 million London home, and is apparently staying with a close friend who previously dated Ant’s co-host Declan Donnelly – who they claim is “like a rock” to the make-up artist.
A source told the publication: “It is very hard at the moment but Lisa has told those closest to her she needs a fresh start. That’s why she has been staying with friends. Lisa is a survivor and has been through a lot – and she has no intention of acting any differently now.
“The marital home has too many memories – happy and sad. And it is close to where Ant is living. Lisa needs her own space now because she wants to try to carry on as normal as much as she can. Some friends invited Lisa to stay and have been cheering her up, they have been a real support.
“While Lisa is going through so much right now she hasn’t lost her humour, they have been keeping her in good spirits.”
There had been speculation for months that Ant and Lisa might have called time on their relationship, and Ant released a statement to confirm the news.
A spokesperson for Declan Donnelly’s best friend told The Sun on Sunday: “In response to the recent speculation in the media, Ant is very sad to announce that, after 11 years, he is ending his marriage to Lisa McPartlin.
Ant McPartlin and his mum brave the frosty conditions as they enjoy a dog walk [Wenn]
“Ant asks for privacy at this difficult time, for both himself, Lisa and their immediate families. No further statement will be made.”
It comes after reports that Lisa is set to move from working as a makeup artist on Britain’s Got Talent to the spin-off show to avoid “awkward backstage clashes” with Ant.
A source said: “Lisa has worked on BGT for years and is keen to continue as normal.
“She has friends there and enjoys being part of the show. She’s generally done Stephen’s make-up and helped other people but this year the plan is for her to work exclusively on the spin-off.”
And according to the source, everyone is on board with the move, which should help to keep the peace backstage.
The source added: “They are all keen to keep things civilised with Ant. It should certainly mean less awkward encounters.”