Ant McPartlin has been cut out of talks about his future as he reenters rehab following a ‘drink drive’ arrest on Sunday.
The Saturday Night Takeaway star is said to be “in lockdown” at his home with only his best pal Declan Donnelly and his mum Christine allowed to speak to him at the £1.6million rented property.
Ant will have no say in talks over Saturday Night Takeaway’s remaining shows as he embarks on a second attempt to battle his demons.
It means Dec and ITV will lead boardroom discussions today to make a decision over the remaining two episodes in the series — which includes the season finale that is filmed abroad in Florida and planned months in advance.
A source told The Sun: “Ant is now out of things professionally, completely cut off from everything. He’s checked out. His mum Christine is still at the house as she lives there too and Dec is in touch by phone — but purely as his best friend. They aren’t talking about work.
“Ant is very ill and it would be unfair to involve him in very difficult discussions about the TV shows while so much else is going on.
Declan Donnelly puts on a brave face as he’s pictured for the first time since Ant McPartlin’s arrest [Flynet]
“He may still be at home, but cutting himself off from everything is the first stage of his treatment before he decides exactly how to proceed with getting himself better. He needs time, he needs his best mate and he needs proper help.”
Ant, 42, failed a roadside breathalyser after he ploughed into two other cars in his Mini in South West London. He was accompanied by his mum and dog Hurley, and a little girl was taken to hospital as a precaution following the crash.
He is said to be devastated, but it’s hoped an announcement will be made over the fate of SNT today.
A source added: “A huge amount of work’s gone into creating this year’s Takeaway and many don’t want it wasted, but replacing Ant is extremely difficult.
“He and Dec have never worked apart. So people have been reluctant to team Dec up with someone else in case it damages any of their magic.
“Bringing in a team of friends seems a potential solution.
“It would mean Dec had support from people he’s close to, without feeling Ant’s been replaced.”
Ant was put on indefinite leave from work and it’s thought he will miss all remaining 2018 work commitments, including Britain’s Got Talent in May and I’m A Celebrity at the end of the year.
Ant entered rehab last summer after admitting a drug addiction, but left in time to present the 2017 series which saw Georgia Toffolo be crowned jungle queen.