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Anorak | Ant McPartlin: airbrushing the drugs doesn’t make him a role model

Ant McPartlin: airbrushing the drugs doesn’t make him a role model

by | 27th, November 2017

Ant McPartlin, the taller one from Ant ‘n’ Dac, is on the Sun’s cover. “ANT NOT GOING HOME TO WIFE,” runs the headline. A “source” tells the paper that Ant and his wife, Lisa Armstrong, are “struggling to find a way to move forward together”.

Lest anyone suppose there was something more to this story, on page 7 readers are told: “ANT’S FACING XMAS ALONE.” Poor Ant! The “telly favourite faces a lonely Christmas in a rented pad.” Anything else? Well, Ant is “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”. Nothing illegal, then. No illegal drugs are mentioned, just the ones sanctioned by the State and pumped out by big pharma. “Ant is focused on recovery,” adds the source.

Lest we wonder why Ant has left home and how it is that recovery does not include being in the bosom of his family, the “source” tells us that Ant is delighted the “public still support him” and his wife is “having a good time with her pals”.

We do like Ant and Dec, who are easily the best things about I’m A Celebrity, which features a nice enough platoon of celebs. The pity being that none of them are interesting. But there is something PR-driven about the Sun’s “exclusive”. It was the Sun which broke the story about “booze, pills and substances”:

 

 

In a world exclusive interview, emotional Ant tells The Sun on Sunday: “I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take.

“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’. ”

Dec is the victim:

Squeaky-clean Ant’s descent into dangerous prescription drugs came after he damaged his knee in 2014, then had a botched operation on it the following year.

Is he that squeaky clean? Dan Wootton says he is. And he adds: “Ant is bright-eyed, trim and sporting a youthful new hairstyle when we meet.”

 

 

In 2013, Ant and Dec were interviewed in the Guardian:

By the laws of show business, at least one of them should have succumbed to the traditional hazards of child stardom – drink and drugs, sexual transgression, monstrous egomania. Yet, with the solitary exception of a drunken night involving Dec and a lap dancer, which ended up in the tabloids, the pair have been almost freakishly clean. Have they never even tried taking drugs?

“Years ago, yeah,” Ant admits, “but we’re not really druggy people, that’s the thing. I think you either go into that crowd as a kid or you don’t, and we didn’t. We found the love of alcohol very early on and we stayed with it.” Laughing, Dec adds, “There’s a real pub culture where we’re from in Newcastle, so we’re just more boozy people.”

If one had ever been at risk of self-destruction, though, who was the likelier candidate? Without hesitation, both point at Ant. “Probably me, yeah,” he admits. Dec points out affectionately: “There’s nothing like the love of a good woman, though.”

Ant’s plight then becomes a campaign:

“‘I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE’ Three ex-addicts reveal agony of getting hooked on prescription medication like TV star Ant McPartlin

The number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in the UK has doubled over the past decade to 24 million – yet nobody knows how many people are struggling with addictions

 

 

We should all wish Ant McPartlin well. But to suppose he’s not a human being susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us buys into the myth that anyone who appears on the telly is a ‘role model’. We don’t mind it when rockers and artists take drugs and illuminate our lives with bursts of vibrant culture, so why should we care if a talented, immensely likeable and engaging TV presenter does? Screw the PR guff. What Ant does to his own body is his own affair.  We’re big enough to understand that, right?



Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink