Ant McPartlin ‘told off’ by judge for skipping Lisa Armstrong divorce hearing

Ant McPartlin has been blasted for failing to turn up to a preliminary hearing on his divorce from Lisa Armstrong.

The Strictly Come Dancing make-up artist was seen arriving at court this morning to begin legal arguments over the terms of her split from her husband of 12 years.

But Ant was "told off" by a High Court judge after failing to attend.

Lisa was pictured outside the Royal Courts of Justice looking ready for business, although there was no sign of her ex, who is now in a relationship with their former PA Anne-Marie Corbett.

Today’s hearing was supposed to address the fight over money between the former couple.

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But while Lisa was there, Ant was represented only by his lawyers.

Mr Justice Mostyn said he should have been present.

The hearing was staged in private and Mr Justice Mostyn placed limits on what could be reported.

But he said journalists could name Ant and Lisa in reports of the hearing.

He also said they could report that the TV presenter had been "told off" for not attending.

"Why is he not here?" Mr Justice Mostyn asked barrister Jonathan Southgate QC, who is leading the star’s legal team.

"There isn’t one law for the famous and one for the rest of the community.

"The rules say he was supposed to be here – and that can be reported."

Mr Justice Mostyn added: "He has been told off."

The judge indicated that he might have excused Ant’s non-attendance had he been contacted in advance and given a reason for it.

It’s been reported previously that I’m A Celeb presenter Ant is happy to give half of his estimated £62 million fortune to Lisa.

But one thing that’s yet to be established is who gets custody of their pet dog Hurley.

Lisa and Ant were granted a divorce in seconds in a hearing last month.

And documents revealed that she’d listed adultery as the reason behind the breakdown of their 12-year marriage.

They had been together for 23 years when they announced their split in January.

The former couple married in 2006, but were granted a decree nisi last month by Judge Alun Jenkins.

The hearing at the Central Family Court in London lasted less than 30 seconds.

According to the documents, Lisa filed for divorce because Ant became ‘intolerable to live with’, with the papers stating the marriage had ‘broken down irretrievably’.

It was said at the time that the divorce would be finalised in six weeks, with a decree absolute ending the marriage if no one makes any objections.

Despite the adultery claims, Ant has insisted that his relationship with Anne-Marie didn’t begin until after he was separated from Lisa.

Lisa is also said to have refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would stop her talking about their marriage.

A source told The Sun : "It isn’t about money for Lisa. It’s about principles. She’s done nothing wrong during the marriage.

"So why should she sign a piece of paper that effectively prevents her from revealing details of her marriage. She is determined to speak out at some point. She won’t be gagged."

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