This time last year Ant McPartlin released a solo statement in which he announced he was leaving wife Lisa Armstrong after 11 years of marriage.
And two months later it appeared that his career – as well as his marriage – could be over for good after he was caught drink driving in a three-car smash that left a four-year-old girl in hospital.
He promptly stepped down from the remaining live Saturday Night Takeaway shows, leaving TV partner Declan Donnelly to front the Florida final alone, before cancelling all work commitments for the ‘foreseeable future’, including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
A second stint in rehab followed, with Ant leaving the facility briefly to plead guilty to drink driving at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on April 16.
Admitting he was ‘ashamed’ and ‘mortified’, the court heard how he’d lost control while driving his Mini around a sharp bend, before ending up on the wrong side of the road and driving straight into the path of an oncoming car.
Restaurant boss Faheem Vanoo, the driver of the other Mini, told how he thought he and his family were going to die in the collision, while the judge told the shamed star he could no longer be considered ‘a man of good character’.
Now, after almost a year off the sober star will once again take his place next to Dec when they reunite for Britain’s Got Talent this month.
But how did he spend his 12 months away from the spotlight? Here’s what Ant got up to during his tumultuous time off…
After walking out on Lisa, it emerged in June that Ant had moved on with their former PA, Anne-Marie Corbett.
Anne-Marie left her own husband Scott the previous October, and was spotted waving Ant off to work with a packed lunch just weeks before his March arrest.
It was Anne-Marie, 42, who accompanied Ant to the police station when he was charged with drink-driving, and she was part of the entourage who travelled with the star to his court hearing with sources claiming she’d become his ‘rock’.
Upon learning of their relationship, a devastated Lisa accused her former friend – who had worked with Ant since 2012 – of breaking the ‘girl code’.
"Thanks babe and to think she was MY friend!!" Lisa replied to Nicola McLean , who had tweeted her about this being the "worst pain ever".
In another, she blasted, "Yeah My Friend and OUR Pa who I let into OUR home."
After completing rehab for a second time, Ant suddenly upped sticks and moved out of Chiswick, west London, in May, leaving not just Lisa but also his neighbour and life-long bestie Declan Donnelly behind.
The motive for the move suddenly became clear when it emerged that he’d moved to a £4million mansion New Malden – the same town as Anne-Marie.
With a hefty rental tag of £12,000 a month, the property boasts two balconies, a games room and plenty of space for guests to stay.
It also offers a stylish man cave, as well as a ‘super’ kitchen and a large garden.
And with his divorce from Lisa almost finalised, he’s splashed out on a nearby £5million home that he’s planning to renovate, The Sun reported.
"This house provides him a fresh start," the source said, insisting that Anne-Marie and her two daughters will not be moving in with him.
Ten months after announcing his split from Lisa, the pair finally had their day in court when it emerged she had been the one to file for divorce on the grounds of his ‘adultery’.
Thought to stem from the fact he got with Anne-Marie whilst still technically married, the papers also stated that Ant had become ‘intolerable to live with’ .
The former couple – who tied the knot in 2006 – were granted a decree nisi by Judge Alun Jenkins at the Central Family Court in London, on October 16, in a hearing that lasted under 30 seconds.
Their divorce is set to be finalised once their finances have been agreed upon, along with who gets custody of their beloved dog Hurley.
Holidays, posh dinners and double dates
With no work on, 2018 was a never-ending summer for Ant and Anne-Marie who jetted to Florence, Italy in August and the Middle East in November while I’m A Celebrity was on.
In line with sober Ant’s clean lifestyle, they’re regularly spotted kissing whilst walking Hurley on Wimbledon common, or with cups of coffee as they browse the local shops.
They’ve been to visit his parents in Newcastle and hers in Ireland, where Ant was said to have been a huge hit.
"They are happy for Anne-Marie – Ant treats her very well and is great with the girls," a family source revealed at the time.
"It has been a difficult couple of months for them with everything that’s going on, but the family have said that it has made them stronger and that they are very much in love."
Another favourite pastime of the couple appears to be double dating with Dec and his wife Ali Astall , who like Anne-Marie also works for the duo’s management company, James Grant Media.
When Dec and Ali’s daughter Isla arrived in October, they were first on the scene.
"Ali and Ann-Marie are friends, there is no animosity there. They have known each other for a long time and get on well," a source told The Mirror of the women’s blossoming friendship.
‘Tension’ with Dec
The lifelong buddies were were spotted looking tense as they left a meeting at their management’s office before Dec set off to Australia to film I’m A Celeb in November.
Both brought their partners along to the meeting – which was reportedly on the topic of Ant’s TV comeback – and body language expert Judi James said the pictures suggested something was simmering between the once inseparable duo.
"We’re so used to seeing Ant and Dec grinning together like schoolboys that they appear almost unrecognisable in these grim-faced photos," she told Mirror Online.
"There’s no sign from any of their body language that the meeting was anything other than difficult.
"Dec’s body language signals hint at silent anger, frustration or anxiety.
"His features are contorted into a frown with deep lines etched at the sides of his mouth which is partially open with what look like clenched teeth and a slight lower jaw jut hinting at displeasure.
"Even his hands fall into an awkward, truncated-looking gesture that suggests confused thoughts.
"Ant looks equally miserable here but his facial expression and body positioning hints at something a bit more hang-dog or contrite.
"His head is down but his brows are raised and his eyelids droop slightly, while his lips are closed in what looks like an expression of regret.
Ant McPartlin and Anne-Marie Corbett
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