Ant McPartlin has said he’s “truly sorry” after pleading guilty to drink-driving while twice the legal limit.
The television presenter, 42, was handed an £86,000 fine and banned from the roads for 20 months during a hearing at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
District Judge Barbara Barnes said she’d taken Ant’s estimated weekly salary of £130,000 into consideration when fining him.
Addressing reporters outside the court afterwards, Ant said: “Can I say a few words? I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened. Higher standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself.”
Ant continued: “I let myself down, I let a lot of people down. I am truly sorry.
“I would like to apologise to everybody involved in the crash. I’m just thankful nobody was seriously hurt. Thank you very much.”
That echoed what Ant’s lawyer said in court earlier, when he emphasised how sorry the Saturday Night Takeaway favourite is over what happened on March 18.
The court was told Ant was “ashamed and mortified” after crashing his car while drink-driving with his mother in the passenger seat.
It heard that Ant had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash in Richmond, West London.
Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court that the incident happened at around 3.50pm when Ant drove his Mini around a “sharp bend and lost control” then ended up on the wrong side of the road.
He collided with another Mini Cooper before driving “straight into the front of an oncoming car”.
Ant’s vehicle “came to a halt and was no longer driveable due to the damage caused”, Ms Sinnett-Jones said. Members of the public called the police.
The court heard that the driver of the other Mini said afterwards he thought he and his family were going to die in the collision.
In a statement read by Ms Sinnett-Jones, he said: “Myself and my family were in deep shock as we believed we could have died as as a result of Mr McPartlin’s reckless driving”
Wearing a black three-piece suit, white shirt and black tie, Ant stood in the glass dock in court to confirm his name, date of birth, address and nationality before pleading guilty to driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Ant’s barrister Liam Walker said his client had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash, adding that his mother was in the car with him.
He told the district judge the incident was down to “a brief relapse unbeknownst to his passenger”.
“Anthony McPartlin is sorry and is doing everything he can to ensure this never happens again,” Mr Walker said.
“He hopes that in time he can make himself better and that he might be forgiven by all of the many people he knows and he feels he has let down terribly.”
The court heard that in a statement to police Ant said: “I am very sorry I did this. I am ashamed and mortified that this happened.
“I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all those concerned.”
After Ant was charged, ITV said the Saturday Night Takeaway host would step back from his TV commitments, with co-presenter Declan Donnelly presenting the final two episodes of the show on his own.
Ant appeared alongside Dec on TV screens over the weekend as Britain’s Got Talent aired its pre-recorded audition shows.
But ITV confirmed Dec will be hosting the live shows without his TV partner of almost 30 years.
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