TV's Ant McPartlin ‘very sorry' after pleading guilty to drink-driving
TV presenter Ant McPartlin has said he was “ashamed and mortified” after crashing his car while drink-driving with his mother in the passenger seat.
The 42-year-old was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit.
The court heard that McPartlin had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash in Richmond, west London, on March 18.
Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Monday that the incident happened at around 3.50pm when McPartlin 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”.
McPartlin’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, McPartlin 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.
McPartlin’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 McPartlin 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 McPartlin, of Chiswick, west London, was charged, ITV announced 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.
McPartlin appeared alongside Donnelly on TV screens over the weekend as Britain’s Got Talent aired its pre-recorded audition shows.
But ITV confirmed Donnelly will be hosting the live shows without his TV partner of almost 30 years.