Ant McPartlin's addiction could have killed him
Ant McPartlin's doctors told him his prescription drug addiction could have "killed" him.
The 41-year-old presenter has recently left rehab after a two-month stint and admitted he agreed to seek help after being rushed to hospital at 5am following an "insane" binge of painkillers tramadol and morphine, along with alcohol, while recovering from knee surgery in June.
He admitted: "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'. "
And of the incident which sparked his hospitalisation, he recalled to The Sun on Sunday newspaper: "It was five in the morning and I was screaming in pain so I rang [my wife] Lisa.
"She was upstairs because I was living in the living room because I couldn't get around.
"I said, 'You're going to have to call me an ambulance. I'm in a bad way'.
"I was insane. It sends you crazy. It was to the point of hearing things, seeing things in the garden and still the pain was getting worse.
"The ambulance came and took me to Chelsea and Westminster [hospital].
"I was depressed through the whole thing because I was in pain and immobile."
As well as the painkillers, the 'Britain's Got Talent' star was prescribed sleeping pills to help him through the nights following surgery this year, but was also drinking heavily.
He admitted: "I was drinking far too much -- beer, spirits, wine, anything, really.
"I took sleeping pills too -- I was prescribed temazepam and diazepam. They're really strong and addictive.
"That would knock you out. But with painkillers it's a very deadly mix."
The 'Saturday Night Takeaway' star agreed to go to rehab following an intervention by his presenting partner Declan Donnelly and his wife Lisa, but admitted it was only during their frank conversation that he revealed the extent of his problem.
He said: "It was the very end until I told anyone.
"It wasn't until I came back home to London that I admitted I was in a bad way.
"I hid it from everyone because I was embarrassed about it. I would lie.
"I would hide pills in different places so it would look like you only had a small supply when you in fact had a much bigger supply.
"Coming out of Chelsea and Westminster, that was when we sat down and it was decided I needed to go into rehab.
"Dec came around and he kind of knew it was at the point where I needed help.
"Once I admitted I was in a bad way, they then helped get a team together because obviously I wasn't in a fit state to do it myself.
"We had an hour's conversation then I packed my bag and I went.
"I'm lucky because I have the means to do that. But there are a lot of people who don't. So I'm very grateful."
Asked if he fought the suggestion he went to rehab, he replied: "Nah. As soon as I asked for help, I was admitting I was done with it all.
"Lisa and Dec gave me a bit of a send-off from mine. And they've been brilliant throughout."
While Ant - who began taking prescription drugs after damaging his knee in 2014 and had a botched operation that left him in agony the following year - knows his wealth made it easier to get treatment, he also admitted that made it easier for him to get his hands on the strong painkillers as he could afford to visit multiple doctors for more prescriptions.
He explained: "They're very easy to get a hold of. That's the problem with someone who gets addicted, you'll go to various people.
"You can't blame anyone because you were asking for them.
"You end up abusing that by going to different people. I went to three private doctors. That's how you can get more. I've got the means to speak to people.
"And there were medical teams at shows who would give me them too. I would take as much as I could to just get through stuff...
"From the old lady who lies about her Valium supply to someone like me who was necking tramadol to the point of psychosis, in the end it's the same thing. It's addiction."