ANT McPartlin struggled to hold back the tears at tonight’s National Television Awards as he told the audience of his “tough 12 months”.
The star, who picked up three gongs with partner Declan Donnelly, had a stint in rehab last year for drink and drug addictions before returning to our screens on I’m A Celeb in November.
The ceremony at The O2 Arena in London also marked his first public appearance since The Sun broke the news that he was divorcing wife Lisa after 11 years of marriage.
After picking up their 17th consecutive Best Presenter award, Ant said: “Thank you very much. I’m shaking. It’s been a very emotional night tonight.
“It’s been quite a year, and quite a tough 12 months. So this really means a lot.
“I want to thank my family and friends, a lot of you are here tonight. Let’s not cry.”
The Geordie duo, both 42, arrived late to the ceremony after getting stuck in traffic — and revealed they had watched the first part of the event on an iPad in their car.
Dec tweeted: “Racing from film set to the #NTAs, scoffing down a quick @NandosUK on the way! Traffic is horrrrrrrrrrrendous. Hoping we get there before the end.”
But they arrived in plenty of time to collect three of four awards for which they had been nominated.
I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! beat The Great British Bake Off, MasterChef and Love Island to win the Best Challenge Show award.
After watching the opening sequence of the last series where the pair embraced on set following Ant’s return from rehab, Dec told the audience: “It has been quite a year but this has really topped it off.
“Possibly this year more than ever we thank you so much from the bottom of our heart.”
Ant added: “We love making I’m A Celeb. Thank you for loving it too. We want to make it forever.”
Speaking backstage after, Ant told of his relief at getting back to work with Dec in the Australian jungle in November after rehab.
He said: “It was genuinely brilliant to be back on screen and genuinely brilliant to be back with my best friend.”
The pair also claimed the Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway ahead of The Graham Norton Show, Celebrity Juice and All Round To Mrs Brown’s.
They missed out on the Best Talent Show when Strictly came up trumps against Britain’s Got Talent.
But they went on to pip Bradley Walsh, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield to retain the Best TV Presenter gong once again.
The triumphs last night mean Ant and Dec have won 37 NTAs since they were named the Most Popular Entertainment Presenter in 2001.