Ant McPartlin’s sober coach mum Christine Woodhall ‘didn’t know’ he was drunk

Ant McPartlin’s doting mum Christine Woodhall was not aware he was drunk when he got behind the wheel of his car and crashed it into two other vehicles last month, it’s been confirmed in court.

After he came out of rehab last summer, Ant briefly moved back into the marital home he shared with his wife of 11 years, Lisa Armstrong, and thanked her and his close friends for their support during his two-year addiction to booze and prescription painkillers.

But after a few months, Ant and Lisa’s relationship was looking more and more shaky, so he moved out to a rental property just down the road in west London’s upmarket Chiswick.


It was there mum Christine joined him to live with Ant full-time and help him through the aftermath of his addictions – she and his telly parter Declan Donnelly were the only ones allowed to visit him in the drying-out clinic.

But while she tried desperately to keep him on the straight and narrow, the lure of the bottle was too strong for Ant to resist.

The consequences of his actions were devastating, and even he agreed outside of court yesterday that he was lucky nobody was seriously injured in his boozed-up horror smash.


It’s not clear whether Ant was still drunk from the night before, or had been drinking at home in the morning of the crash, but he was twice over the limit at the time of his arrest.

His barrister Liam Walker revealed in court that the cause of the incident was "a brief relapse unbeknownst to his passenger".

He was referring to Christine, who was sitting next to Ant in his Mini at the time of the crash.

The two had been in nearby Richmond Park earlier that afternoon and had taken their dogs with them for a crisp late-winter’s walk.


Both dogs – including chocolate Labrador Hurley, who zips between Ant and Lisa as part of their shared custody agreement – luckily escaped unscathed from the collision, and Lisa even allowed Hurley to go back to Ant’s house after his arrest.

As yet, neither Christine or Dec have publicly commented on Ant’s guilty plea and subsequent conviction.

In a statement read out in court, Ant’s drinking relapse pinned on the breakdown of his marriage and his "emotional problems".

His barrister added: "Anthony McPartlin is sorry. He is doing everything he can so this never happens again. He hopes that in time he can make himself better and he might be forgiven by all the people he feels he has let down so terribly."

Mr Walker said his client has struggled to come to terms with the break up of his marriage and has been getting treatment for "alcohol and emotional issues".

In sentencing, district judge Barbara Barnes noted that he’d previously had an "exemplary character" but warned that he is "no longer a man of good character".

"At the time when it happened you were struggling with various personal problems and also alcohol issues for some months," she said.

"This incident happened, sadly, when it seems you suffered a brief relapse."

Ant has been slapped with an £86,000 fine – thought to be the biggest in legal history for drink-driving – and banned from driving for 20 months, which can be reduced to 15 months if he completes an awareness course by mid-May 2019.

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