Ant McPartlin's drink-driving arrest was the topic of conversation on Tuesday's Loose Women, with the ITV daytime show discussing the implications of his offence and what it means for his career. Having stepped out of the limelight to go back into rehab, Ant's experience struck a chord with panellist Nadia Sawalha, whose husband Mark Adderley is a recovering alcoholic, and was arrested himself for drink-driving in 2003. The TV producer sent his wife a text to give his opinion on Ant's situation, which she read live on air, suggesting that the arrest could be a "gift" and a wake-up call for the star.
Nadia Sawalha and husband Mark Adderley in 2005
Nadia said: "Mark was done for drink-driving on the motorway 15 years ago. He said it is a gift if you can be caught. He said: 'While it is public shaming by the press – I was shamed by my nan, it is the tipping point of your recovery. It could be an important thing for Ant.'" The proud wife then went on to tell the audience that Mark has since been sober for 15 years, and that she couldn’t be more proud of him. Expanding on the experience – which saw Mark enter The Priory – Nadia said that her husband found it was harder for famous people as there was so much "shame and guilt" attached to going into rehab. "It's harder for people looking at you when you are on the telly," she said.
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Nadia's husband Mark related to Ant McPartlin's struggles
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The rest of the panel were also sympathetic towards Dec, with Coleen Nolan saying: "We're all talking about Ant and it's a terrible situation, but I was thinking 'poor Dec,' so hard for him as well, he's out on a limb without him." Ruth Langsford agreed: "It effects Dec and his career too." Nadia added: "They're partners, aren't they, and I know when Mark went into rehab, so much of it is saying to the partner 'You can't cover for them anymore, you can't lie for them, there is no denial here. And I suppose there is this pressure as they are these squeky clean stars and they have to keep up this image, and it must be terribly taxing on Dec."