Holly Willoughby has broken her silence about close friend Ant McPartlin's drink-driving incident in March, in an interview with The Guardian. She and her This Morning co-presenter Phil, who have both been good friends with Ant for years, didn't address the headlines on the day of the incident - coming under fire from the show's viewers for ignoring what had happened. When asked whether it was a deliberate decision, she said: "Not at all. Everybody knows that Ant is a very good friend of mine and I’ve known him for a very long time."
Holly and Phil have been close friends with Ant for a long time
"To be honest, on that first day, nobody knew what had happened, and you know, it’s an ongoing police case right now," she continued. "It’s not something anybody should be talking about. Out of respect for him, I love him to bits, it’s not something that I find very easy to talk about. Because it’s a friend. His is not my story to tell." She then added: "He’s just got to look after himself, that’s all."
Fans were quick to voice their concerns when Holly and Phil didn't mention Ant's arrest on the popular ITV show, with one writing: "Surely they have to mention ITV's Ant's drink-driving at some point? #Thismorning." Another said: "Oh This Morning not mentioning Ant then…thought they would lead with that as it was on GMB news and discussed on Lorraine."
Holly explained why she and Phil waited to address the situation
The presenting pair did finally address the news the following day, after the outburst from viewers. "This is difficult for us, we're talking about a friend here," Phil explained. "Like many people, we're shocked and saddened by Sunday's incident involving Ant. He's now gone back into treatment. He's clearly struggling. He loves Dec, he loves his career, he loves the shows they make together and he loves their fans. The overwhelming feeling has to be that no-matter who you are, if you get in the car and you've had a drink, the responsibility is yours."
Holly then added: "We can't say much more as the matter is still being investigated by the police, but we want to wish those shaken and upset by the collision a quick recovery and personally for Ant, we hope he gets some time and space to return to full health."
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