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A look back at I'm a Celebrity star Ant McPartlin and Lisa Armstrong's love story

The couple were married for 11 years


ant mcpartlin and lisa armstrong wedding
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
18 November 2019
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ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong 2015© Photo: Getty Images

Ant McPartlin is back on our screens with the new series of I'm a Celebrity. The presenter, who took a year off from the show, has been reunited with his best friend Declan Donnelly. The TV duo flew out to Australia earlier this month, with their respective partners, Anne-Marie Corbett and Ali Astall. While Ant's relationship with his former PA has been going from strength to strength, the TV star and his ex-wife Lisa Armstrong are preparing to settle their bitter divorce in court. Lisa is expected to walk away with half of her ex-husband's £63m fortunes. We take a look back at the former couple's relationship, from their first meeting in 1994 to their marriage in 2006…

MORE: I'm a Celebrity's Declan Donnelly reveals injury caused by his daughter

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong television awards october 2001© Photo: Getty Images

Ant and Lisa first met at a pop concert at Newcastle City Hall in 1994. At the time, she was a member of Deuce – who released four top 30 singles between 1995 and 1996 before their split in 1997 – and he was performing with best friend Declan Donnelly in their band PJ & Duncan.

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong wedding day july 2006© Photo: Getty Images

More than 10 years after they first started dating, Ant popped the question to Lisa whilst on holiday in Dubai in April 2005. They were married on 22 July the following year at Cliveden, a country house hotel in Buckinghamshire, in a star-studded ceremony, with Ant's best friend Dec acting as best man.

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ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong national television awards october 2002© Photo: Rex

Following her days in Deuce, Lisa went on to train as a makeup artist and wrote a beauty advice column for Cosmopolitan magazine before finding work as a makeup artist on shows including The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. She is now the head of makeup and hair for BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong may 2007© Photo: Getty Images

Ant spoke lovingly about his ex-wife on many occasions in the past, and has been open about their struggle to conceive a child. "I think I'm lucky," he said. "Lisa works in the industry and understands it. She's constantly working – sometimes more than me! We would love to have a family so fingers crossed. If we're blessed with children, then we'd be over the moon."

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong declan donnelly wedding august 2015© Photo: Rex

Ant and Lisa made a rare public appearance together in August 2015 to attend the wedding of Dec and Ali Astall – his long-term manager. The couple were all smiles as they joined guests at St Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Elswick, Tyne and Wear – and, of course, Ant was best man. Speaking shortly after the ceremony, Ant said: "Ali looked amazing. It was very emotional, I was really emotional. He finally got married."

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong ntas 2017 celebrating© Photo: Getty Images

Lisa was an invaluable support for Ant, cheering him on from the sidelines as his TV career with best friend Dec sky-rocketed. Here she is pictured celebrating with her husband after Ant and Dec scooped yet another award at the National Television Awards in January 2017 – just 12 months before the couple announced their split.

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong© Photo: Getty Images

In June 2017, Ant entered rehab for the first time, with Lisa showing nothing but support for her husband. She took to Twitter to thank fans and members of the public, writing: "Completely overwhelmed by all your love & support it means so much. I'm relieved he's receiving the help he needs, we just need him better."

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong bafta april 2015© Photo: Getty Images

Opening up about his addiction in an interview with the Sun, Ant paid tribute to Lisa, saying: "I’ve put Lisa through hell with mood swings and depression and how it affects you. I’m very sorry about the effect it has on partners. This kind of stuff puts strains on any marriage. All I can say at the moment is that she’s been amazing — fantastic throughout."

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong 2013© Photo: Rex

In November 2017, the couple were hit by reports of a split, which Lisa quickly took steps to dispel. Taking to Twitter, she shared a fan-made montage of some of the couple's sweetest moments. She also publicly addressed speculation as to why she wasn’t joining her husband in Australia for I'm A Celebrity, tweeting: "#writewhatyouwant #haventbeentoOzfor10years #ihaveajob #imnotestrangedthank-you #asyouwere."

ant mcpartlin lisa armstrong january 2017© Photo: Getty Images

After a difficult few months under the spotlight, Ant and Lisa announced the end of their 11-year marriage on 14 January 2018. The Saturday Night Takeaway star confirmed the news via his spokesman, who said in a statement: "Ant is very sad to announce, that after 11 years, he is ending his marriage to Lisa McPartlin. Ant asks for privacy at this difficult time, for both himself, Lisa and their immediate families. No further statement will be made."