Ant McPartlin faces losing £20m deal with Suzuki after drink driving.
As Ant McPartlin heads into rehab for treatment, doubt looms over his involvement in a reported £20 million deal with Suzuki. The TV presenter was this week charged with drink driving after the car he was in crashed into another vehicle.
The 42-year-old is, at the moment, an ambassador for the Japanese car brand, along with Dec Donnelly. Suzuki is a major advertiser for Ant and Dec’s show Saturday Night Takeaway and the duo are regularly seen on TV driving in their cars.
But, as an industry insider has told the Sun, people from the company have been talking with ITV about whether to continue their partnership.
“Commercially it has been a big success for Suzuki, Ant, Dec and ITV – not to mention very lucrative,” they said to the newspaper.
“But unfortunately, they are looking at the prospect of ending things for now.
“It’s possible Suzuki will retain a wider deal with the programme, but very unlikely Ant will appear in an ad for them again.”
In the meantime, Ant will have to attend Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 4 April, according to Metropolitan Police, to face his drink driving charge.
ITV bosses were deciding what to do with upcoming episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway and have opted to crack on with Dec Donnelly hosting solo. But he won’t be completely alone and will get help from co-stars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt.
An ITV spokesman said: “We can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return to ITV on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.”
Dec posted a statement on Ant and Dec’s Twitter page, saying: “Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
“We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that.
“Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.”
It’s a tough move on Dec’s part considering he said last year he’d never present a show without his on and off-screen pal. Hopefully Ant gets the help he needs in rehab but questions are already being asked whether ITV will have him back for Britain’s Got Talent and even further down the road for I’m a Celebrity.