Ant McPartlin (left) is heading to a rehab facility[Wenn]
The other half to Ant and Dec, and Britain’s Got Talent host, 41, revealed the first step is to “admit it to yourself that you need help” as he checked into the two-month facility to battle his demons.
Speaking to The Sun, he revealed how depression led to addiction to prescription drugs, and an ongoing battle with alcohol and substance abuse.
He said: “I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry.
Britain’s Got Talent: Ant hosts the talent show[ITV]
“I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends for helping me through this really difficult time. I’ve spoken out because I think it’s important that people ask for help if they’re going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery.”
Ant has been battling his condition for over two years, after an operation on his knee left feeling in constant pain.
Following the operation, he began taking painkiller Tramadol and became addicted – leading his friends to become concerned.
Ant McPartlin was left in constant pain following an operation[Ant McPartlin/Instagram]
According to The Sun, he fought back the tears as he said to pal Declan Donnelly: “I need help, mate. I need help now.”
A source said: “For Dec it was a bit of a bombshell hearing about these addiction problems.
“He had no idea of the full extent of the torment his best friend was going through.”
Ant and Dec are firm TV favourites[Wenn]
He caused amongst fans, as he seemed to be struggling to walk while hosting Britain’s Got Talent alongside long-time TV partner Dec.
A source continued to The Sun: “The sad truth is that Ant is in agony nearly every waking moment. He makes sure the mask never slips in public, but off camera is a different matter.
“He can often be found lying on his dressing room floor, his face contorted in pain. If he didn’t have a knee brace, then he wouldn’t be able to stand up at all.
Anthony McPartlin and wife Lisa Armstrong alongside Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall at Royal Ascot 2016 [Wenn]
“He never wanted his fans to know of his despair because he thought it would ruin the happy-go-lucky act for everyone. His attitude has always been, ‘The show must go on!'”
But the injury has stopped him from playing his favourite sport, golf – and doctors have reportedly warned him that his knee one day may collapse, crippling him for life.
The source added: “Ant liked nothing better than a round of golf to unwind — but now he has been told he may never play again. You’ve never seen him so down. He’s been trapped in his house causing him to turn to substance abuse as a way of escaping his troubles.”
Anthony McPartlin married longtime girlfriend Lisa Armstrong in 2006 while Dec married Ali Astall in August 2015 [Getty ]
The Sun also added that himself and his wife Lisa have struggled to have a baby – something the publication reports has put a “strain” on their marriage.
A source said: “Lisa turned 40 recently and is desperate to have kids. Lately they’ve started wondering if it will really ever happen for them.
“They remain devoted to one another but there’s been a lot of friction. It feels like something is missing, and if kids came along it would make the world of difference to both of them.”