Gary Barlow has voiced his support for troubled TV star Ant McPartlin, while reminiscing on his own period of "hell". The Take That singer hit an all-time low in 2000 when he was dropped by his record label following a failed solo career. He described himself as a "mess" and "not the man" his wife Dawn married. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine, Gary said: "I remember waking up one morning and I was enormous. I hate to see anyone going through a really tough time. And that's why I sympathise with Ant."
Gary, 47, said it was "hell when you are in it because you can't see a way out". He added: "And when you have the whole world watching it makes it three times worse, because you can't escape it. But what Ant should know is that he can come out of this. He needs to get well, but he can come back. He needs to know that everyone loves him and that doesn't just go. When you're in a bad way, you don't realise it, but everyone is really rooting for you to get back on your feet."
Gary said: "Ant should know that he can come out of this"
Ant was arrested and charged last month for drink-driving following a three-vehicle road collision. He made the decision to return to rehab and has taken a step back from work commitments for the foreseeable future. His best-friend and co-star Declan Donnelly went on to front the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone, and while the shows were a huge success, with many praising Dec, the father-to-be admitted Takeaway was "tinged with sadness".
Scarlett, Dec and Stephen co-presented Takeaway without Ant
After the cameras stopped rolling during the finale last Saturday, Dec told fans: "Thanks for all the love and support, it's been a series tinged with… well…" A member of the audience then responded, saying: "We miss Ant!" to which Dec answered: "Yes, we do, we do. It's tinged with sadness." He then asked the audience: "Can you all give a round of applause for Ant who is at home." Following an enthusiastic response, Dec added: "Thank you so much, I know he will appreciate that a great, great deal."