Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

Ant McPartlin: Holly Willougby accused of ‘sweeping woes under rug’

This Morning fans were left divided on Tuesday when Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fleetingly mentioned Ant McPartlin’s drink-drive conviction.

Following his sentence and fine of £86,000 the previous day for the car crash, which left a toddler in hospital, the presenting duo were seen to briefly mention the crash and show a clip of his statement outside court.

Having been slammed last month for not addressing their friend’s woes, Phillip merely stated: ‘We’re sending our love to everyone who was involved’ – leading fans to claim he was ‘brushing the situation under the carpet’. 

Shocl: This Morning fans were left divided on Tuesday when Holly Willougby and Phillip Schofield fleetingly mentioned Ant McPartlin's drink-drive conviction

Shocl: This Morning fans were left divided on Tuesday when Holly Willougby and Phillip Schofield fleetingly mentioned Ant McPartlin's drink-drive conviction

Shocl: This Morning fans were left divided on Tuesday when Holly Willougby and Phillip Schofield fleetingly mentioned Ant McPartlin’s drink-drive conviction

On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit.

McPartlin, 42, told police he was “ashamed and mortified” after crashing his car while drink-driving with his mother in the passenger seat.

The show flashed up a clip of the statement he made on the steps of Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, after it was heard that Ant had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash in Richmond, west London.

Following Phillip’s fleeting comment, frustrated fans took to Twitter to pen: ‘No doubt the opening will consist of a fawning chat about how brave/troubled Ant is…#ThisMorning… Well they swept that under the rug PDQ…

Hard times: Following his sentence and fine for £86,000 the previous day for the car crash, which left a toddler in hospital, the presenting duo were seen to briefly mention the crash and show a clip of his statement outside court

Hard times: Over the weekend, Holly spoke to The Guardian about how difficult she finds speaking about her friend's troubles

Hard times: Over the weekend, Holly spoke to The Guardian about how difficult she finds speaking about her friend's troubles

Hard times: Over the weekend, Holly spoke to The Guardian about how difficult she finds speaking about her friend’s troubles

‘#ThisMorning #AntMcPartlin… A £86,000 doesn’t hold me cig weight when you’re a multi millionaire, Ant should’ve been sentenced to prison #thismorning…

‘Holly and Phil talking about Ant felt very awkward to watch #ThisMorning… I had to say somthing about Phil & holly supporting ant who I understand he is your friend but he caused a accident through drink if it was anyone else you would be condemning it . There was a small child involved it’s disgusting you support him’. 

Other fans defended the duo as they wrote: ‘I don’t get what’s wrong with Holly and Phil saying “our friend” when they are talking about Ant they don’t condone what he did they just want the best for him what’s wrong with that #ThisMorning… 

‘@thismorning ant we all my mistakes get help then get back where you be long next to you sidekick dec.. Holly and Phil have just spoken about Ant on This Morning, shown his statement on the steps outside and sent their love to everyone involved.. 

Hitting out: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

Hitting out: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

Hitting out: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

Sad times: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

Sad times: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

Sad times: On Monday, Ant said he is “truly sorry” after his drink-driving crash. The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit

‘Poor Ant he needs help and I hope he gets the help he needs’. 

Sentencing Ant on Monday, District Judge Barbara Barnes told him his behaviour had left fans disappointed and stripped him of his former “exemplary” character.

His £86,000 fine eclipses the £54,000 imposed on footballer Yaya Toure for the same offence in 2016, reported at the time to be the biggest sanction of its kind in the UK.

Speaking on the court steps following sentencing Ant said: ‘I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened. High standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself. I’ve let myself down, I let a lot of people down. And for that I am truly sorry.

‘I’d like apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.’ 

Ant pleaded guilty to driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes. 

Checking things out: The pair were touching on issues surrounding their pal 

Checking things out: The pair were touching on issues surrounding their pal 

Checking things out: The pair were touching on issues surrounding their pal 

Hard times: Holly (pictured with Ant and his sidekick Dec in 2008) was criticised last month for failing to address her friend's drink-drive arrest on This Morning. Yet she spoke to The Guardian about the embattled star over the weekend

Hard times: Holly (pictured with Ant and his sidekick Dec in 2008) was criticised last month for failing to address her friend's drink-drive arrest on This Morning. Yet she spoke to The Guardian about the embattled star over the weekend

Hard times: Holly (pictured with Ant and his sidekick Dec in 2008) was criticised last month for failing to address her friend’s drink-drive arrest on This Morning. Yet she spoke to The Guardian about the embattled star over the weekend

Holly was criticised last month for failing to address her friend’s drink-drive arrest on This Morning. Yet she spoke to The Guardian about the embattled star over the weekend, where she confessed to struggling with addressing his issues.

Clearly pained by his troubles, she urged the star to ‘just got to look after himself’, as she spoke about her friend in the interview.

Candidly speaking about the incident for the first time, Holly said: ‘No (we didn’t deliberately avoid the subject) at all. Everybody knows that Ant is a very good friend of mine and I’ve known him for a very 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…

‘I love him to bits, it’s not something that I find easy to talk about. Because it’s a friend. His is not my story to tell. He’s just got to look after himself, that’s all. 

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