And Dec Donnelly yesterday admitted he thought he had “lost” his best pal forever when Ant went into rehab to fight drink and drug demons. The pair speak openly in a new documentary about Ant’s troubles, which saw him take a two-year break when he was fighting his addictions. Ant, 43, said: “You know the last few years have been quite emotional, hard, they have been testing I would say in terms of how strong your love is and how strong your friendship is.
“I knew he was angry and understandably so because my actions affect him and his loved ones.
“I had to think of everything other than work and concentrate on me and repairing relationships and being a better person and working out what was important and what wasn’t and big life decisions. Work was far down the line.”
Dec, 44, said: “It has been a tough couple of years and it has tested the bond we have shared since we were 13 years old. I was incredibly angry at the start, so angry.
“Disappointed that he didn’t ever come to me and say ‘I am struggling, I need you’ because that is what I would do if the shoe was on the other foot.
“And he never came to me and that hurt me a lot.”
Asked if he thought he might lose his friendship, Dec added: “Yes. There was a point where I thought that was it. There were times where I wasn’t sure it was going to survive.”
Ant added: “Dec has been fantastic, he is a very kind man who has been supportive of me. Our friendship has been tested and we came through the other end and I will be forever thankful for the love we had.
“I thought the public had had enough and I wouldn’t be allowed to do what I love any more which was a very sad affair. But coming back… and seeing the love and support people have shown has been quite overwhelming.”
The pair spoke at a preview screening of the ITV documentary, Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey.