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I'm A Celebrity host Ant McPartlin has confirmed he has been sober for six months following a public battle with alcohol.

The television presenter, best known as one half of the presenting duo Ant and Dec, checked into a private rehab clinic earlier this year after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

He has also taken an extended break from his television commitments with Declan Donnelly while he focuses on his recovery.

The 42-year-old was praised by his friend Simon Hargreaves for his "strength and determination" in facing in problems.

In a message shared by McPartlin on Ant and Dec's official Twitter page, Hargreaves wrote: "Long overdue catch up with my buddy of 20+ years for lunch this week. 6 months sober, annoyingly healthy looking, and happier than I've seen him in years.

"Immensely proud of this lad for his strength and determination to face up to his issues and get help."

McPartlin added to the message: "Thanks pal. Really appreciate it. Lovely seeing you too. It really was long overdue. #weloveagoodlunch [sic] A."

Fans were quick to express their delight at the news, with one person replying: "Proud of you Ant. Really happy you're doing well x".

Image: Ant McPartlin is to continue with his break from the show

Another added: "Great to see you are on the road to recovery, can't wait to see you back on the box."

The TV star's battle with alcohol came to a head in March when he crashed his Mini while more than twice the drink-drive limit.

He was subsequently banned from driving for 20 months and handed an £86,000 fine.

Anthony McPartlin, Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly in 2016
Image: Anthony McPartlin, Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly in 2016

It was later announced that This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby would fill his shoes when the new series of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! begins filming later this year.

Ant and Dec have presented the show together since it launched in 2002.

More from Ant McPartlin

On taking the rest of 2018 off, he said: "My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off."

In January this year, McPartlin also announced he would be divorcing his make-up artist wife Lisa Armstrong, whom he was married to for 11 years.

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