Fair play to Ant McPartlin, the artist formerly known as Ant, for returning to ITV to help present the new series of Britain’s Got Talent. Although I have never actually seen him present anything on telly, I read that Ant and his partner Dec are the greatest presenters on the planet. As presenting is the new rock and roll – actual talent of something like singing , dancing or writing is no longer necessary – he’s a big star. Just present someone else’s talent and you can end up making more money than them. Nice work if you can get it.
To be fair to Ant, he’s had a few demons in his life, with various addiction problems and a drink-driving conviction. Not a good look for a TV presenter who I read is ‘loved by millions”, but he is getting better.
I do not begrudge him the privilege of going into rehab, something that is generally only available to the rich and privileged. I suppose if any of us were filthy rich and not feeling too good, we’d probably do the same. He’s also very lucky that he was able to go sick from work after his drink-driving conviction in April and, in August, decide to take the rest of the year off. For normal people, a couple of days on the sick brings about a disciplinary warning and a bit longer than that can mean dismissal. Happily, if you are an incredibly rich person who appears on telly, this is not likely to happen to you.
All I am really pointing out is that in modern day Britain, it’s one rule for one and quite another for everyone else. I am always pleased to hear that celebrities and the like come out with mental health issues, especially when they gain access to treatment to set them on the road to recovery. The story of Kate Middleton’s brother James moved me to tears. He knew he lived a life of privilege which did not prevent him descending into the depths of poor mental health. At least there was something to catch him when he fell.
The truth is that there is no one and nothing to catch everyman and woman when they fall, unless they are so bad they require sectioning.
Good luck Ant. I hope through his privileged access to the best treatment money can buy he can campaign so all people in his position can get help. My experience is that if your average punter falls as Ant’s did, there will almost certainly be nothing for them, unless they survive long enough to go on a waiting list.