Vanessa Feltz reveals “empathy” for “troubled” Ant McPartlin: “he is not a brand but a human being”

Feltz has personal experience of the highs and lows of fame

Ant McPartlin

Vanessa Feltz is no stranger to the ups and downs of celebrity, and the toll fame can take on stars, and admits she has “great dollops of empathy” for “troubled” presenter Ant McPartlin, who returned to rehab recently following his arrest on suspicion of drink driving.

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In a column in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, Feltz recalls the highs and lows of her career, and says “so-called experts” need to focus more on the person behind the showbiz “brand”.

“I unravelled on Celebrity Big Brother, chalking on the table, sobbing in the Diary Room, pioneering behaviour subsequently adopted by 100 per cent of celebs venturing onto reality television,” says Feltz. 

“When so-called experts airily hold forth on Ant McPartlin’s ‘brand’ now being tainted, I feel huge dollops of empathy for the fellow. He is not a brand but a human being. He is troubled and trying to survive turbulent times.

“Divorce and addiction are tough to conquer in private; wrestling with both as the world looks on must be agonising.”

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Read Vanessa Feltz’s full Viewpoint column in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now