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How DID Ant McPartlin blow £20million? ALISON BOSHOFF asks where could the money have gone?

Ant and Dec are the best-paid pair on British television, with a block- busting ITV deal which brings in around £130,000 a week to each man.

After a career spanning three decades, they have become the most bankable properties on the box. Each is worth £62 million. Or they were.

Ant McPartlin — the taller one, always pictured on the left, who has battled alcohol and drug problems and also been hauled before court for drink driving — seems to have knocked an enormous hole in his finances over the past year.

A colossal post-divorce spending spree seems to have absorbed a substantial proportion of his wealth over a bare 12 months.

The splurge is revealed today after the Mail discovered that Ant, 44, has opted to dissolve his company, Teecourt.

Its last filed accounts show that it had over £20 million in assets before he pulled the plug. On March 30 this year — just as its annual accounts were due — he applied at Companies House to have Teecourt struck off, meaning that it can no longer trade, sell assets or make payments.

So where has the money gone? Here, we investigate.

Ant and Dec (pictured together above) are the best-paid pair on British television, with a block- busting ITV deal which brings in around £130,000 a week to each man. It has now been revealed that Ant has struck off his company

A huge divorce bill: £20-£30M

In January 2018, Ant announced that his marriage to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong, 43, was over.

They had been married for 11 years and had been an item since they were teenagers. Both had also enjoyed brief brushes with pop stardom.

The marriage came under pressure as they struggled to have a child for several years, and as Ant struggled with insomnia and addiction to prescription drugs.

Ant McPartlin and Lisa Armstrong are pictured together above in 2015. The couple split in 2018

A decree nisi was granted in October 2018.

The divorce was finally settled in January this year after a long and painful legal battle which included one round of failed mediation and at least two offers of settlement which were declined.

Ant was desperate to finalise it so that he could make a fresh start with new love Anne-Marie Corbett, also 43, who he had started dating in the spring of 2018.

She had previously been a PA to Ant and Lisa — which did not go down well.

Lisa raged on Twitter: ‘And to think she was my friend! My friend and OUR PA who I let into OUR home.’

Relations were so vituperative that the divorce was heading for the High Court. Ant had sent numerous legal letters asking Lisa to stop liking tweets which denigrated Anne-Marie as a ‘gold-digger’ and ‘back-stabber’ — and legal fees were said to be £1.5 million and rising.

Among the issues at stake were Lisa’s refusal to sign a non- disclosure agreement and the custody of their beloved labrador, Hurley, who was being shared between the warring couple’s two homes.

One friend says she wanted to be free to tell her side of the story, how — in her view — she had supported her husband, keeping him alive and on screen despite a raging drug habit for the final three years of their marriage.

He has admitted to becoming addicted to a cocktail of prescription drugs including OxyContin, tramadol, morphine, temazepam and diazepam after a failed knee cartilage operation left him in agony.

A friend of Lisa says: ‘It is not about the money. She is not a materialistic person. It is all about his appalling behaviour to her.’

Her contract as a make-up artist on Britain’s Got Talent was not renewed, and old ties, like friendships with Declan Donnelly and his wife Ali Astall, were severed.

The matter was finally settled this year, with Lisa getting an undisclosed amount reportedly between £20 million and £31 million, plus the old marital home in Chiswick, West London, worth £7 million.

She is now said to be planning a no-expense spared divorce party.

They continue to share custody of the dog.

Fines and rehab: £151K

Ant had already spent two months in rehab for drug addiction in 2017 before he was arrested for drink driving in 2018.

His arrest followed a car accident in Richmond, South-West London, one afternoon in March 2018 when he was out driving his Mini with his mother in the passenger seat.

Shocked Ant McPartlin emerging from the wreckage of his crashed Mini in March 2018

He lost control of the car on a sharp bend and collided with another vehicle before driving into the path of an oncoming car.

He was later found to be more than twice the drink driving limit — a test showed he had 75 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath — the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

At magistrates’ court, Ant was given a 20-month driving ban and fined £86,000, a record amount. He said: ‘I let myself down, I let a lot of people down.’

It led to him going back into rehab at a well-known London clinic, this time to address his issues with alcohol. Neither of his treatments has come cheap: the first stint was at a private institution in West London and cost £50,000.

His second was at a well known London clinic and cost £15,000 but at least seems to have worked. He’s back on TV, with Dec at his side and a healthy spring in his step — and an Alcoholics Anonymous tattoo inked on his wrist.

A whopping great mansion: £6M

Having relinquished the marital home in Chiswick to ex-wife Lisa, in March 2019, Ant bought a large mansion in Wimbledon, South-West London, for £6 million, for him, Anne-Marie, her two children and two dogs. It has five reception rooms, a huge open-plan kitchen and dining room.

He moved in at the end of the year after extensive renovations. It is the first time in decades that he’s not lived next door, or nearly next door, to his best pal Declan Donnelly — they are now eight miles apart.

Renovations and a flash pool: £1.6M

The seven-bedroom house was completely renovated at huge expense and now has a cinema and office space. It also has a conservatory.

It will soon have a swimming pool because planning permission has been granted for one to be built, along with a Victorian-style changing room that will be right next to the pool.

Ant said: ‘I would say I’ve definitely been humbled for the better. I’ve re-evaluated everything in my life. I’ve taken stock of things and said, “Right I’ve got to think of me.”

‘My life has changed dramatically. A divorce will always change your life because it’s such an upheaval.’

Plans above show the application for a swimming pool at Ant's home in South West London

Designer four-legged friends: £2K

In February this year, Ant bought two Maltipoo puppies, a cross between a Maltese terrier and a poodle. Bumble and Milo are often seen being walked by Ant and Anne-Marie, who look after labrador Hurley every other week.

Ant said of Hurley: ‘There’s a loyalty and a love and a companionship with Hurley that you can’t describe. And he never tells me off and is always pleased to see me.’

Ant and partner Anne Marie are pictured above with their dogs in London last year

A fresh look wardrobe: £5K

When Ant said he had ‘re-evaluated’ his life after rehab, that definitely applied to his wardrobe.

Once a pea in a pod with Dec —matching homes, cars, suits and haircuts — they now look quite different. The new Ant has a less clean-cut look than Dec, and favours jackets by Stone Island (£500) and Belstaff (£350).

He also drives a Range Rover, having sold his Aston Martin sports car. He bought it when Dec bought a Ferrari.

Ant McPartlin and girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett are seen leaving the Wimbledon Championships in July last year

Fancy hols: £25K

Ant and Anne-Marie enjoyed a holiday to Florence as a couple in the early days of their romance. They then went to Abu Dhabi with her children, who also came with them to Australia for the filming of I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!

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