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Ant and Dec addressed Ant's trip to rehab in a lovely way on this year's first episode of I'm A Celeb

The pair were praised for not avoiding the topic.

Ingenious tax relief scheme Source: Dominic Lipinski

THE FIRST EPISODE of this year’s I’m A Celebrity happened to air on International Men’s Day, when there was plenty of focus on men’s mental health issues.

Ant McPartlin, with the help of his good friend Dec, didn’t shy away from addressing his personal struggles with addiction and perfectly demonstrated how to deal with them without shame.

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2017 - Arrivals - London Source: Doug Peters

Over the summer, Ant announced that he was checking himself into rehab for substance abuse. His struggle with addiction began after he was prescribed heavy painkillers for a knee injury, which unfortunately became more painful after surgery.

On top of this, he was suffering with anxiety and depression and became increasingly reliant on prescription drugs and alcohol as a ‘means of escape’.

Music - PJ and Duncan Rock Circus - London Source: EMPICS Entertainment

Last night Dec said that he (and fans of I’m A Celeb) were very worried that Ant wouldn’t have recovered in time for the show.

Nobody was sure if you’d make it or not. We didn’t know if you’d be here.

To which Ant replied “Unbelievable! I was always gonna be here!” He then pulled Dec in for a hug before saying “It’s good to be back. You’re still a good cuddler.”

hug Source: UTV

If the video won’t play, click here

They joked and alluded to Ant’s visit to rehab later in the show, too.

If the video won’t play, click here

Dec joked:

Don’t be rough with that. All summer, that took me. No help from this one. Where were you all summer anyway? What were you doing?

Ant nearly spat out his tea and chuckled as he replied “Just… stuff”, before jokingly changing the subject to the kangaroo on his mug.

Viewers praised the pair for not avoiding the topic, and helping to remove the stigma surrounding substance abuse and mental health problems.

1 Source: Ant and Dec/Twitter

2 Source: Lucy Brown/Twitter

4 Source: Nadie/Twitter

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Kelly Earley

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