ANT McPartlin is to marry his girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett, The Sun can reveal.
The I’m A Celeb star got down on one knee on Christmas Eve with a ring he designed and chose himself.
News of the engagement comes three years after the popular Geordie, 45, split from his wife of 11 years, Lisa Armstrong.
Last night a friend said: “Ant has been planning this for some time – but wanted to make sure the moment was just right.
“2020 has been a pretty torrid year for everybody, and this is the happy news that all their friends and family have been waiting for.
“Both Amzie and Ant adore Christmas, and get really into it every year, so Ant decided to pop the question on Christmas Eve.
“He’s a traditionalist, so got down on one knee after first checking with Anne Marie’s family that he had their blessing. It was super-romantic, and obviously Anne-Marie said ‘yes’ straight away.”
“Obviously getting engaged in the midst of a pandemic isn’t ideal when it comes to planning a wedding… at the moment a summer ceremony is looking extremely unlikely, so it may well be a 2022 affair.”
Ant’s long-term co-star, Dec, and his wife Ali are understood to be “thrilled” for the couple, with the 45-year-old expected to act as Best Man when they wed.
A spokesman confirmed the engagement, adding: “Ant and Amzie are delighted to announce their engagement. The proposal took place on Christmas Eve at home in a very romantic setting.”
The presenter has known personal assistant Anne-Marie, 43, for several years.
The pretty PA worked with Dec’s agent wife at the same London-based management company, before she started to work for Ant on a full-time basis.
The mum of two supported Ant as he battled a prescription drug problem following complications with knee surgery.
They officially began dating in April 2018, and Anne-Marie – who has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage – was said to be Ant’s “rock” as he went to rehab after being convicted of drink driving.
Their engagement marks the end of a mixed 2020 for the star.
While his annual trip to Australia for I’m A Celeb was changed to a derelict castle in North Wales due to Covid-19, in April he finalised his acrimonious divorce from Lisa.
Following 18 months of bitter wrangling – including a bitter custody battle over their beloved Labrador Hurley – they reportedly agreed a deal worth £31million.
Bumps in the road
2006: After more than ten years dating, Ant marries girlfriend Lisa Armstrong. Dec is best man.
2014: Ant has a botched knee operation which leads to an addiction to painkillers.
2017: Checks into rehab for his addiction after hallucinating. Frightened, he begs his wife to rush him to the hospital.
2018: Ant and Lisa confirm they have separated. He is convicted of drink-driving after a crash in West London, costing him £86,000 in fines and a 20-month driving ban. One witness said he could have killed him and his wife. He was more than twice over the limit. He returns to rehab. Reportedly loses out on millions of pounds in lost TV gigs.
2020: Ant and Lisa are granted a divorce after bitter wrangling. Divorce costs him £31million. He and Dec host I’m A Celebrity from Wales instead of Australia because of Covid. Ant proposes to his girlfriend Anne-Marie Corbett.
The celebrity make-up artist, whose clients include Piers Morgan and Alan Carr, took matters to the Royal Courts of Justice in a bid to get half of his fortune.
The pair eventually had a face to face meeting in January, before eventually finalising terms.
While Ant has always been reluctant to discuss his personal life, he recently gave a touching insight into his newfound happiness.
HAPPY NEW REAR!
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During a bushtucker trial involving Radio 1 presenter Jordan North, Ant told viewers that being at home with Anne-Marie was his “happy place”.
It came after Dec claimed his was Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Last year Ant and Anne Marie moved in together, buying a £6mn house in south-west London.
They also added to their family with two Maltipoos, Milo and Brumble.
HAPPY END TO TURBULENT TIME FOR HIM
By Clemmie Moodie Assistant Editor, Showbiz
IN a dire year for showbiz – TV shows were cancelled, premieres scrapped and parties pulled – Ant’s engagement is the new year cheer we all needed.
The I’m A Celebrity star deserves this happiness. He’s had a turbulent few years, culminating in stints in rehab and a drink drive conviction, but alongside ever-loyal best pal, Dec, the one constant in his life has been Anne-Marie.
Ant could have had his pick of celebrity women. Similarly, Anne Marie could have courted the celebrity lifestyle, posing-up with a rictus-grinned Ant on the front of Hello! magazine.
Instead, the pair have got on with their relationship quietly and contentedly, not wishing to rub their happiness in anyone’s face.
Burnt by an indisputably hostile divorce, many men in his position might have become jaded. Not Ant. Aged 45, he has popped the question, intent on starting an exciting new chapter with the love of his life.
Good luck to them both.