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Ant McPartlin opens up on reconciliation with estranged father

Anthony McPartlin attends the National Television Awards 2018 at The O2 Arena on January 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Ant McPartlin has spoken out about reuniting with his estranged father Raymond McPartlin who walked out on him, his two sisters and mother, Christine, in 1985.

The 43-year-old opened up about the reconciliation for his new documentary series with long-time pal Declan Donnelly, Ant and Dec's DNA Journey, which beings airing on Sunday.

The presenter shared: “My dad left the family when I was about 10 and I’ve seen him sporadically over the years.

Read more: Which member of Ant & Dec discovers they're related to royalty?

“We didn’t speak for a number of years but last year we started texting and I spoke to him on the phone for my birthday which was lovely.”

He added: “To be fair, life is too short. There is no point holding grudges or anything like that. You get to that age, I turned 40, and I just thought let’s stop messing about, let’s get in touch because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Filming for the series began in 2017, however, it was halted after McPartlin took time off from his work commitments following a conviction for drink driving in 2018.

Ant McPartlin arrives at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on April 16, 2018. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images,)

The presenting duo opened up in the documentary about this testing time for their relationship, with Donnelly, 44, admitting his fears over whether their partnership would survive.

The father-of-one also told of his anger over McPartlin not reaching out for help when he needed it.

He explained: “It has been a tough couple of years and it has tested the bond we have shared since we were 13 years old. I was incredibly angry at the start, so angry.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly at a BAFTA TV preview of Ant and DecÕs DNA Journey held at the Barbican Centre in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

"Disappointed that he didn't ever come to me and say, 'I am struggling, I need you,' because that is what I would do if the shoe was on the other foot. And he never came to me and that hurt me a lot.”

After stepping down from his television commitments in August last year, McPartlin returned to work in January at the Britain's Got Talent auditions alongside Donnelly.

The pair will also be returning to present I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! on Sunday 17 November after Holly Willoughby took over from McPartlin in 2018.