Ant McPartlin studies FINE ART while looking to beat analgesics and addiction to alcoholic beverages

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And his new hobby seems to help him overcome his addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

He has avoided the spotlight since finishing his second season in rehab in April. To help his recovery, he retired from all television work until next spring.

But his new love for art has been a lifesaver.

The 42-year-old visited a series of galleries this summer.

Images of PA WIRE / PA

LIFELINE: Ant is interested in painting

A friend said: "Ant's life has been out of control in recent months and he is determined to take the road again.

"After leaving the rehabilitation earlier this year, he decided to take a break so that he could fully concentrate on his recovery, and then he had time to become more interested in art, and he had time to study fine art in detail. He loves to learn about this.

"He has befriended many members of the gallery staff."

A member of staff at a gallery said: "Ant has made some visits during the past months.

"It seems to be a place where you can simply relax and take time out of the spotlight"

Friend of Ant McPartlin

"It seems to be a place where you can simply relax and take time out of the spotlight.

"He is also very interested in knowing the history of many of the paintings, since he has often asked questions of some of our gallery experts.

"We've also seen him buy several items in the store, once he left with two huge bags full of things.

"It's good that he has found himself as a hobby to focus on during his recent problems and free time in the world of entertainment."

It is believed that the new love of Ant's art could be due to his new girlfriend, Anne Marie Corbett.

He fell in love with the personal assistant after the breakup of his marriage to Lisa Armstrong.

It is said that Anne Marie is a great lover of art and that she has inspired Ant to be interested.

Our source added: "Anne Marie has been a very good influence on Ant. She is doing everything she can to help him recover.

"His suggestion that he is interested in art has proven to be fantastic for him.

"It also means that they have a shared passion for what has also been excellent for their relationship."

Ant announced last week that he left the TV until at least next spring.

His friend Declan Donnelly will be featured this year on the I & # 39; m A Celebrity series without him.