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7 November 2019, 08:01
The TV presenter is back in touch with his father after he walked out on the family when Ant was 10 years old
Ant McPartlin has spoken out about the reconciliation with his father, admitting that 'life's too short' to continue not speaking.
Raymond, 64, walked out on the family when Ant was 10 years old, and the father and son went 32 years without speaking.
However, Ant, now 43, got back in touch with his dad during his time out of the spotlight after his issues with prescription drugs came to light.
Speaking on his new ITV documentary Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey, Ant said: "My dad left the family when I was about 10 and I’ve seen him sporadically over the years".
"I haven’t seen him for a long while now. We didn’t speak for quite a while… but last year we started texting each other and I spoke to him on the phone for my birthday, which was lovely.
"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."
Ray lives in a two-bedroom housing association flat in North Fenham, Tyneside, with his partner Sheila Taylor.
He worked as a publican before splitting up with Ant's mum Christine and walking out on the family. Ant helped care for his two sisters - Sahra and Emma - while their mother worked three jobs.
Earlier this year, Ant told the Guardian's Weekend magazine that he was getting to know Raymond again.
He said: "My dad and I didn’t speak for a long time, but we’re talking again now, which is great.
"He’s good, he’s funny. I’m slowly getting to know him again.
"He’s a proud man, a worker, a plumber. I’m thrilled that I’m back in touch.”