Amanda Holden has credited Ant McPartlin's sense of humour for getting him through a tough year.

Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden

The 47-year-old actress' 'Britain's Got Talent' co-star has had a turbulent 12 months, which saw him enter rehab in the summer for an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation and the end of his marriage to spouse Lisa in December, but she has praised her friend for being able to bounce back and get back to work.

She said: "You know he's come back and it's absolutely fine, it feels like nothing happened and that's rare and it's because of his tenacity and his sense of humour about it all.

"That's the most important thing to keep when you're in this industry. It's hard sometimes to keep laughing you'll be fine."

Ant, 42, shot to fame working with his presenting partner Declan Donnelly on kids' TV show 'Byker Grove' in 1989 and Amanda also credits his long stint in showbiz for helping him stay "strong".

She told "[Ant] has been in this industry industry since he was a kid so I think that he's got a strong backbone and I think he's got thick skin."

And the former 'Cutting It' star also credited Dec, also 42, for supporting his 'Saturday Night Takeaway' presenting partner through his ordeal.

She added: "I think he's got an amazing partner in Dec and I think the people that surround him have just been hugely supportive."

Meanwhile, Amanda loves how much her friend and fellow 'BGT' judge Simon Cowell has changed since becoming a father to son Eric, now four, with partner Lauren Silverman.

She said: "You know I think being with Lauren and having Eric has just changed him completely! He's definitely gone soft!

"Simon's right though, you know having children naturally rubs the edges off you and when you watch children on 'Britain's Got Talent' you have to think about your own children and about what the parents are feeling behind the scenes.

"I think his heart's just got bigger 'cause he's got a big heart but I think it's now got a massive spot in it for Eric and Lauren."