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Matt and Emma Willis: A timeline of their relationship

Matt Willis and wife Emma Willis will release a BBC One documentary detailing the Busted band member’s struggles with addiction and how it has impacted his loved ones.

The documentary, titled Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction, will follow Matt as he delves into his past in an attempt to find out what led to his addiction.

Matt, 40, found fame in the early Noughties during his time with Busted, alongside James Bourne and Charlie Simpson.

Meanwhile, Emma. 47, began her broadcasting career as an MTV presenter and has since presented a range of other shows, including This Morning and Loose Women.

They have spoken openly about Matt’s experience with drug and alcohol addiction and how it affected their relationship.

Here is everything we know about Matt and Emma Willis:

How did they meet?

Matt and Emma first met in 2004, a year after Busted released its second studio album. At the time, she was an MTV presenter.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

They started dating the following year, by which time Matt began going in and out of rehabilitation centres to treat his addictions.

Matt proposed to Emma in 2007 during a trip to Venice for her birthday.

How often has Matt been in rehab?

Matt has been in rehab four times.

In 2005, Matt stayed for three weeks at London’s Priory Hospital, where he was admitted again in 2006 for a few days for drug abuse.

He entered rehab again in 2008, this time in Bournemouth after Emma issued an ultimatum for him to either get help or call the wedding off. Matt previously said it was the first time he entered rehab willingly.

Throughout his years of addiction and recovery, Emma continued to stay with Matt. She told The Telegraph in 2020: “I wasn’t going to leave him because he had a problem. I wanted to help him, but he had to help himself and I believed he would.”

Emma Willis and Matt Willis attend the Laureus King Power Polo Cup at Ham Polo Club on June 16, 2016 in Richmond (Getty Images for Laureus)
Emma Willis and Matt Willis attend the Laureus King Power Polo Cup at Ham Polo Club on June 16, 2016 in Richmond (Getty Images for Laureus)

After their wedding day, Matt said he would “relapse again and again”, describing it as “always dark, always just misery”.

He relapsed in 2015 after eight years of being sober, when Busted reformed, went on tour and he was offered cocaine.

Matt said: “That last relapse was really hard for [Emma], because we had three kids. I’d been eight years sober, we’d thought that it was behind us. I went to her and said, ‘I need help, I’m surrendering’. Before, it was a case of me promising the world and then letting her down – ‘sorry’ meant nothing.”

When did they get married?

Emma and Matt married on 5 July 2008 at Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire.

In the weeks leading up to their wedding day, Matt said he continued to drink and use drugs. In an interview with The Guardian, the singer said: “I couldn’t stop. I would try to get to 12 o’clock [without a drink], waking up at 9am going, ‘I’ve got f***ing ages’. I would be shaking and feeling like I was going to pass out.

“Once I started, I couldn’t stop, and then I was using drugs to function. We had a month till the wedding and the state I was in, she wasn’t going to marry me.”

Who are their children?

Matt and Emma share two daughters, Isabelle and Trixie, and son Ace.

Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction will air at 9pm on Wednesday 17 May on BBC One.