Ant Anstead became a familiar face as Christina Anstead's car-loving, jokester husband on Christina on the Coast, but the U.K. native has had a fascinating life on and off screen, long before he made his first HGTV cameo.
On September 18, Christina, 37, shocked fans when she announced that she and the Wheeler Dealers host, 41, had split after less than two years of marriage. The pair began dating in October 2017 and married at their home in Newport Beach in December 2018, welcoming son Hudson London, 1, in September 2019.
But how much do you know about the handy Brit beyond the headlines? Read on for 8 surprising facts about Ant Anstead.
1. He started his career as a police officer.
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????♀️ Thank you so so much for all the lovely messages about my new book on police cars!! I joined the police when I was 18 and I look back with such affection! Gosh I did some crazy stuff! Combining that slice of my life along with my passion for Cars was a privilege! And then to write a book was a lifelong ambition of mine! Doing so brought back many memories (good and bad)! Here’s a few snaps of a baby faced TFU officer ??♀️☺️ #thankyou you can grab the book here on amazon https://t.co/pUNg0fSsmn
Before turning his love of cars into a full-time job, Ant was a police officer back in his native England. His law enforcement career started when he was 18 and ended at 25. He became one of the U.K.'s youngest armed police officers when he joined the tactical fire-arm unit at 23.
"I knew I didn’t want to go down the education route with University etc., so ended up a copper, and I can honestly say, it’s the best decision I have ever made," Ant told Influx in 2016. "I loved being in the police … I received two commendations for bravery and have faced a number of life-threatening incidents – really opening my eyes to what humans are capable of. When you’re standing in front of someone armed – that’s real fear – it kind of makes standing on stage or in front of a camera easy."
2. He’s written two books.
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Today is #worldbookday so let’s celebrate all the authors out there!!! I really enjoy setting aside time to write! I’m incredibly proud of writing for a number of publications and even prouder to be the author of the two books I’ve done so far. (So far ?) I have a third book in the early stages too… (coming soon) ? Thank you so much for supporting me and you can still get both books online #PetrolheadParenting can be found on @noah.j.elias website And Police book on @amazon ❤️❤️?? @noah.j.elias @harpercollinsuk
The TV star also has a passion for writing. He has penned two books to date and mentioned plans for a third. In 2018, he released Cops and Robbers: The Story of the British Police Car, as well as Petrol Head Parenting: How to Diagnose and Nurture a Petrolhead — a children’s book for budding car lovers.
3. He played semi-professional soccer for 15 years.
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Today @efl have teamed up with @questtv and the @nationalfootballmuseum to share football stories #GameOfOurLives Having played over 700 non league games I have years and years of stories! I look back with so many memories! And I am still the only player to win @ryman league promotion both as a Striker and as a Keeper…. ? and I try and forget my worst ever game playing for @aldershottownfcofficial against @officialqpr ????♂️ One story that sticks out…. I was playing for @borehamwood_fc away against @afc_wimbledon . The match ended 1-1 with them getting an underserved penalty. During the game my ex went into labour! @afc_wimbledon were brilliant and put aside a room to care for her. When the whistle went I went to the hospital (Un showered) and my daughter @amelieanstead was born! And I’m still mad today we didn’t get the 3 points! ? Sport is so important! And during quarantine We realise that now more than ever! ❤️⚽️ x x #gameofourlives
A true Brit, Ant is also a great "football" player. Throughout his athletic career, he played over 700 games in the Ryman League in the positions of goalkeeper and striker.
Ant is seen on episodes of Christina on the Coast playing in a recreational soccer league in California, with his family cheering him on from the sidelines.
4. He’s even more famous in England.
Anstead starred in the U.K. series For the Love of Cars, in which he served as a restoration expert, starting in 2014. His current gig is as the charismatic mechanic on Wheelers and Dealers, another auto-centric show, produced for Discovery U.K. and Velocity Channel in the U.S. He moved to California upon joining the show’s 14th season in 2017. The show is currently in its 16th season.
While on a trip to London early in his relationship with Christina, he documented being recognized on by a fan (coincidentally, a police officer) while on a pedicab ride in the city.
5. He’s a World Record holder.
Ant holds the World Record for the most expensive straight-six Aston Martin ever sold at auction. He restored then sold the sports car for £150,000 (approximately $193,275).
6. He has his own production company.
The father of three — he has two older children, Amelie, 17, and Archie, 14, from his first marriage — started his own production company, called Ant Anstead Limited, in 2014, according to IMDb. He produced and starred in a TV documentary called The World's Most Expensive Cars in 2017.
7. He built his first car before he could drive.
Ant has said that he loved to build and fix anything he could get his hands on as a child, going as far as building his first car from a kit at 16.
"Cars have always been my guilty pleasure," he told Influx. "I didn’t even have a driving license but knew I wanted to build cars. I remember as a 14-year-old, walking to the local cattle market and buying a lawnmower to power my wooden soapbox…"
8. He’s fighting for a cure for MS.
The TV star actively supports Harrison’s Fund, a charity that hopes to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The organization is named for a boy currently fighting the disease.
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