A Former Cop and Children's Author? 8 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Ant Anstead

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.

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.

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.

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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