Helen Skelton says marriage breakdown left her ‘battle-hardened’ – but Strictly has been ‘therapy’

TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing star Helen Skelton has opened up about how she was left feeling "battle-hardened" following the end of her eight-year marriage to rugby player Richie Myler.

Since their split, Richie, 32, has moved on with Stephanie Thirkill. Meanwhile, Helen, 39, has been participating on this year's Strictly Come Dancing, where she has been paired up with professional dancer Gorka Márquez.

Speaking about her appearance on the popular BBC dancing competition Helen, who is one of the favourites to win the series, has revealed that it's felt like "therapy".

Speaking to The Sun the former Blue Peter presenter said: "I came into this show quite battle-hardened. Strictly is probably quite overwhelming for a lot of people but for me, weirdly, I was actually in the best place to be in it.

"Other people were worried about all the attention that comes with being on Strictly, or baring their souls on the telly, whereas I was ready for that.

"I love that we talk about mental health more now, but I’d love that we could talk about how people can address their mental health. I’ve always seen my brain as being like a muscle — one which I need to exercise to keep my head in check.

“So that’s what Strictly is doing for me, it really is. It’s the most brilliant, all-consuming thing to be a part of.”

Helen and Richie split earlier this year in April, just four months after welcoming their third child.

Taking to Instagram at the time, Helen wrote: "Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co parent our small children." She ended the message with two broken heart emojis.

Following their split Richie has embarked on rather public relationship with Stephanie Thirkill.

Since the news of the new relationship, Richie says that he's been receiving abusive messages and comments on social media.

Announcing that he had decided to make his Instagram account private, the professional rugby player wrote: "I've decided to put my profile private from now on.

"If you are on here to share my photos or stories of me and my life maliciously to other people or waste your time sending me abusive messages please just unfollow me."

The Manchester Evening News reports that the dad-of-three then wrote: "I'm going to start removing people from my account one by one, so if you are a genuine rugby fan and I accidentally remove you I apologise in advance and will accept you back! Thank you Richie."


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