This is heartbreaking for the TV star

TV veteran, Fiona Phillips may be known as one of the bubbliest telly presenters around – even when she had to get up at ridiclous-o’clock to host GMTV all those years ago, we still never saw this lady without a huge smile.

But despite her happy exterior, it turns out Fiona was hiding some pretty big demons as the 56-year-old has now opened up about suffering with crippling depression throughout her time in the spotlight for BBC documentary, The Truth About Stress.

And it was during her stint on BBC favourite, Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 when Fiona’s mental health issues came to a head, as the star reveals she felt ‘pressured’ to take part in the show despite knowing she wasn’t ‘mentally fit’.

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‘I was asked to do the first series and the second,’ Fiona told the Mirror. ‘Then my agent said, “If you don’t do it now you can say goodbye to big gigs at the BBC”, and what have you. There was real pressure.’

As the star tried to juggle training for the dance series, as well as caring for her mother and father – who were both fighting Alzheimer’s disease – AND looking after her two children, all while going to work every day, it’s no wonder things became too much.

Fiona Phillips and GMTV co-host Eamonn Holmes (Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Fiona added: ‘So I did it but I wasn’t well enough to be doing it, mentally. I was doing GMTV and had the children and my parents, and I threw that into the mix and I just felt this enormous guilt. Why am I doing this when my mum’s in a home?

‘I remember that as a really traumatic episode. It’s an amazing privilege to do it but I just had too much going on in my head.

‘I was a mess during that, I was on the verge of tears mainly.’

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Admitting she felt ‘too embarrassed’ to tell anyone on the programme about her stress and keeping her feelings from dance partner Brendan Cole, Fiona was voted out in week four of the series.

Although Fiona accepts she’ll always be a ‘natural worrier’, luckily the telly star had hubby of 20-years, Martin Frizzell by her side throughout the whole thing and credits him for helping her through her hardest times.

We’re glad Fiona is back on track after such a hard time.