Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have confirmed they've parted ways. The couple announced their separation in a statement posted on their Instagram Stories, revealing they 'felt like they were left with no choice' but to go public with the news following weeks of attention about the status of their relationship.
The couple, who have been married for 11 years, share three children who they've revealed they'll co-parent by continuing to live together.
The Top Gear presenter, 48, and former the Real Housewives Of Cheshire cast member, 34, said in full:
We hadn't planned on sharing this publicly until we were ready but after the lack of privacy surrounding our personal life, we feel left with no other option but to clarify.
A while ago we took the difficult decision to separate but our main focus as always is to continue loving and supporting our children. This was not an easy decision to make but we're moving forward as the best parents we can be for our three beautiful children. We'll always be a loving family, we still have a great relationship and still live happily in our family home together.
We hope this now draws a line under anymore unwanted and unnecessary press intrusion into our private life. Although we work in the public eye we ask kindly if you could respect our wishes for privacy on this matter. We'll be making no further comment.
Loads of love, Paddy & Christine.
The pair haven't been seen in pictures together on social media since February, when Christine shared a promotional video of their joint podcast Table Talk.
Earlier this month, she opened up slightly about the problems in their relationship. "I can’t deny right now is a very, very difficult time for us," she told The Sun.
However Paddy has now posted an image to Instagram of the two smiling while on holiday at Nottingham Centre Parcs, which they visited with their twins Penelope and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, showing how united they still are.
With their priority "to continue loving and supporting our children", Paddy focuses on the kids in his caption, explaining how booking the last available lodge saved the day, after discovering their youngest daughter's passport had expired and they had to cancel a trip to Spain.
"We’d been telling the kids all about it, especially the airport part, so to suddenly change plans wasn’t easy! Mums and Dads with Autistic children will know exactly what I mean," he wrote.
All three of their children have been diagnosed with autism.
Paddy said they stayed in a big tree house "and the kids absolutely loved it", and they all enjoyed a week full of activities and discovered their children's hidden talents (scaling indoor climbing walls).
"I’m so proud of how well they did but mainly by how much fun they had," he said, before going on to recommend it to families who might struggle with airports and the hassles of travelling abroad. "This place could be answer, it even had its own beach!"
Watch: Paddy McGuinness: TV star calls for less judgement and more education on autism
Paddy and Christine's passion to talk about what it's like to raise children with autism and help others clearly appears unchanged. The news of their break-up comes just months after they released their first podcast, where they chat about everyday challenges and rewards faced by families raising seriously ill or disabled children.
They also featured in the BBC documentary Our Family and Autism, where they met other parents, experts and people on the autism spectrum. Christine herself has also been diagnosed with autism, at the age of 33, which she said was a "huge relief" and helped her understand "why I am the way I am".
“It kind of makes sense as to why I have got three autistic children. It’s been a huge positive for me," she told Channel 5 News presenter Sian Williams.
“Right through school I really struggled, I never really had many friends and I still don’t have many friends now.
“I struggle with change, I struggle with food, sensory issues, clothes, labels, being in busy places, it’s everything – I ticked a lot of boxes, I am surprised it wasn’t picked up a lot earlier.”
She shared thew news of her diagnosis in November last year, with the documentary airing in December.
Paddy and Christine met in 2007 at the Liverpool Tennis Tournament, and got married at Thornton Manor in Cheshire in June 2011.
Once best known for Take Me Out, their separation follows Paddy's career taking off in recent years, including taking over from Sue Barker as host of A Question of Sport last year and becoming a host of Top Gear in 2019.
In 2021, Christine released her debut book, best-seller A Beautiful Nightmare and is a charity ambassador for Caudwell Children and the National Autistic Society.
While the pair might be the first household names we know of to continue to keep living together following a separation, many celebrities successfully co-parent.
From Gwyneth Paltrow's 'conscious uncoupling' when announcing her split with Chris Martin, to Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's blended families, more and more people in the public eye aren't afraid to do parenting their way.