But for the past year, television favorite Andrea McLean has had a secret love affair over a painful outage she suffered last fall.
The 50-year-old returned to the hit ITV talk show earlier this month and hinted that the collapse of 2019 left her “in a really dark place.”
Now, speaking at length for the first time, Andrea reveals how a painful “personal” experience left her broken and forced her to “dim my lights.”
Andrea has carried sorrow for most of her adult life and says she never wants another woman to go through what she has. She explains, “I didn’t want to talk about it on the air. I had been on the air for six weeks, then when I went back on it, it slipped.
“I am not ashamed of this and I have learned so much. I think people have been surprised because they think she doesn’t look like the type of person who has a breakdown.
“But what does a person look like?” He’s someone who appeals to people, someone who makes too much effort to do everything and cannot say “no” and who holds everything. That’s exactly what I am and that’s why it happened. “
Speaking of the incident – which she still reconciles with – she says it was “personal” and unprofessional.
“I had to make myself small for a large part of my life and dim the lights,” she says. “I don’t want to do this anymore. There have been experiences in my life of having to stay small.
“I always felt like I could do whatever I wanted, but always on a level.
“As long as everyone is happy with everything you do, you can do what you want.
“I’m a pleasure to people, and now I think,” Why do I accept this? ”
“It was introduced into us from an early age, good girls remain silent.
“Of course, try hard at school but don’t be too bright, don’t be too noisy, don’t take up too much space. I think we have to stop apologizing for who we are. “
Andrea says she no longer wants to “stay small.”
She adds, “I want to help women feel strong enough to defend themselves.
“Now I want to encourage women to do whatever they want and who cares if everyone is satisfied or not.”
The breakup and the realization of her trauma led to counseling sessions which husband Nick Feeney also attended, in solidarity with her.
At the time, people thought they were having marriage problems, but it was actually Nick’s support that helped her overcome the ghosts of her past.
Andrea married businessman Nick in November 2017 after their wedding in Paris that summer.
She says, “I had never had therapy before last year. Now I realize that everyone should have it. He puts things in their place. It helps you understand why you are who you are and why you feel what you feel.
“Then you feel like you’ve fixed things, it doesn’t have to be traumatic. I think everyone should be on therapy. We are a work in constant evolution.
“You don’t come out fully trained. You are constantly learning. Nick was brilliant. It was really important for him to be united, so he came so that we could work together.
“Even if it’s just one of you going through it, you both take care of it. “
In response to what happened, Andrea launched the women’s empowerment website This Girl Is On Fire and hopes to motivate 100 million women around the world. She said, “When I said it for the first time, I was embarrassed and thought it was a ridiculous goal. But it’s not. It’s giving every girl and every woman the power to choose.
“I am more courageous than I have ever been, I would really like to save women from the years I have lost by being too afraid to speak in case I have crossed someone or put someone wrong comfortable. I feel like I know my place.
“I want women to shine at the level they want. Not everyone wants to be a pioneer CEO because I think it’s actually some sort of bullshit ** and not everyone wants that.
“What I want women to feel is the best they can in any way – be it a stay-at-home mom or a single woman who wants to feel good about herself.
“Sometimes you feel a failure if you don’t win all the time, that’s not what it is about. Glasgow-born Andrea grew up in Trinidad, where her father was an engineer for a sugar company.
When they returned to live in the UK, she and her younger sister Linda stood out because of their deep tan and Caribbean accents, and Andrea was targeted by school bullies. She started her career as a freelance travel writer in 1993.
Four years later, she joined GMTV as a weather presenter before co-hosting the show.
In 2008, she joined the Loose Women, alongside Kate Thornton and later Carol Vorderman. She has always been a fixture on ITV, and her book Confessions Of A Menopausal Woman has been a huge success. But her love life has not been as smooth.
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As a teenager, she started a 17-year relationship with BBC producer Nick Green.
The couple married in Kenya in 2000 and had a son a year later.
In 2004, it became apparent that Andrea had had an affair with her fellow host Our House, Steve Toms.
She says she cheated on Green: “I did a terrible thing … I betrayed him. “
After being divorced from Green, McLean moved in with Toms and, in 2006, had a daughter with him.
The couple married in August 2009 during Loose Women’s summer vacation.
Then, in January 2012, McLean announced that she had separated from Toms, having left their marital home the previous month with their children to return to live with her parents. At the time, she said, “I’m still in shock … I just can’t believe I’m in this position again. “
But Andrea would regain love and in January 2016, she announced that she was living with her two-year-old partner, Nick Feeney, a businessman whom she had met on a blind date.
They married a year later and Nick supported Andrea as she overcomes her trauma. She adds, “Nick is amazing, I’m very lucky. “
Since returning to Loose Women, she admits that the atmosphere in “empty” studios has been “disturbing”, saying, “It just isn’t what it was. It will take a long time to get used to it. “
- The Marketplace is now online on Andrea’s website thisgirlisonfire.com and offers products and services from female-led organizations designed to help women live, learn and thrive.