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Andrea McLean regrets not seeking help earlier when she suffered breakdown

Loose Women star Andrea McLean has said her biggest regret in life is not seeking help earlier when she suffered a nervous breakdown.

The telly regular, 51, found herself in a dark place as she battled crippling mental health issues and even found herself contemplating suicide.

She has made a recovery after seeking professional and Andrea admits she wishes she’d reached out sooner.

When asked to name her biggest regret in life, she told The Sun : “That I took so long to get help.

“I wish I’d done it years ago. But I believe everything happens when it’s supposed to. I don’t care so much about what people think now.”

In October, Andrea bravely opened up on the dark night where she wanted to take her own life.

Andrea McLean has said she regrets not seeking help earlier when she suffered a breakdown

Andrea was in a hotel room for work when months of money worries and stress ­culminated in a sudden ­onslaught of suicidal feelings.

“Unless someone’s been there it’s impossible to describe,” she told The Mirror. “It lasted a night and it was the longest night, dark and horrible. I was on the floor, pacing the room and crying.”

“The next morning I got up off the floor and went to work. I spent a whole day pretending everything was fine. By the time I got home I thought, ‘It’s passed. I still don’t feel right but I don’t want to think about it any more.’ So I never mentioned it.”

She has since bounced back and recently decided to take control of her life by quitting her job on Loose Women.

She is stepping down from Loose Women at Christmas

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Andrea admitted there are other projects she wants to work on and decided to take a leap of faith by stepping down from the panel.

She told fellow panellists Janet Street Porter, Judi Love and Stacey Solomon she thought hard about her future during the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrea said: “As you know I had a really rough year, and I think anyone who has experienced any kind of mental distress.

Andrea has decided to focus on other projects

“I had a breakdown last year and then obviously we have a global pandemic, you stop and think about your life, everyone was saying, ‘I can’t wait to go back to as it was’.

“And I thought ‘If you discount this year and go into next year, that means next year I will be going back to 2019.’

“I want to look forward and, how do I want my life to be? I realised I need to be brave, I need to make bold steps, I am 51, so how much longer have I got?”

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

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Andrea McLean quit Loose Women after pandemic made her re-evaluate her life

Andrea McLean has admitted her decision to quit Loose Women came after the coronavirus pandemic made her reevaluate her life.

The telly favourite, 51, has been a regular on the ITV daytime show for 13 years, but she’ll be leaving the panel for good at Christmas.

Mum-of-two Andrea says she’s had a lot of time to think about what she really wants from life and has now told her fellow co-stars she is ready to step down from her role in the spotlight.

The telly star admitted she realised she wasn’t taking enough risks or doing what she wants to do in life.

Mum-of-two Andrea says she’s had a lot of time to think about what she really wants from life

She explained quitting her role on the panel will help her to focus on her website and brand This Girl is on Fire when she eventually leaves the show.

During a segment about how the pandemic has made everyone reflect on their lives, Andrea explained how it has had a profound impact on her.

Bravely opening up to her co-stars – Linda Robson, Brenda Edwards and Saira Khan – on live TV, she said: “Like so many people this has been a time to hugely reflect and think back.

“So many people have been talking about how they can’t wait for life to get back to normal.

“I, like many people, did that and thought, ‘Do I want my life to go back to the normal that it was before?'”

She couldn’t stop crying as she revealed her decision to leave

She added: “Obviously last year I had a nervous breakdown and what I felt is that this year collectively the world has had a breakdown.

“The experience that I had has meant that this year I have actually been mentally really strong to deal with everything that the pandemic threw at all of us but it made me stop and think, ‘What do I actually want?'”

“You get one life, are you living it the way that you want? And are you doing everything that you want to do? Are you being brave? Are you taking chances? And I realised, no.”

She couldn’t hold back her emotions and burst into tears on air, which was unexpected.

Andrea back in 2010

Andrea added: “I didn’t think I was going to cry. I’ve told you ladies just before we came on air. I’m going to be leaving Loose Women because I want to be brave… all the incredible feedback that I had from my book and the support I was able to give them, I want to bring it to life.

“It was a really, really big decision to jump and see if I fall or if I fly. And I just thought, I will never know unless I try, so I am saying goodbye to Loose Women.”

The TV star first joined the panel in 2007 and has been part of the ITV Daytime group for 23 years.

She has been on Loose Women for 13 years

She added to her co-stars: “I’m not leaving today, this is just my day to tell you guys.

“ITV have been amazing. I’ve been anchoring Loose Women for 13 years now, I’ve been part of ITV Daytime for 23 years. The team have been so wonderful.”

*Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.

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American Pie singer Don McLean says ex-wife Patrisha McLean is the ‘worst’ person he’s ever known


Don McLean revealed his feelings towards his ex-wife as he opened up about the mysteries of his hit song, American Pie.

The singer-songwriter, 75, who lives in Palm Desert, California, explained that it took him four years to get over his relationship with Patrisha McLean, who he was married to for 29 years and shares two children with.

He told The Irish Times that the love letters she sent every month for 30 years ‘immediately turned to salt’ when their relationship crumbled, following the accusations of domestic violence made against him.

Having divorced in 2016, Don said he hasn’t met anyone who compares to Patrisha, and added: ‘I can truly say that my ex-wife is the worst person I ever knew.’ 

The hitmaker added that it’s only now that their 2016 split is sinking in, despite the fact he moved on with Playboy model Paris Dylan, 25, months after his divorce finalized.

Don McLean, 75, (pictured) who lives in Palm Desert, California, told The Irish Times, his ex-wife is the ‘worst’ person he’s ever known 

Don was arrested and charged for domestic violence before the divorce of his second wife Patrisha, who he was married to for 29 years. Pictured, at California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 26, 2014

Don was arrested and charged for domestic violence before the divorce of his second wife Patrisha, who he was married to for 29 years. Pictured, at California’s Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 26, 2014 

Don said the love letters Patrisha sent every month for 30 years 'immediately turned to salt' when their marriage came to an end. Pictured: Don at the Knox Count Jail in Rockland in January, 2016

Don said the love letters Patrisha sent every month for 30 years ‘immediately turned to salt’ when their marriage came to an end. Pictured: Don at the Knox Count Jail in Rockland in January, 2016

Since the breakdown of their marriage, Patrisha has spoken about her relationship with Don in a travelling exhibit called Finding Our Voices, and has established a domestic violence non-profit organisation of the same name.

She filed for divorce two months after Don was arrested for domestic violence on the grounds of ‘adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences.’ 

Patrisha McLean filed for a protection order after her husband’s arrest, but withdrew the request only days later.

In a statement supporting her request for the restraining order, she alleged that her husband had ‘terrorized’ her ‘for four hours’ on the night before he was arrested.

Don began a relationship with former Playboy model Paris Dylan, 25, (pictured) months after his divorce finalized

Don began a relationship with former Playboy model Paris Dylan, 25, (pictured) months after his divorce finalized 

Patrisha McLean also wrote that she feared for her life after the singer allegedly grabbed her forcefully and said he wanted to ‘strangle’ her.

But she said she didn’t anticipate the statement to be made public and said she felt ‘blindsided’ after her claims were publicized.

The Portland Press Herald reported she called the newspaper and defended her husband’s character, saying she stood by her charges but that the alleged abuse represented only ‘one side of him’ and that he is ‘not a monster.’

Don, who is best known for 1971 hit song American Pie, pleaded guilty to the charges and paid a fine, however his lawyer said this was ‘not because he was in fact guilty of anything, but to provide closure for his family and keep the whole process as private as possible.’

The 75-year-old began a relationship with former Playboy model Paris Dylan, 25, just months after his divorce was finalized. 

Their coupling quickly flourished when Paris was hired to manage his social media accounts in 2016. 

Don, who has been coy in the past about his relationship with Paris Dylan, who is 48 years his junior, revealed that he doesn’t read any media coverage about him regardless if it’s good or bad.

Describing it as ‘all a bunch of b*******,’ he hinted at a need for control. 

Don said he plans to auction most of his possessions before he dies – including song lyrics, weapons and guitars – because he doesn’t want to leave them for someone else to ‘figure out what to do’ with them.  

Don, who has made about $150 million over the course of his 50-year career, said his hit song American Pie is a fusion of genres. Pictured: Don in 1970s

Don, who has made about $150 million over the course of his 50-year career, said his hit song American Pie is a fusion of genres. Pictured: Don in 1970s 

Don was aged 24 when he wrote American Pie and has avoided giving in-depth incite into the verses, although many agree the song is about the state of America in the 1960s.   

Having made about $150 million (£115, 000) over the course of his 50-year career, Don is set to mark the anniversary of his hit song with new documentary The Day the Music Died.

A Broadway show has also been planned for 2022, alongside a children’s book. 

Don who describes American pie as a fusion of folk, rock’n’roll and old-fashioned popular music, explained the folk aspect of the song is in the verse-chorus-verse composition.

Giving a vague insight into the mysteries of the song, he said: ‘I’ve never said that to anybody in 50 years.’



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Loose Women’s Andrea McLean opens up on dark night she wanted to kill herself


Andrea McLean was in a hotel room for work when months of money worries and stress ­culminated in a sudden ­onslaught of suicidal feelings.

“Unless someone’s been there it’s impossible to describe,” she says. “It lasted a night and it was the longest night, dark and horrible. I was on the floor, pacing the room and crying.”

Yet the Loose Women host hid her despair from the rest of the world – including her husband of three years, businessman Nick Feeney.

“The next morning I got up off the floor and went to work. I spent a whole day pretending everything was fine. By the time I got home I thought, ‘It’s passed. I still don’t feel right but I don’t want to think about it any more.’ So I never mentioned it.”

Andrea McLean has shared on having suicidal feelings

It was only after Andrea, 51, wrote her Sunday Times bestseller describing the breakdown she went on to have that Nick discovered how low she had been.

“Nick didn’t find out until he read about it in the book, he was devastated,” she says – but insists he needn’t feel bad, because like many women, she had been determined to put on a brave face.

“You don’t want to bother anybody,” says Andrea – which, she explains, was her motivation for writing This Girl is on Fire, part memoir and part practical guide to show struggling women how they can learn to love life again.

“I wanted to show I totally get how you’re feeling, I’ve felt like that,” she says. “People said, ‘Don’t write about having a breakdown, people will think you can’t cope. Well, I couldn’t. But I can now.”

The Loose Women star has bravely spoken on the low time

It is hard to marry the warm, smiley presenter speaking exclusively to the Mirror from her Surrey home with the stressed-out shell of a woman Andrea became.

Yet decades of surviving in the cutthroat world of TV taught her to put on a brave face. “I’m used to it. You’re a commodity, you’re replaceable,” she says. “I’ve had to get a thicker skin.”

By the time she started her TV career as a GMTV weather girl in 1997, she was already suffering panic attacks. The first happened when a man knocked her flying on the Underground.

Andrea is married to Nick Feeney

“Nobody helped and I had a panic attack on the platform. It feels like you’re having a heart attack,” she says. “It took years to know what they were.”

By her 40s, she had learned to control most attacks with breathing techniques. But working in live TV, combined with bringing up two children – Finlay, 19, from her first marriage to TV producer Nick Green and Amy, 13, from second marriage to builder Steve Toms – and starting an online business with third husband Nick left her exhausted.

She says: “I’d feel like crying. It’s the feeling you get when a train is underground – that rumbling feeling something is not right.”

She also had money woes, having splurged on a soft-top BMW and holidays to celebrate getting the all-clear from potentially fatal blood vessel disease vasculitis, with which she had been diagnosed. “I got a sense of ‘You only get one life.’ I took my eye off the ball. I thought I was in a Disney film and it would work out.”

She was previously married to Steve Toms – who she shares children Finlay and Amy with (pictured in 2006)

Eventually, she couldn’t afford her tax bill. “I’m freelance. You put money aside for tax and I spent it. I was mortified, then scared,” she says, admitting the subject of money is so taboo she was unsure of including it in her book.

“Then I thought, ‘That’s ridiculous.’ What’s the one thing we all worry about? Money.” She figured a way to pay her tax – but “that was one of the reasons I was working so hard and saying yes to everything.”

It took a conversation with friend and Loose Women make-up artist Donna last July to realise something had to give. “She was waiting after our morning meeting.

 She said, ‘I’ve been worrying about you, you are spinning, trying to do everything and be everything to everybody’,” she recalls. After years of juggling, Andrea says: “All the balls dropped on the floor. It was so nice to have someone call me out. I went home and told Nick I needed to take my foot off the gas. We cancelled a lot.”

She booked counselling and brought Nick with her – not, she stresses, due to marital difficulties. “If you’re a team and one of you is going through something, the other needs to understand it. We worked out how to move forward as a couple.”

Before her breakdown, Andrea – who wed Green in 2000 and Toms in 2009 – had felt embarrassed to be a serial bride. “Privately, I knew the reason I married three times and I had entered everything with love. Publicly, it was embarrassing, so I would be the first to get the joke in – ‘Oh, I love the taste of wedding cake!’ But a bit of me was annoyed I had to take the mickey out of myself.”

Andrea started her TV career as a GMTV weather girl in 1997

She has since stopped doing so. “Now, I’m proud of being able to say ‘Yes, I’ve been married three times’. I’m proud of the fact I’ve single-handedly raised two brilliant children. I think I’ve been a good role model. I’ve never been bitter.”

Nick, 48, has been unflinchingly supportive. Andrea says: “Subliminally, my brain knew it was my turn – I’d caught him, now he’d catch me. We’re best of friends.” Instead of working constantly on the website they have built, they’re spending quality time together.

“I said we needed to have a hobby that would force us not to talk about work. Before Covid we’d just started going to salsa classes. We need to find something else.”

Work-wise, she is still very much in demand. “I’ve been fortunate in terms of when I came into TV. The industry has changed. Now I’m in my 50s, people are respected. They have experience and wisdom and I think we look great. I’m not as firm and not as fit but I think I’m awesome – I’m happy with who I am.”

Since recovering from her breakdown, she says: “I feel like me again, how I did as a teenager. I had acne and a perm, never had a boyfriend. But there was something in me that always knew I was going to find a way to make things work. I stayed cheerful. That’s how I feel again. I feel freer.”

*This Girl is on Fire is published by Hay House at £12.99.

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]





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Loose Women’s Andrea McLean says husband ‘didn’t know about suicidal struggle’


Andrea McLean has spoken about how she suffered a breakdown in secret last year and that her husband Nick Feeney “didn’t know” she was having suicidal thoughts.

The 50-year-old Loose Women panelist opened up to Hello! Magazine about the low moments and how counselling has been “amazing” for her and Nick.

Andrea said there was a moment after an argument with her husband that she contemplated taking her own life.

She said: “Nick didn’t know I had put it in, he didn’t even know it had happened.

“I hadn’t mentioned it at all. I think it was quite a shock for him. Our disagreement was tiny, I can’t even remember what it was about.”

Andrea McLean reveals her husband Nick Feeney ‘didn’t know’ she was struggling with suicidal thoughts

When Andrea’s book, This Girl Is On Fire, was published, Nick said that he found it “really, really tough” to read what his wife was going through after their arguments.

He said that what made it harder was that they “barely even raise [their] voices.”

As Andrea struggled with a breakdown, she said that couples therapy helped save them.

She said: “Therapy was amazing for us. We weren’t going because we were in trouble, we were going because I was in trouble.”

Andrea said that therapy helped Nick understand how certain situations could trigger a flashback to past traumatic eexperiences.

Andrea McLean’s husband was shocked to read how she was suffering

Writing about her spiralling depression in an extract of her book This Girl Is On Fire, Andrea detailed: “At my lowest point, I was suicidal. This is the first time I’ve admitted that.

“Just days after I’d collapsed on my make-up artist Donna, I had an argument with my husband, Nick, and then went away on a work trip.

‘It was a trivial thing, the kind of spat all couples have, and he’d only been mildly annoyed with me.

“But I was in such a bad state of mind that it triggered overwhelming anxiety and other negative emotions.”

Nick Feeney and Andrea McLean

Andrea continued: “Alone in my hotel room, I wanted to end it all right then.

“I felt Nick couldn’t see my side of things at all — and if someone who loved me as much as he did failed to see it, what was the point?

“And yet I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to hurt my family — Nick, 47, my beloved third husband, and my two wonderful teenagers; 18-year-old Finlay from my first marriage and 13-year-old Amy from my second.

:I thought they would be ashamed that I’d been so weak. I lay on the floor of my room and sobbed.”

Andrea goes on to say that she would go to work with a brave face the next day.

She added: “Then the next day I got up, went to work, put on a smile and knocked it out of the park at a meeting. No one would ever have known.

“How could I have done that? How can anyone go from lying on the floor feeling suicidal to going into work the next day?

“Ask anyone who has been in this situation and I’m sure they will say the same thing: shame keeps you smiling.”

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit the site to find your local branch





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