If I could tell my younger self one thing, I’d tell her to stop wor­ry­ing. Things change... but you’ll be fine S

TV pre­sen­ter on en­joy­ing life again af­ter mar­riage split

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Bill Gibb BGIBB@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

he was tele­vi­sion’s golden girl, a prime-time star bat­ting off lu­cra­tive of­fers.

Al­ways smil­ing, Anthea Turner was the view­ers’ dar­ling, with break­fast telly and Na­tional Lot­tery shows putting her at the very top of the show­biz tree.

But a sofa power strug­gle – Ea­monn Holmes re­port­edly called her “Princess Tippy Toes” – saw her lose her pres­ti­gious GMTV job.

And the head­lines gen­er­ated by her mar­riage to busi­ness­man Grant Bovey took the shine off her squeaky clean im­age.

They started on their wed­ding day af­ter the cou­ple were snapped eat­ing Cad­bury’s Snowflake bars – a pho­to­graph that pro­voked ac­cu­sa­tions that they had spon­sored their big day, an al­le­ga­tion that still in­fu­ri­ates her 17 years later.

One pa­per la­belled it “the most sick­en­ing wed­ding photo ever” and Anthea, 57, re­mains ap­palled by the snap say­ing: “It was a com­plete stitch-up.

“I did what a gazil­lion peo­ple in my po­si­tion do, sign a deal with a mag­a­zine for nice pic­tures of a wed­ding. Then about mid­night the wife of the owner of the mag­a­zine came up and asked me to have a pic­ture taken with some­thing. That was a bit of a bum­mer.

“It didn’t go down well. It was hor­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble, ab­so­lutely aw­ful.

“There were lots of nasty lies about it be­ing spon­sored, which was ab­so­lute rub­bish. It never was.”

The cou­ple di­vorced in 2015 on the grounds of Bovey’s adul­tery which led Anthea to write a book called How To Sur­vive Di­vorce.

How­ever, a meal to­gether was planned for just last week.

“We had some great times but ob­vi­ously it wasn’t good to­wards the end,” says Anthea, who con­cedes she drank too much and shut her­self away at home in the af­ter­math of the break-up.

“I’ve got three amaz­ing step­daugh­ters (Lily, Amelia and Claudia) and – I know I sound a bit like Pollyanna now – I do tend to look at the good things.

“It might sur­prise a lot of peo­ple but I have a very good re­la­tion­ship with Grant now. We meet for lunch to catch up and then both go on our own merry way. Things went wrong, like they do in mar­riages. I know if Grant could change things, he would.

“There are the three girls to think about. It’s Claudia’s 21st in Au­gust and I’d hate to be in a po­si­tion where we couldn’t sit around the ta­ble and do things to­gether.

“You have to swal­low it some­times and do the right thing.”

But the ever- pos­i­tive pre­sen­ter re­fuses to be bowed and has just launched a new busi­ness, the At Home Box Com­pany ( the­ath­ome­box­com­pany.com).

As she gets set to star in a Strictly special as part of Chil­dren In Need on BBC1 on Fri­day, she has told The Sun­day Post how she never saw her­self as telly’s ‘golden girl’.

She in­sists re­ports of her “sup­posed £ 1 mil­lion” salary were vastly over-stated.

Anthea, now 57, had been a Top of the Pops pre­sen­ter be­fore land­ing a Blue Peter job in 1992.

It led to her be­ing wooed by ITV to co- host their flag­ship GMTV pro­gramme as well as be­ing the first to present the Na­tional Lot­tery draw on BBC1.

“Everybody has their day,” said Anthea.

“Even now I watch peo­ple and think, well that’s lovely but it won’t stay like that. It never does. You never re­alise it when you’re in it and you never see your­self like everybody else does.

“Even when you are do­ing lots you worry that you’re not get­ting any­thing right. I didn’t even see my­self in that po­si­tion.

“I was just diary- jug­gling and try­ing to spin plates and keep the show on the road. I’d love to have had the cheque that was sup­pos­edly bandied around.

“Ap­par­ently I was sec­ond only to Cilla Black. No. I can tell you ab­so­lutely, it wasn’t that. If only.”

There were re­ports that GMTV co­host Holmes had even de­manded her sack­ing as the price for him stay­ing with the sta­tion.

Anthea has spent a lot of time hav­ing ther­apy ses­sions to help get through some of her trou­bled times, in­clud­ing tak­ing part re­cently in Chan­nel 5’s In Ther­apy se­ries.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it but a lot of peo­ple said I should and I’m re­ally glad I did.

“I’ve ben­e­fited from ther­apy, but not to the ex­tent of get­ting hooked on and it be­ing self-in­dul­gent.”

While she ob­vi­ously adores her step- daugh­ters, Anthea was never able to have chil­dren her­self.

“I tried a mil­lion IVFs but it didn’t work. I think you just move on and say, right, OK, I can’t do this any­more and let’s look at what I’ve got.

“I’m very lucky that I have three great step­daugh­ters and a job and friends and things to look for­ward to. You have to rel­ish that.”

While she’s adamant that she’s a “move on and let it go, not a bit­ter” per­son, she says she does have at least one thing she’d like to change.

“I re­gret wor­ry­ing too much. I wor­ried about ev­ery­thing and if I could speak to my younger self I’d tell my­self that I’d be fine,” she said.

Anthea, who wrote a book called How To Be The Per­fect House­wife, still pops up on This Morn­ing and has lots of other jobs.

Those in­clude launch­ing The At Home Box Com­pany along with life­style ex­pert Sarah Jones.

Cus­tomers take out a three, six or 12-month sub­scrip­tion and get gifts de­liv­ered in a pre­sen­ta­tion box de­signed to keep.

“It’s home and life­style so we’re look­ing at ac­ces­sories and we do pho­to­shoots to show how to ar­range what­ever we’ve put in the box.”

Anthea has also been putting in train­ing ses­sions in the past few weeks for the Chil­dren In Need special, which sees six Blue Peter favourites like Tim Vin­cent and Diane- Louise Jor­dan paired with a Strictly star.

She is part­nered with Bren­dan Cole, who danced with Good Morn­ing Bri­tain’s Char­lotte Hawkins on this year’s Strictly.

“He’s had Char­lotte and then me – he’s a lucky man,” laughs Anthea.

With loads of things on the go, she says keep­ing a packed sched­ule is the way she likes it.

“I might be 57 but I’m cer­tainly not go­ing to stop work­ing.

“I en­joy hav­ing some­thing to do. I’m lucky to still be very busy.”

It was hor­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble, ab­so­lutely aw­ful I tried a mil­lion IVFs but it didn’t work

Anthea is set to star in a Strictly special as part of Chil­dren In Need this Fri­day. Left: the in­fa­mous Cad­bury’s Snowflake wed­ding photo with Grant Bovey

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