Helen Skelton leaves BBC Radio 5 Live to spend more time with her children | Ents & Arts News

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Helen Skelton has quit her weekend BBC Radio 5 Live show, telling listeners that while she doesn’t want to leave, she wants to spend more time with her children.

The 40-year-old presenter, who has hosted the Sunday morning programme for the past year, said she would be stepping down “for now,” adding “needs must”.

The former Blue Peter presenter took over the radio slot from former Love Island host Laura Whitmore.

Chatting to her co-host Steve Crossman during her final show on Sunday, she said: “I don’t want to but an eight-year-old will be happy about it.”

She later added: “I’m not all right about it but you know, needs must. The juggle is real. An eight-year-old with a sideline needs me.”

At the end of the show, she said: “That’s it for me on Sundays for now. Thank you for your company over the last year, I’ve loved every minute of our time together on this show…

“Thank you to all of the team, thank you to all of you. Maybe we’ll meet again soon. It’s hard to know what to say without getting emotional.”

Crossman told listeners it had been “so wonderful” working with her and that she will be “massively missed”.

Skelton and her ex-husband, rugby league player Richie Myler, 33, have three children together, Ernie, eight, Louis, six, and Elsie Kate, who is one.

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They announced they were splitting up last year, with Skelton writing on her Instagram story at the time: “Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co-parent our small children.”

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Aside from her former radio role, Skelton co-hosts BBC One’s Morning Live, Channel 5’s On the Farm and rugby league coverage on Channel 4. She has also co-presented BBC’s Countryfile and will co-host Channel 5 series Dan & Helen’s Pennine Adventure alongside Dan Walker from this week.

Last year, Skelton was a runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing, performing with professional partner Gorka Marquez.

She said that she had “found her confidence on the dancefloor” while competing on the show.

Following news of her radio departure, a BBC spokesperson said: “Helen is an excellent broadcaster who has done a fantastic job hosting Sunday mornings.

“We respect her decision and look forward to working together with her in the future across 5 Live programming.

“As for what’s next for the Sunday mornings, we will update our listeners with some exciting news in due course.”

Skelton’s autobiography, In My Stride, is due out later this year.

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