Christine McGuinness’ pal: ‘Seeing Paddy move on might hurt but it’ll make her stronger’

Rumours that her ex Paddy is growing close to Kirsty Gallacher have seen pals rally around Christine

christine paddy mcguinness

by Daisy Hall |
Published on

Eyebrows were raised when TV stars Paddy McGuinness and Kirsty Gallacher were spotted looking cosy on a dinner date at a London hotel last week. And insiders say that the news has left Paddy’s ex-wife Christine – from whom he split in July – a little blindsided.

They tell Closer, “Even though Christine has been in a great place – she’s moving on and knows it’s through with Paddy – part of her is still getting over the end of her marriage, so hearing about him potentially being in a new relationship was naturally a surprise.

“The idea of Paddy dating a celebrity like Kirsty is also tough for her, just because she and Kirsty have some mutual friends and already people have been talking about it.”

paddy and christine mcguinness
The couple split after 11 years of marriage ©Getty Images

In an exclusive interview with Closer two weeks ago, Kirsty – who split from rugby star husband Paul Sampson in 2015 and recently from boxing pundit boyfriend Johnny Nelson – told us that she was back on the dating scene. She said, “I’m currently dating! I’m not with anyone in particular right now, but I’m very open to something. That would be really lovely.”

Paddy’s rumoured new romance comes seven months after the Top Gear presenter and Christine, 34, ended their 11-year marriage. The pair met back in 2007, becoming engaged on Christmas Eve two years later before eventually tying the knot in June 2011.

The couple were plagued by cheating rumours throughout their marriage – including when Paddy, 49, was pictured on a drunken night out with All Saints singer Nicole Appleton in 2018.

In an interview before they split, Christine hinted that her husband had messed up in the past, saying, “What I might have put up with then, I probably wouldn’t put up with now, and the same for him. I can’t deny we are having a very difficult time.

“It’s just – we’ve been together 15 years, 11 years married, we are going to have ups and downs – but this situation at the minute, I don’t want to go into it too much, but I will just say that I didn’t cause this situation.”

Earlier last year Paddy was also hit by claims that he had kissed “a fellow TV star” behind Christine’s back, something the Real Housewives Of Cheshire star supposedly found out when she took part in The Games in May.

The couple have also spoken about how autism diagnoses for their three children, twins Penelope and Leo, nine, and Felicity, six – as well as Christine – caused a strain in their relationship.

kirsty gallacher
Kirsty is rumoured to be getting close to Paddy ©Getty Images

Speaking about her own experience with the condition, reality star Christine – who still lives with Paddy so as to cause minimal disruption to their children’s lives – explained, “I’d always wanted to be a wife, so once I met Patrick, I fully went into ‘perfect wife’ mode, ‘I’ll stay in, I’ll cook and clean and make sure I’m the best wife I can be.’ I was always pretending to be something else rather than simply just me.”

And our source says that while Christine has been healing from the split, this news has rattled her. “It’s always difficult at the end of a relationship when it looks like one party is moving on. Christine’s been in a great place recently but of course speculation over Paddy’s love life is hard for her.”

Since splitting from Paddy, Christine has spent a lot of time with pals, including her The Games co-star Chelcee Grimes, who she went on a girls’ trip to Croatia with back in June. Speaking about building up a group of friends after the split, Christine said true friends are “something [she] never had before”.

Autism ambassador Christine has also been throwing herself into a writing career with Amazing Me Amazing You – a children’s book about the importance of accepting everyone’s differences, released last week – and her second documentary entitled Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism, which is set to air soon.

The insider continues, “Christine has been thriving and her pals are urging her to keep focusing on herself, her kids and her career. They have reminded her that whatever Paddy does doesn’t change anything for her. She’s still got her beauty, wit and charm and her mates have all said she could bag anyone she wants. She has lots of exciting things to look forward to.”

‘Christine will pull through, she’s a positive girl’

Someone who knows about going through a public divorce is Christine’s friend, TV personality Lizzie Cundy, who officially split from former Chelsea footballer Jason Cundy in 2012 after almost two decades of marriage.

lizzie cundy christine mcguinness
lizzie and christine together ©Getty Images

Looking back on her “difficult” divorce, Lizzie, 54, admits, “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. When you are in the public eye, divorce is doubly difficult because everyone is talking about it. Looking back, I think I had a breakdown from it. It’s pretty tough when you are reading people’s views on social media – it can be very hurtful.”

But the TV star believes seeing your ex with somebody else can be positive in the long-run and is confident Christine is going to come out the other side stronger.

“It’s going to hurt, of course it is,” Lizzie tells Closer. “But you’ve just got to say, ‘Right, this is a new beginning.’ It makes you realise it’s over – you’ve got to move on. No one knows if Christine is hurting inside because she’s always got that beautiful big smile of hers – and she’s thrown herself into work, exactly as I did. She is going to pull through. She’s a positive, upbeat girl.”

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