Strictly’s Helen Skelton: ‘wobbles’ as she hits dating scene again

TV presenter Helen is struggling to put herself back out there following her shock marriage split last year

helen skelton

by Daisy Hall |
Updated on

Strictly Come Dancing star Helen Skelton's world was turned upside down last year when she revealed that her eight-year marriage to rugby player Richie Myler was over, just four months after she gave birth to their daughter, Elsie. But Helen now seems to be enjoying life again and thriving, largely off the back of her Strictly success.

The TV presenter, 40, has been spending the summer holidays with the three children she shares with ex Richie, 33 – Ernie, seven, Louis, six, and Elsie, one – heading on a family trip to the Lake District to celebrate her 40th birthday in July. The previous month, Helen enjoyed a trip to Ibiza, taking some time off with her girlfriends.

helen skelton and richie myler
with her ex richie back in 2014 ©Shutterstock

The former Blue Peter presenter has also been keeping busy with work over the past few months, co-hosting Morning Live on BBC One and filming a new project for Channel 5 with pal Dan Walker, which sees the pair take on the Pennine Way.

Closer previously reported how Helen had decided to get back on the dating scene after being linked to her Strictly co-star Vito Coppola, but insiders now say that the mum of three is struggling.

They say, “Helen’s family and friends encouraged her to get back out there and she was happy to dip her toe back into the dating scene, but she has had some wobbles and found herself feeling guilty. She’s concerned about who to let into her life and worried about being judged for any decisions she makes.

“She knows she tried everything she could to make her marriage work, and once the trust was broken there was just no going back. But dating again has brought up some unexpected feelings that she’s been struggling with.”

Helen and Richie were introduced through mutual friends back in 2011, becoming engaged a year later after the Leeds Rhinos player popped the question in March 2012. The pair then tied the knot in a low-key ceremony in December 2013 in Helen’s hometown of Kirkby Thore, Cumbria.

Despite their relationship seeming solid – with Helen posting a loved-up snap of her and Richie in February in April 2022 – the Countryfile presenter shocked her Instagram followers by announcing that they had made the decision to split. Just one month later, Richie announced his relationship with businesswoman Stephanie Thirkill, 32, with the pair causing surprise in October with news that they were expecting their first child together, a baby girl born in March.

helen skelton and gorka marquez
dancing with gorka marquez on strictly ©BBC

In August, four months after her and Richie’s unexpected break-up, Helen signed up for Strictly, partnering with Gorka Marquez. The presenter was a huge hit with viewers and the judges, eventually coming in third place and saying in the final, “I’ve definitely found my confidence on that dance floor and I enjoy it, and that’s what it was about.”

Our source says, “A big part of Helen bouncing back and building her confidence came from doing Strictly. She’s not sure if she could face dating in her 40s if it wasn’t for her time on the show. The experience really did give her a massive confidence boost, applying her stage make-up and an incredible dress – it felt like putting on armour to go out and face the world. That’s the approach she’s been trying to take to dating.

closer magazine

“Her priority still is, and always will be, being the best mum she can be for the kids, but she knows that being happy in herself plays a big part of that. She isn’t ready to jump into a serious relationship, but at the same time she’s not going to rule it out either. If the perfect man comes along then she’s going to give it her best shot.”

They continue, “For the most part, her family and friends are eager for Helen to meet someone stable that she can trust to live a happy life. They’ve told her countless times that she has absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.”

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