Anthea Turner’s life lessons on marriage, divorce and finding happiness

TV presenter and star of C4’s the Jump, Anthea Turner, 53, shares her thoughts on life’s ups and downs.


by Closer Staff |
Published on

The biggest misconception about me is…

That I’m always absolutely fine. The reality is, I have too much pride to let myself go. I’ve lost a bit of weight since I split from my husband of 13 years, Grant Bovey, in June last year (Grant was accused of having an affair with a younger woman)- there’s nothing quite like the divorce diet! There have been times over the past months when I’ve looked bloody awful, but my mum, who’s 83, has never appeared in public without her make up, and she’ll say to me: “Come on, have a shower, blow-dry your hair and you’ll feel much better.” And you know what? She’s right. It’s a bit like putting on body armour.

What I’ve learnt about me…

They are great at compartmentalising things- job in one slot, relationship in another- and that makes life a bit easier when things go wrong. Us women aren’t made like that. We’ve all ended up crying in the loo at work over a problem, haven’t we? If we’re upset it spills over into every aspect of our lives.

You have to grieve to move on

Whether it’s a job, death or divorce, we often try to stop ourselves from going through the process of getting over it. So yes, I’ll get under the duvet for a day and shut the door, but for me, pride is the one thing that pushes me back from the brink. I don’t want to be a victim, it’s just not me. But I’ve learned that if something major goes wrong in your life, it’s vital to let yourself grieve. You have to talk it through with trusted friends, then dust yourself off and start living again.

Don’t dwell on regrets

I’m the eternal optimist. The light at the end of the tunnel is never switched off! Yes, my marriage failed, but we had many good years and I have three amazing stepdaughters (Lily, 21, Amelia, 19, and Claudia, 16) who’ll be with me for the rest of my life.

Anthea split from her husband in 2013
Anthea split from her husband in 2013

Take a few risks

Sometimes a door opens and your have to go for it. Years ago, I left a great job at Blue Peter to work on breakfast TV- I was so nervous, but it took me into “grown up” telly and boosted my career. I plan to do something to challenge myself every year as it helps keep your vitality. I’m doing extreme winter-sports show, The Jump, at the moment and I’m hanging out with new buddies like Amy Childs.

Try something new

The other night, stylist Nicky Clarke, who’s also on The Jump, told me after a fe margaritas that my hair made me look like 70s rocker Suzi Quatro and started chopping it off! Since my divorce, I’ve done a lot- the haircut, a tattoo- well, just permanent eyeliner on my eyelids- and I’ve moved house! I’ve done those classic things you do after a break up and I’m feeling really great about what the future holds.

I still believe in love

I’m not in the bitter brigade- relationships are important to me. Some amazing people have come into my life over the past year and, yes (businessman and ex Dragons Den millionaire) Richard Farleigh has become a great buddy and we’re enjoying ourselves.

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