Helen Skelton reveals how Strictly boosted her confidence again

Helen Skelton reveals how Strictly boosted her confidence again after feeling on a ‘sticky wicket’ when her marriage to Richie Myler broke down

Helen Skelton has revealed how Strictly Come Dancing boosted her confidence again after a whirlwind 12 months including the breakdown of her eight-year marriage. 

The Countryfile presenter, 40, signed up for the 2022 series of the BBC ballroom dancing contest after she split from Richie Myler that April. 

Helen went on to reach the final of the competition, growing in confidence throughout including a very sexy cabaret routine with pro partner Gorka Marquez. 

Despite eventually losing out on the coveted Glitterball trophy to Hamza Yassin and partner Jowita Przystal, Helen still sees herself as a ‘winner’.  

In an interview with The Mirror, she said: ‘I think everybody at some point needs a little reminder of, “Actually, you’re really good at this, here’s your invisible crown, pop it on.”

Helen Skelton has revealed how Strictly Come Dancing boosted her confidence again after a whirlwind 12 months

Helen went on to reach the final of the competition, growing in confidence throughout

‘I was like, “OK, I’m hurtling towards 40, I’ve just had another child. I’m on my own. I’ve moved my life, I’ve moved my house”. 

‘I was on a bit of a sticky wicket but the [pro] dancers are all like, “Oh my God, you have three children, that’s incredible. You bought a house, that’s incredible.”‘ 

While juggling work and three children with her time on the show, Helen said Strictly brought her ‘back to life’. 

Helen is a mother of three and has Ernie, eight, Louis, five, and Elsie, two, with ex Richie.

She announced her split from England and Leeds Rhino rugby star Richie in April last year – and finally broke her silence earlier in October. 

While she was left devastated by the break-up she said she wants to keep the sportsman in her life to a certain extent for the sake of her children. 

Helen has opened up about her love life in her new autobiography In My Stride, in which she wrote according to The Sun: ‘I was in shock.

‘I know that following break-ups, people often say they didn’t see it coming and it sounds like a cliche, but that was me.’

End of the road: The television presenter announced her split from England and Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Richie in April last year

Helen’s heartache sparked her decision to join Strictly last year, with the presenter previously admitting that she struggled to feel ‘sexy’ even when encouraged by her professional dance partner Gorka Marquez.

She penned: ‘In week two, Gorka asked me why I didn’t feel sexy. It was an awkward question that immediately made me cringe.

‘Why ask me that? I was just there for the banter. I have never sexy, I was the cute and funny type.

‘He was asking a woman with three children under six, whose husband had just left her and was with another woman, TO BE SEXY.

‘I thought, “Who would feel good about themselves in that scenario?”‘

But later on, Helen revealed she had regained her ability to feel sexy as the show went on.

Appearing on Loose Women in February, Helen reflected on her journey on the show and how dance partner Gorka Marquez helped make her remember ‘who I am’. 

‘In the first few weeks I didn’t know how to own it and be sexy and sassy but then it got easier,’ she said. 

Helen signed up for Strictly in 2022 after she split from Richie Myler earlier that year

‘Then I stopped questioning it and I just stopped caring less. I was conscious it would be over in the blink of an eye so I just gave it my all.’

Helen went on to talk about her racy cabaret routine where she dressed up in black lingerie and stockings – with many fans going on to call it the ultimate ‘revenge’ dance.

She said: ‘The cabaret routine was about being fierce and powerful and that’s my version of sexy. 

‘It made me remember who I am this show. By the end I wasn’t thinking “oh my god” I just wanted to have a good time.’

Despite her hurt she will ensure Richie is a constant in her life so her children always have a father figure.

And she is refusing to delete pictures of herself and Richie taken during the happy times they shared together which she has posted on social media.

She insists: ‘I want them to know that we loved each other, but things change and that’s OK too.’

Helen was so distraught after her split from Richie that she was unable to tell her parents at first.

Family: Helen, who shares sons Ernie, eight, Louis, six, and 22-month-old daughter Elsie with Richie, wants the sportsman as a constant in her life so their children have a father figure

She claims she kept it a secret from them for some time as she did not want to ‘inflict’ pain on them.

But when her father noticed her spending a lot of time on her own with her children at her marital home, he surprised her with a visit from Cumbria.

Helen wrote: ‘He immediately stepped in, knowing I needed him, even though I didn’t want to admit it.’

Since his split from Helen, Richie has gone on to have a baby with new girlfriend Stephanie Thirkill, 32, the daughter of Leeds Rhinos president Andrew.

Helen is said to have also begun dating again.  

Helen and Richie married in 2013 and moved into their Yorkshire property together seven years later. 

In August Helen quit her Radio 5 Live show on air after just a year to spend more time with her children.  

Moving on: Richie and Helen separated in April 2022 and shortly afterwards the rugby league ace started a new romance with Stephanie Thirkill, the daughter of the multi-millionaire President of the Leeds Rhinos club he plays for

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