The juggle is real
Helen Skelton, the popular TV and radio presenter, has announced that she is leaving her Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live after a year of hosting. Skelton, who has three young children, said that she wanted to spend more time with her family and that the pressures of juggling home and work life were “real”.
Skelton, 40, made the surprise announcement on air during her final show on Sunday, August 14, 2023. She thanked her listeners and the team for their support and said that she hoped to meet them again soon. She also admitted that she was feeling emotional and did not want to go.
A versatile career
Skelton is best known for her roles as a co-presenter on BBC One’s Countryfile and Blue Peter, as well as a contestant on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, where she reached the final with her professional partner Gorka Márquez. She also co-hosts Morning Live on BBC One, On the Farm on Channel 5, and rugby league coverage on Channel 4.
Skelton has a new series with Dan Walker, Dan & Helen’s Pennine Adventure, which starts on Tuesday on Channel 5. The show follows the duo as they explore the Pennine Way, a 268-mile trail that runs through England and Scotland.
Skelton has also been involved in various charity and adventure projects, such as kayaking the length of the Amazon River, walking a tightrope between the towers of Battersea Power Station, and trekking to the South Pole.
A personal decision
Skelton’s decision to quit Radio 5 Live comes after she revealed last year that she and her former husband Richie Myler, a rugby league player, were no longer a couple. Skelton said that Myler had left the family home and that they would be doing their best to co-parent their three children: Ernie, eight, Louis, six, and Elsie Kate, one.
Skelton said that she was not all right about leaving Radio 5 Live but that “needs must”. She said that her eldest son Ernie would be happy about her decision as he needed her more. She also said that “the juggle is real” and that balancing work and family was not easy.
A loss for Radio 5 Live
Skelton’s departure from Radio 5 Live was met with sadness and praise from her colleagues and fans. Steve Crossman, another presenter on the station, said that it had been “so wonderful” working with her and that she would be “massively missed”. He also said that he was emotional about her leaving.
Many listeners also expressed their appreciation and admiration for Skelton on social media. They thanked her for her entertaining and informative shows and wished her well for the future. Some also hoped that she would return to Radio 5 Live someday.
A BBC spokesperson said that Skelton was an “excellent broadcaster” who had done a “fantastic job” hosting Sunday mornings. The spokesperson also said that they respected her decision and looked forward to working with her in the future across 5 Live programming. The spokesperson added that they would update their listeners with some “exciting news” about the Sunday morning slot in due course.