Andrea McLean: My self-confidence was whittled away through life’s bumps in road

Andrea McLean said despite her successful career in television, her self-confidence and self-belief had been “whittled away” over the years.

The former Loose Women presenter said it took until she reached her 50s to get her “spark” back again.

Speaking on the Women’s Health ‘Going For Goal’ podcast, the 52-year-old said: “I’ve always been a very brave person, I’ve always done brave things, and I’ve always pushed myself to do things that are uncomfortable and difficult, and that I didn’t necessarily know what the outcome was going to be.

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Andrea McLean, Coleen Nolan, Nadia Sawalha and Saira Khan on Loose Women (ITV/PA)

“I’ve done this since I was little, I’ve carried on doing that my whole life, what happened as I went through my life was that I realised that through life’s bumps in the road my self-confidence had been whittled away, and my self-belief had been whittled away.

“So although I was still really successful in my career, and doing really well, and pushing through any phase I may have, personally I’d lost that spark.

“And I would say it took until probably I was 50 until I managed to get that back again.”

After suffering a breakdown, McLean quit Loose Women in December 2020 after 13 years and re-trained to become a fully certified life coach alongside her businessman husband Nick Feeney.

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Nick Feeney and Andrea McLean (Ian West/PA)

Speaking about her mental wellbeing, she said: “I finally spoke up and put my hand up.

“I’ve always been the eldest child, oldest girl, ‘I can sort this out, it’ll all be all right, I’ll find a way through it’, and it was quite hard to put my hand up and say ‘actually I’m really struggling and I need some help’.

“Best thing I ever did, because if you don’t ask for help, you won’t receive it – people aren’t mind readers.

“And so I had therapy and I had coaching, and it totally changed everything around, and it changed my perspective.

“I realised I’d always been brave at pushing myself towards things that I wanted to do, and actually that’s a very easy kind of bravery.

“I’d been brave at getting through circumstances that had been put upon me, because then you’re trying to find a way to survive, whether it’s for yourself or for your children, but the bravery that we need in the day-to-day actually is a whole different thing.”

Scottish-born McLean, who appeared on 1,409 episodes of Loose Women, worked on GMTV as a weather reporter prior to joining the chat show.