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Christine McGuinness says Pilgrimage helped her tackle fear of dying

The mum-of-three admitted her worries about leaving her children behind had begun to take over her life.

Watch: Christine McGuinness shares her Pilgrimage experience

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Christine McGuinness has admitted her fear of dying and leaving her three children behind had been taking over her life, until BBC series Pilgrimage helped her to tackle her worries.

The TV star split from husband Paddy McGuinness in 2022, but they continue to live together as they co-parent their three autistic children and caring for her family is always top of her mind.

She spoke about how taking part in Pilgrimage: The Road through North Wales had helped her in Wednesday's episode of The One Show.

What, how and why?

Christine McGuinness told how Pilgrimage had been life-changing. (BBC screengrab)
Christine McGuinness told how Pilgrimage had been life-changing. (BBC screengrab)

Devoted mum Christine McGuinness has spoken often about the challenges and rewards of parenting her three young children who have all been diagnosed with autism.

But speaking on The One Show about taking part in BBC series Pilgrimage: The Road through North Wales, she admitted to an overwhelming fear that she would die and leave them behind, which she says the spiritual documentary helped her to get under control.

Asked what she had gained from the show, which sees a group of celebrities trek a well-trodden pilgrimage path together and discuss each other's differing faiths, McGuinness told hosts Alex Scott and Roman Kemp: "Oh wow, so much. Getting to know everyone else, understanding other people, other religions, one of the best things was making friends.

Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales,29-03-2024,2,Eshaan Akbar, Amanda Lovett, Christine McGuiness, Michaela Strachan, Sonali Shah, Spencer Matthews,Snowdon

**STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 19TH MARCH 2024**,CTVC,Production
Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales airs on Good Friday. (BBC)

"But for me personally, it was not being so scared of dying any more, that was something that was really keeping me awake at night, I've got three young children."

Kemp asked if she had health anxiety and she replied: "Yeah, it was the worries and concerns as a parent. Of course, you worry about not being around to look after your children, but for me it was really taking over my mind."

She added: "Whilst I was on Pilgrimage, I learned to live in the moment and enjoy the present, and just embrace the right now and that was the best thing that I took away from it."

What else happened on The One Show?

McGuinness was joined by her Pilgrimage co-stars Spencer Matthews and Sonali Shah on The One Show, where they shared how being pilgrims had affected their lives.

Having been diagnosed with autism and splitting from husband Paddy McGuinness in recent years, who still lives in the family home with her, Christine said she had a lot of things to work through but had enjoyed a ritual of writing her worries on beach pebbles.

Christine McGuinness, Eshaan Akbar, Sonali Shah, Tom Rosenthal, Michaela Strachan, Spencer Matthews, and Amanda Lovett are taking part in the latest Pilgrimage. (BBC)
Christine McGuinness, Eshaan Akbar, Sonali Shah, Tom Rosenthal, Michaela Strachan, Spencer Matthews, and Amanda Lovett are taking part in the latest Pilgrimage. (BBC)

"There's been so many changes in the last couple of years, my whole life has turned upside down," she said. "Some good, some bad, post (autism) diagnosis has been quite a journey on its own, still getting to know myself.

"Pilgrimage really, really helped, it gave me that time out to just be with myself which is something that I've never really done before.

"At the end it was the visual side of the letting go that I absolutely loved. We put all of our worries and thoughts into some pebbles and we had them blessed by a priest, and we left them on the beach to be washed away by the sea, and I was delighted to get rid of all those worries. It was lovely."

The One Show airs on BBC One at 7pm on weekdays.

Read more: Christine McGuinness

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