Paddy McGuinness: Top Gear host details ‘difficult’ time with wife ‘It was really hard’

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Paddy McGuinness, 46, exclusively told Express.co.uk that he and wife Christine McGuinness, 32, found it “really hard” having their three children at home, as lockdown stopped them from being in an educational environment and socialising with friends. The Top Gear presenter’s twins Leo and Penelope, seven, and four-year-old daughter Felicity have been previously diagnosed with the developmental disorder autism.

That’s what was really difficult

Paddy McGuinness

With all three children remaining at home for six months, the youngsters were quickly forced out of their daily routine.

Paddy explained: “Generally, kids with autism thrive on routine.”

“But when that suddenly changes and they realise they have to stay at home and can’t go out and see their friends or go to a play centre or a creche, that’s what was really difficult.

“It was really hard on me and Christine, but the kids weren’t aware of that and we kept on going like everyone else.”

However, once lockdown restrictions began to ease and children returned to classrooms Paddy and Christine felt relieved.

“But when they eventually went back to school, what a day that was!” he laughed.

“Can you imagine winning the Euro-Millions? I had that same feeling.

“Now they go to a school around the corner from our house.“

The comedian divulged that it took a while to find an appropriate school for his children, as they can not just be “dropped into a classroom”.

He continued: “It took us a while to find the right school because with their condition you can’t be dropping them into a classroom full of 20 kids because it wouldn’t work. 

“But when that suddenly changes and they realise they have to stay at home and can’t go out and see their friends or go to a play centre or a creche, that’s what was really difficult.

“It was really hard on me and Christine, but the kids weren’t aware of that and we kept on going like everyone else.

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“But when they eventually went back to school, what a day that was!

“Can you imagine winning the Euro-Millions? I had that same feeling.

“Now they go to a school around the corner from our house. It took us a while to find the right school because with their condition you can’t be dropping them into a classroom full of 20 kids because it wouldn’t work. 

“So we found a school with small class sizes and they have separate help as well with development teachers who we sourced, who go in with them and they’re loving it now they’re in a good routine. 

“It’s amazing to see how much they improve every day,” he added.

The Top Gear star insists that all he longs for is to see his three children grow up being “independent” and to have “normality” in their lives.

Paddy divulged: “All I want is for them to be independent. I don’t care what they end up doing for a living but I want them to be independent – and you can see now with the school and all the help they get that it’s coming to fruition.

“I just crave normality but you’ve got to put the hours in, do the work and as they get older, they get used to things more.”

Top Gear airs on BBC One tonight at 8pm. 

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