BBC Countryfile host had 'midlife crisis' after putting 'so much pressure' on himself

Man posing
Sean Fletcher presents on Countryfile and Good Morning Britain -Credit:Western Mail

TV presenter Sean Fletcher said he had a "midlife crisis" soon after he began hosting Good Morning Britain. The star, also known for presenting Countryfile, said he "put so much pressure" on himself when he first started presenting the ITV show.

In an article for the i newspaper, he said he wasn't worried about turning 50 because he had his midlife crisis just before his 40th birthday. He said: "It was a big step up for me, in presenting and in profile. It was the opportunity I’d been waiting for for so long.

"So success and my profile became my be-all and end-all. I made them my driver for life and I was impatient for more. I checked the TV viewing figures for GMB religiously, I monitored my exposure, was desperate for my social media followings to grow, and focused on my next big job.

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"Being super-ambitious came with baggage though. I was terrified of failure. My wife said I’d gone from a glass half-full person to a glass half-empty person. The pressure to succeed meant that when I didn’t, for example when the viewing figures dipped (which they did frequently), my mood followed.

"Lots of exposure can be a great experience, but the slightest mistake can feel crushing. One time I was a guest reporter on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. I put so much pressure on myself to get it right I couldn’t remember presenting my section straight after I’d done it.

"I think it went well but I couldn’t be sure until I watched the broadcast back. It felt like the pressure was making my brain respond in the same way it would to a trauma – my brain’s way of protecting me from bad stuff."

Sean went on to say that it was getting back in touch with an old university friend, who had recently changed careers to become a life coach and wanted someone to practice on, that helped him realise what was important to him. He said: "That favour for a friend turned out to be the beginning of a realisation that I was caring about the wrong things.

"We explored what my core needs are – or in plain English, what I need in life to be happy. In no particular order, my top four were love, respect, creativity and authenticity. It very quickly dawned on me that none of those aligned with the priorities in my life at the time – that drive for success. So in the years up to my 50th birthday I have tried to make sure I prioritise my needs, and surround myself with people who help me do so."

Sean says he now makes time for things he enjoys in life, like producing music with his son. Sean is married to Luned Tonderai, a Welsh TV producer and director, and they recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. For the latest TV & Showbiz news, sign up to our newsletter.

They met at university and within a couple of years Luned was pregnant with their daughter and they married in March 1999 when their daughter was a baby. Want less ads? Download WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android.