Carol Vorderman says a family feud kept her away from Wales
Carol Vorderman has revealed that a family dispute kept her away from her native Wales for a "very long time".
The 61-year-old says her mother warned off her home soil for several years after the presenter took sides with her step-father during their divorce.
The Countdown star marked Welsh Valentine’s Day with a post that gave an insight into what happened.
"Happy Welsh Valentine's Day,” she told her 206,000 followers in a lengthy written message. “For some they say I love you (Dwi'n caru ti) to their beloved. For me I say I [love] you to my country.
Read more: Carol Vorderman shares pride as son 'deemed unteachable' earns master's degree
"It's a real love... We have a word for it in Welsh. HIRAETH A real and visceral longing for the homeland which grows ever stronger."
She continued: "I grew up in Wales and only known Wales for my first 20 years and then my mum left my stepfather (who I ADORED) and told me I couldn't go back home.
"So I didn't for a very long time. I had to block it out. This was before the Internet was even created. Only letters and sporadic phone calls kept us in touch with family back then. Now I'm there half of the year at least and growing. HOME. CYMRU. LOVE."
The TV presenter’s mother Edwina Jean died in 2017 at the age of 88 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer just three months previous. It appeared that Vorderman had long reconciled with her mother after the rift.
At the time, she shared a touching post about her loss on Twitter, writing: "Some days are tough, today was one of them.
"Today was my amazing Mum's funeral..... Rest In Peace Jean Vorderman. You will always be loved."
Some days are tough, today was one of them. Today was my amazing Mum's funeral.....❤️
Rest In Peace Jean Vorderman
You will always be loved
— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) June 19, 2017
The mother-of-two also previously spoke about how much she had come into her own following her mother’s passing.
The star said: “From the age of 21, I’d loved looking after Mum. I employed her full-time from when I was 25. We always lived together.
“It’s taken time to come to terms with losing her. Now that Katie [her daughter, 31] and Cameron [her son, 25] are grown up, I realise this is the first time in my life I’ve had no responsibilities.
“It’s an amazing feeling of freedom. I’ve fulfilled my duties and earned the money, and looked after a lot of people."
The TV presenter and mathematician — who is recovering from long COVID — has made up from her absence in Wales by spending many of her summers there, including in 2021, when she enjoyed early-morning paddle boarding sessions on the beach.
She added: “Now it’s about what I choose to do. I’m relaunching, re-engaging and ready for this incredible new chapter.”
Watch: Carol Vorderman talks about her battle with Long COVID