Fearne Cotton says panic attacks stop her doing live radio

·Contributor
·2-min read
Fearne Cotton doesn't feel like she can take on live radio work at the moment due to panic attacks. (Getty)
Fearne Cotton doesn't feel like she can take on live radio work at the moment due to panic attacks. (Getty)

Fearne Cotton has revealed that she experiences frequent panic attacks before going on air, which stops her from taking on live radio jobs.

Cotton stepped down from her show on BBC Radio 1 in 2015 after nearly a decade at the station, saying that the job was "ruining her mind" and she needed to step away.

Six years on, the 40-year-old star told the Daily Star that her struggles with mental health mean she "could not handle" taking on a high-pressure live gig at the moment.

"I would not sleep the night before, I'd have a panic attack before," said Cotton.

Watch: Fearne Cotton reveals she felt ashamed to be experiencing depression

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She added: "I'd probably be fine when I'm on air, it's just the bit before that I can't get myself through with ease."

Cotton admitted she feels "a level of frustration" at being kept away from the studio by her mental health given her 25 years of experience as a radio presenter.

The star has spoken openly in recent years about her health struggles, including on her successful happiness podcast Happy Place.

Cotton said last year that she hopes the podcast "breeds connection and offers people solace if they’re feeling alone".

Read more: Fearne Cotton went "to hell and back" early in her career

Fearne Cotton was a fixture on BBC radio from 2005 until quitting her show on Radio 1 in 2015. (PA/Getty)
Fearne Cotton was a fixture on BBC radio from 2005 until quitting her show on Radio 1 in 2015. (PA/Getty)

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The star joined BBC Radio 1 in 2005, where she presented with Reggie Yates on numerous shows including when the duo took over the Chart Show in 2007.

Their hiring made Cotton the first permanent female presenter of that show.

She left her mid-morning Radio 1 show in 2015 while pregnant with her second child, subsequently joining Radio 2 the following year.

Cotton has covered for various hosts on Radio 2 — including Chris Evans in the breakfast slot — up until 2019 and launched her own BBC Sounds series Sounds of the 90s in 2020.

On TV, Cotton was a regular team captain on Keith Lemon's anarchic panel show Celebrity Juice until quitting in 2018, to be replaced by Paddy McGuinness, Mel B and later Laura Whitmore.

Watch: Fearne Cotton reveals her A-Z of happiness

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