Melanie Sykes says son's diagnosis was 'fuel' to end her marriage

Melanie Sykes credit:Bang Showbiz
Melanie Sykes credit:Bang Showbiz

Melanie Sykes says her son's autism diagnosis was the "fuel" to end her marriage.

The 51-year-old presenter split with husband Daniel Caltagirone in 2009 after eight years of marriage and Melanie admitted that finding out their son Valentino, now 17, was autistic at the age of two, helped her to leave the marriage.

Speaking on 'The Hot Mess Mums Club' podcast, she said: "That boy is the light of my life. When he was diagnosed he changed my life. I couldn't be in a marriage that I wasn't happy in, in order to help him.

"I had to sort myself out and he helped me get out of the situation that I was in – he was ¬definitely the fuel for the move to do that. Because you and I know when you are unhappy you can't function as a parent."

Mel - who also has son Roman, 19, with Daniel - added: "When you are unhappy you are not displaying what a woman should be dealing with. With two boys, particularly, I was very mindful of what they were observing of me as a woman and what they would take into their adult lives when they were dealing with women.

"Whether it be romantically or not because at that time I didn't know what sexual persuasion they were going to be.

"It was just what women are and what women are capable of. I am their main woman so everything I do, I want them to see me as someone to look up to and to respect.

"I think that is my duty as a mother, to boys particularly."