Paddy McGuinness says it's 'heart-breaking' when kids snub his autistic children

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Paddy McGuinness and Christine McGuinnness have three children, who are all on the autism spectrum. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Paddy McGuinness and Christine McGuinnness have three children, who are all on the autism spectrum. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Paddy McGuinness has revealed he gets upset when he sees his autistic children snubbed by other kids when they try to introduce themselves.

Speaking on the Table Talk podcast he fronts alongside his wife Christine, the Top Gear presenter admitted he doesn't like seeing how twins Penelope and Leo and their younger sister Felicity are treated.

Read more: Christine McGuinness on autism genetic link

"It's upsetting as a parent when your child goes up to another child in that lovely way and introduces themselves, which is the most normal, nice thing to do ever," he said.

The 48-year-old added: "Most kids will look at that as: 'What the hell is going on here?' They don't understand it. As a parent, it's heart-breaking."

Watch: Paddy McGuinness calls for better education about autism

McGuinness said, though, that he is "glad" that his children still introduce themselves to others and are always polite.

Both McGuinness and his wife have openly discussed their children's autism, fronting the documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism for the BBC last year.

Read more: Christine McGuinness struggling with autistic children during lockdown

Earlier this week, Christine shared a picture of all three children dressed up as fictional characters to mark World Book Day.

She wrote: "I remember when my children would never dress up because the costumes were too itchy. I still have to put soft layers underneath, but they wouldn’t even touch the fabric.

"And just seeing other children wearing costumes would totally confuse and upset them. Now they understand, we prepare and they enjoy World Book Day."

Christine revealed last year that she had also been diagnosed with autism at the age of 33.

Read more: Paddy McGuinness worries children will never understand his love

The couple married in 2011 and Christine gave birth to Penelope and Leo in 2013, followed by Felicity in 2016.

McGuinness has hosted Top Gear alongside Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris since 2019 and took over from tennis ace Sue Barker as host of Question of Sport last year.

Watch: Paddy McGuinness criticises Simon Cowell's parenting skills

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