"I didn't feel like I fitted in": Why Fearne Cotton walked away from high-profile radio gig
As broadcast careers go, Fearne Cotton has enjoyed a particularly illustrious one.
Whether you know her from her days as a teen presenter on The Disney Club and Diggit, fondly remember her eight years with Radio 1 in the UK, enjoyed her regular slot on Celebrity Juice or revere her in her current incarnation as wellness guru, there's no denying that Fearne Cotton has achieved an inordinate amount in her professional life.
And while her career trajectory may be the envy of budding broadcasters everywhere, the 38-year-old's experience wasn't without its pitfalls - something she spoke candidly about during a recent interview with Grazia.
Fearne, who currently hosts the Happy Place podcast, made the decision to leave BBC Radio 1 in 2015 because she recognised the importance of prioritising her own mental health and wellbeing.
While acknowledging the strides she took in a notoriously difficult industry, the mother-of two said: "I’m very lucky to have worked in the industry I have since I was 15, but a lot of the work I was doing, I didn't feel connected to."
While fans of Fearne's wellness podcast will certainly be familiar with the broadcaster's more vulnerable side, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that the vivacious host struggled with the implications of a career led in the spotlight.
''I didn't feel like I fitted in, I always felt like someone was about to slag me off," she told the publication. "It gets really tiring and hurtful and I had to walk away because it was literally ruining my mind."
''I left Radio 1 just before I had my second kid, and knew that I needed a new chapter," Fearne added.
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Fearne, who made the decision to open up about her struggles with depression and anxiety in 2017, decided to channel her dedication into the exploration of emotional and mental health by creating her own broadcast project, and with that Happy Place was born.
Speaking of her decision to publicly discuss her mental health and the career path it ultimately opened up for her, Fearne has no regrets, explaining: "The lesson I learned from that point onwards was that honesty breeds honesty."
"I’m now lucky enough to be on the receiving end of friends or strangers who want to talk, and it’s really opened up a beautiful channel of communication. Every bit of me wants to do this work."