Fearne Cotton has always felt "a step behind" other stars.

Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton

The 38-year-old presenter admitted she often felt judged and lacking in comparison to the glamorous popstars who appeared on 'Top of the Pops' when she was host and she still experiences imposter syndrome now.

She said: "When I was doing Top of the Pops in the 1990s there was a plethora of gorgeous young pop stars around, from Samantha Mumba to Steps, and they all looked like these confident, luminous beings to me, with flat stomachs and stylists and make-up artists...

"I never felt I was exuding that kind of confidence or ability. Even later, I always felt a step behind everyone else...

"For years I would stand next to someone like the glorious Terry Wogan, thinking, 'I don't belong here, but everyone else does.'

"[At events] 'I'm always thinking, 'Everyone seems so comfortable here, whereas I just feel like an insecure mess.' "

Fearne - who has spoken candidly about her struggles with bulimia and depression - hosted ITV's 'Disney Club' as a teenager and she thinks "being on the telly" at the age of 15 probably sparked the beginning of her issues.

She said: "'I always see my mental problems starting with the depression, but of course that's not true, because I was bulimic for 10 years before that.

"And there must have been a moment where I thought, 'This seems like a good idea,' and tried it for the first time, but I don't think the trigger can have been that day....

"I think being on the telly from the age of 15 onwards. After all, I was just a porous teenager sponging it all in."

But the former 'Celebrity Juice' star - who has children Rex, seven, and Honey, four, with husband Jesse Wood - admitted mental health difficulties run in her family.

She added to Stella magazine: "My mum has struggled with her mental health her whole life, but we've only recently started talking about that more together. And I only found out when my maternal grandmother passed away that she had had many nervous breakdowns as a child.

And there are other aspects of her situation that Fearne doesn't feel comfortable talking about.

She said: "The thing is that until I'm absolutely at peace with everything that has happened to me and every feeling I have felt - with every inch of shame and self-loathing - until I've dealt with that, I don't think I can talk about it. And I hope eventually that I can talk about everything, because we know that talking honestly is what's going to move mountains."


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