31/01/2012 10:21 GMT | Updated 31/01/2012 10:26 GMT

Andrea McLean: 'I Didn't Realise How Much Flack I Would Get'

Andrea McLean has admitted she was unprepared for the amount of criticism she received after opening up about her marriage break-down in her autobiography Confessions Of A Good Girl.

The TV presenter - who split from her second hubby Steve Toms last year - had to pull out of Friday's Loose Women after suffering a panic attack minutes before the live show was due to go on air after being accused of 'cashing in' on the split.

Speaking to Lorraine Kelly about her wobble, she said: "I think I'd been bottling everything up because obviously to everyone else this is all brand new but it's been bubbling away for an awful long time.

"I think there was a mad, intense focus on me for that week and I completely crumbled. But everyone has been really lovely and supportive and I've had a weekend at home with my mum making me soup and I'm fine."

She also revealed that she was surprised at the amount of criticism she got for revealing details about the split from her builder husband.

"When things started to go wrong I was hoping we could resolve things and it would all be fine but as it turned out it didn't work out that way.

"People have questioned why I've been open about it [in her autobiography] but he hasn't lived at home since before Christmas and obviously the kids know so I just thought I'd be open and deal with the flack. I think what I didn't realise was how much flack there was going to be."

"To be honest it's quite heartbreaking. Someone told me that my book had gone to number 1 in the download chart and instead of thinking 'wow, that's my book that I spent a year writing', I just cried because I thought now everyone will think that I was cashing in. I just hope people can read it for what it is."

She also revealed that her fellow Loose Women had rallied round to support her during the split and one in particular told her to make changes if things weren't working out.

"They've been brilliant. I'm a lot quieter than everybody else but they knew something was wrong because I became even quieter. A lot of the times subjects came up and people would like to get stuck in and I would just say 'you know what, I'll just anchor this bit, I don't want to give my opinion on that'. So they knew something was up.

"Lovely Sherie took me to one side and said, 'listen missy, don't do what I did and wait until your 60. If something's wrong, deal with it'.


Celeb Pics Of The Day: 30 January 2012