Journalist Robert Peston has shared his experience of “predatory... stalky” women obsessed by his TV fame.
The ITV political editor said in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine that he felt the need to exercise caution over potential suitors while newly-single.
“Women are predatory towards me,” he said. “I think there is a stalky thing that happens, and I think women [presenters] talk about it more than men normally, but there is definitely a stalky thing that happens for men as well, and you have to be slightly careful.”
Peston, 58, became prominent as the BBC’s business editor during the 2008 financial crash and went on to leave the public sector broadcaster to lead ITV’s political coverage.
In 2012, Peston’s wife Siân died of cancer aged 51. He said in his interview on Sunday that some women regarded his widower status as a vacancy, but that his current partner, fellow journalist Charlotte Edwardes, was different.
“I’m absolutely confident that, of all the women I’ve encountered over the last few years, she is the one who’s not remotely interested in me as a widower or because of what I do for a living,” he said.
Figures suggest more than one million people are stalked in Britain every year.
While women are more likely to be targeted, around one in ten men may fall victim to stalking.
It was reported this month that just 806 stalkers were prosecuted and sentenced last year.
In May, the Metropolitan Police launched a new unit to assess the threat posed by stalkers amid a rise in reports.