Fearne Cotton has shared the reasons why she wouldn’t return to live TV or radio “for any money in the world”.

The former BBC Radio 1 presenter has also worked on CITV, CBBC, Top of the Pops, Celebrity Juice, and Love Island. She announced she had quit the BBC back in 2015, which she later revealed was because “it was literally ruining my mind.” Cotton now presents her own chart-topping wellbeing podcast called Happy Place.

Now, in a new interview with The Times, Cotton has opened up about the reasons why she left the entertainment industry, citing her anxiety as one reason. “I’d get a week down the line and go, ‘I feel ill — I can’t do this,’” she shared. She also elaborated on her panic attacks, adding: “I got to the point where I just thought, ‘Why am I doing this to myself? Am I that desperate to be seen or heard?’”

Cotton continued, saying “I’ve learnt that I couldn’t do live radio or TV today for any money in the world. The thought of going on to someone else’s platform [with] that level of risk and judgment, and that element of the unknown? My nervous system can’t take it — it’s absolutely shot. Putting myself in that is like putting me in a pit of lions.”

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She added: “All my mental health lows are because of my job. Nothing else. It is not conducive to a balanced mind.”

Fearne Cotton (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Additionally, Cotton also cited cancel culture as another element contributing to her anxiety, elaborating: “You could do one thing and you’re done, you’re dead. Bye! Everyone’s waiting for you to cock up so they can all point fingers and say that you’ve always been terrible.”

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Cotton also said “tall poppy syndrome” amplified to her anxiety, explaining: “It’s in our culture to try to level people out.

“We celebrate the new person on the scene, but then as soon as you’re established, people cannot wait for you to f*** up … I also think I’ve had positive feedback from what I’m doing now because I’ve actively chosen to step away from the shiny stuff [TV and radio] — and people like that.”

Finally, she shared that she had been “sacked a million times,” sometimes with her job loss not being communicated to her. “I’ve been sacked and not told I’ve been sacked,” she said. “You just turn the telly on and someone else is doing your job.” Cotton did not name the shows, but claimed it occured twice in the past ten years: “It’s all a big game. You’ve got the Monopoly board out and you’re moving around [trying to] dodge the danger.”

Elsewhere, Dawn French has hit back after Cotton told her to “catch up” on trans issues on her podcast Happy Place.

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