Helen Skelton claims house renovation caused her to miss 'signs' that led to her divorce

Helen Skelton with her husband, Richie Myler, in a black dress
Helen claims the renovation resulted in her not seeing her husband much and led to their "shock" divorce in April 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Strictly contestant Helen Skelton has opened up on how her home renovation contributed to her divorce from her ex-husband, Richie Myler.

Skelton, 40, who has two sons and a daughter bought the family home in Leeds in 2020 and took on the project of repairing the dilapidated property during lockdown, but claims now that this led to her becoming estranged from her Rugby League partner, Richie Myler, 33.

The story serves as a warning to those looking at renovating a house and the strains such work can take on partners and families.

How did the renovation lead to Skelton's divorce?

The actress speaks about her home renovation experience in her new book, In My Stride, claiming the work "consumed her".

In June 2020, she admitted she hadn't seen much of her husband during lockdown as she was busy completing the renovation of their family home.

The former Blue Peter presenter claims the project may have caused her to miss "signs" that her marriage to Richie Myler was falling apart.

She added: "I was in shock. I know that following break-ups, people often say they didn’t see it coming and it sounds like a cliché, but that was me."

What renovation work was done to the house?

Skelton undertook major works to the home's bathroom and kitchen-diner, providing a range of brilliant home renovation ideas.

She installed bi-fold doors to the kitchen-diner as well as a marble island, marble surfaces, a quooker tap, as well as installing a gold splashback panel, providing a unique kitchen splashback idea.

In her bathroom, a tin boat tub was installed, as well as tiling the bathroom floors as well as doing her own pipework. 

She told her Instagram followers: "When you have been talking about waste pipes/boxing in and tap valves for weeks... seeing actual running water is blinking marvellous...

"Water that comes out of an actual tap and goes down a drain... #perspective."

Why did the pair take on the renovation?

Skelton and Myler bought the dilapidated home in January 2020 knowing it needed a lot of work, but they were sold on the home after seeing the garden.

She stated: "We found a tiny broken house with a two-acre garden. My dad saw it and said 'It's a terrible idea', but then he saw the garden and said 'You can't not live here.' She's an old house that someone put a lot of love into, especially in the garden.

"I feel so lucky that we have one [a garden] as the kids have been outside everyday the whole time. They've been able to burn off steam and enjoy lockdown in that sense. I haven't got walls or windows but I have a garden!"

"Old homes that were never meant to be homes certainly throw a few curve balls."

Following the pairs split in April 2022 Richie moved out of the family home.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.