Agony Aunt Talks Life

County Durham’s ITV star, Denise Robertson, explains how being an agony aunt is not always easy.

In 1976, on an agony aunt column she used to run over the radio, a woman rang who was in the process of committing suicide.

Denise said: “I had to try and talk her out of it while we tried to find out where she was.”

She explained how once it was over she remembers sitting in her car, not having the strength to drive home, wondering if she’d done the right thing.

Now Denise works on This Morning, has five media jobs, is a patron for 47 charities, a grandmother to eight and a great grandmother to four.

But recently she has also battled it out with Andrew G Marshall on This Morning saying his: “theory was a step too far.”

Andrew G Marshall, a marriage counsellor, explained how he believes that wives should say sorry to win back their cheating husbands.

However Denise disagreed and said: “You should not have to say I’m sorry if you are the wronged person.”

She has been on This Morning for 26 years as an agony aunt although she did not plan to be one; it was through force of circumstance.

After her first husband died of cancer, she remarried and had four step-children to care for.

However, her second husband’s business went under which meant all the family were living off her income.

To up her income, she started writing about things that had happened to her but then people started to write in to her about their problems.

Once she started opening the letters and heard people’s problems, she realised her problems weren’t so huge: “You can feel very sorry for yourself until you find out what has happened to another person and then all of a sudden you think I’m not as unlucky as I thought I was.”

This Morning then wanted to hire her as an agony aunt for six months and offered her a sum of money she could not refuse but it turned out that she ended up staying.

Now 70 per cent of her letters come from the under 30s and she said how she will never quit her job as long as the letters keep coming in and as letters have gone up 135 percent since the previous year, she will not be quitting anytime soon.

Ends (397 words)

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