Kirsty Gallacher reveals she suffered a breakdown post-divorce: 'I was running on empty'

British television presenter Kirsty Gallacher,, right with British rugby player Paul Sampson, seen, before taking part in the 'Ante Up for Africa' European celebrity charity poker tournament, in Monaco, Monday April 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Kirsty Gallacher recently revealed she experienced a breakdown following her divorce from Paul Sampson. (AP)

Kirsty Gallacher has admitted to experiencing a breakdown following her divorce from husband Paul Sampson.

The TV presenter, 47, split from the rugby player, 45, in 2015 and has opened up about the impact it had on her mental health, describing the experience as "traumatic" and explaining how it culminated in her collapsing on Sky Sports in 2016.

In a candid chat with her friend Gabby Logan on the Midpoint podcast the broadcaster shared her experiences following the breakdown of her relationship.

The sports broadcaster says that while she tried to keep up appearances in public for the sake of her sons, Oscar and Jude, now 16 and 13, she was struggling behind the scenes.

At the time she was taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and believes she didn't enjoy the experience as much as she might have, were it not for what she was going through emotionally.

"I was a wreck," she tells Logan. "I was skinny as a rake. I was running on empty running literally from dance rehearsal in the morning with the lovely Brendan [Cole] to Sky Sports News and then training at night and then doing the live show.

"It was more than exhausting, emotionally, physically."

She went on to describe the experience as a "cauldron of emotion".

"I had a breakdown," she continues. "I didn't cope very well after that. I just kept going for so long," she adds.

Gallacher has been single since splitting from her husband in 2015 after 15 years together. (Getty Images)
Gallacher has been single since splitting from her husband in 2015 after 15 years together. (Getty Images)

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Gallacher says that being in the public eye compounded her emotions as she felt like she had to keep "protecting [herself and her family] while also working and bringing up two children and putting a smiley face on it", which she described as "very difficult".

Going on to open up about the moment she collapsed at Sky Sports she says it became something of a turning point for getting back on track.

"I didn't know what was going on," she explains. "And I just collapsed. I had a virus, but I was also having, I think, a breakdown.

"I'd never really been told that but I know it was because I know what was going on in my head, I wanted to run away really. I was just in pain."

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Gallacher describes the change in her circumstances after the split as "just awful".

"I'm still not great on my own," she explains. "The person I look back at makes me very sad."

Reflecting on that period of her life the presenter says it has taken her "a long time to build myself up", but she says her experiences have made her "strong".

"I look back and I wish a lot of things didn't happen and actually in a way I look back and in the same breath I'm really glad all that happened," she explains. "But I've done it all now. And I learned a lot and I can actually make the right choices going forward.

"And actually, you just become very strong," she adds.

Kirsty Gallacher and Paul Sampson pictured together before their break up. (Getty Images)
Kirsty Gallacher and Paul Sampson pictured together before their split. (Getty Images)

After admitting to dating "the wrong people" and working on herself, Gallacher says she now feels ready to be in a relationship again.

"I would love to meet someone right now," she says. "I think I thought this 18 months ago when I last saw someone and I wasn't in the right place at all.

"I am more ready now," she continues. "Because I miss companionship, I miss doing nice things. I would love someone to sweep me off my feet. I haven't had that for a long time.

"I would really love that at this point. I'm ready for it right now."

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Gallacher previously opened up about how she was coping with the split from her former husband, saying her divorce left her in "mourning".

The couple split in 2015 after 15 years together and Gallacher believes she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after they separated.

“The divorce was a very difficult period. I found it devastating," she told The Sun. "I was grieving and mourning.

"I think I had post traumatic stress disorder. I was skinny, not eating and wanting to black it all out. It was painful."

Earlier this year Gallacher revealed she is having radiotherapy for a benign tumour in her ear, having received the diagnosis two years ago after having sudden hearing loss, which led to her developing tinnitus.

Speaking about the scheduled radiotherapy, Gallacher said: “The tumour isn’t going to go until I have radiotherapy to shrink it and I’m not doing that at the moment, but I’m watching it.

“Radiotherapy is a last resort. I will do it in the summer, but it’s not a nice thing to do.”

Gallacher was forced to step down from her hosting gig on GB News in 2021, after having “severe” tinnitus, which she revealed got worse on the job at the time.