Christine McGuinness opens up on how BBC Pilgrimage helped her overcome friendship struggles amid split

Christine McGuinness opens up on how BBC Pilgrimage helped her overcome friendship struggles amid split

WATCH HERE: Paddy McGuinness talks clashing with Tory MPs and heading back on tour

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 27/03/2024

- 06:01

The model surprised herself by taking part in the series

Christine McGuinness has explained how taking part in BBC’s Pilgrimage forced her out of her comfort zone and helped her overcome struggles she’d faced with making friends.

McGuinness, 36, recently split from comedian husband Paddy McGuinness, and decided to take part in the often gruelling programme to find out more about herself.

The programme, now in its sixth series, sees seven celebrities swap their glamorous lifestyles for walking boots as they tackle mediaeval spiritual journeys to see if they’re still relevant today.

Speaking to GB News and other media about her experience on the show, McGuinness explained her autism made it difficult for her to be around others and maintain friendships.

However, she believes taking part in the show, which forced her to be in close quarters with fellow stars Michaela Strachan, Spencer Matthews, Sonali Shah, Eshaan Akbar, Tom Rosenthal and Amanda Lovett, had helped her.

“We had to be together and for me that's what, you know, I'm okay with getting on with people, but continuing a friendship for me is what I struggle with.

Pilgrimage stars and Christine McGuinness

McGuinness split from comedian husband Paddy in 2022


"Just listening to everybody else's stories and seeing how this lot seem to just live life... they seem to just grab opportunities with both hands, which I do not do," she revealed.

She added: "It just made me feel like, 'this life is actually quite amazing'."

Touching on maintaining close friendships and her past struggles, she admitted: "You've got to open the door, you've got to pick up the phone, you've got to keep in touch with people if you are friends."

At one point, comedian Akbar cooked a meal for the group. Reflecting on this, McGuinness recalled: "It was so intense, the time we spent together. I've never done that before. This is the first time I'd ever eaten with a group of people I didn't know."

Christine McGuiness

McGuiness explained how she struggled to maintain friendships


The mother of three added: "It was lovely for me, I absolutely loved it and I wasn't going in there expecting to come away with friends.

"I think we were all on our own individual journeys and kind of there for each other."

McGuiness separated from the father of her children Paddy in 2022. As she opened up on her motives for going on the show, she revealed: "The only life I’ve known is with Patrick and I’m not sure what my path is now I’m on my own. I need to figure it out.

"Patrick and I have been separated for almost two years now, but I don’t think I’ve dealt with the separation completely yet and I know that one day I’m going to have to do that."

Christine and Paddy McGuiness

The couple were married from 2011 until they split in 2022


Meanwhile, former Traitors star Lovett, who found fame on the hit psychological show, took aim at the series when she compared the experience with being on Pilgrimage.

"This one was far better," she admitted without hesitation, adding: "The food was better and we were looked after better."

The Welsh contestant decided to take part in the series to find out more about her faith as a practicing Catholic, as well as others.

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