She’s known for being the bright and bubbly host on ITV’s Loose Women, but Andrea McLean was once forced to cancel her appearance on the show due to suffering an anxiety attack.

The mother-of-two has been very open about her battle with anxiety in the past, and recently opened up about a traumatic experience she had on the way to work.

“In November last year I was on the train on the way to work and I had not felt right for a couple of days,” she explained.

“I had been awake since half two in the morning, and as I got on the train I could feel it coming. For me my tongue starts to swell and I get intensely frightened, and I thought I was going to throw up. And on a train you really don’t want that to happen,” she continued, during a Facebook Live with Hello!

“I had to sit on a packed commuter platform with my head between my legs and I realised I had to go home. And that was a big step for me, and I rang work and I said I couldn’t come in.

“I am a good Scottish girl and you don’t ring work just because you are feeling a bit poorly,” she added. “But I am actually really glad that I did that as just knowing that I could. And I just said ‘mum’s going to bed’. And I slept all day, and felt better. That’s all I had to do.”

Speaking in the past about suffering from anxiety, the 48-year-old said: “Don’t try and fight it, just accept it.”

Andrea McLean and husband Nick Feeney

She regularly shares tips and advice on her Instagram account, most recently encouraging people to read the self-help book First We Make the Beast Beautiful by I Quit Sugar founder Sarah Wilson.

Her husband Nick Feeney, who she met on a blind date and married in 2017, plays a huge role in helping her manage her condition along with the use of a meditation app where she has racked up nearly 200 days worth of deep breathing and mind control exercises.

Words by Leanne Carr