When Paddy McGuinness met Christine

When successful TV presenter, actor and comedian Paddy McGuinness met Christine Martin, a model and former beauty queen, their relationship soon blossomed, with talk of marriage and children.

Following a whirlwind romance after they met in 2007, the ‘Take Me Out’ host proposed on Christmas Day 2008.

Twelve years after their fairytale wedding in 2010, the hugely successful show business couple have allowed television cameras into their home. They have been filmed for a frank documentary about life with their three children, all of whom have been diagnosed with autism.

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Last year, at the age of 34, Christine was also diagnosed with autism. She has been sharing her journey of self-discovery on Instagram, becoming an ambassador to help other people who are living the condition.

Early life

Paddy was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, in 1973 and attended Mount St Joseph High School, where he met fellow actor and comedian Peter Kay. They grew up to become good friends and collaborated on the TV series Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, Phoenix Nights and That Peter Kay Thing.

Paddy, 48, went on to host the popular ITV dating show, Take Me Out, where single people compete to get a date. He has also appeared on many episodes of Keith Lemon’s shows, Through the Keyhole and Celebrity Juice.

Christine was born in the seaside town of Blackpool in Lancashire and began her career as a beauty queen. She won the Miss Liverpool title in 2007 and also the Miss Commonwealth crown while enjoying a successful modelling career.

First meeting

Christine recalls first meeting Paddy through a mutual friend in 2007. However, she wasn’t the least bit starstruck, as she wasn’t sure who he was at first. Her future husband had been starring in the TV series, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere.

A spin-off from the more famous Phoenix Nights, it featured the comic antics of two Bolton doormen, Maxwell and Patrick, as they travelled around Britain in a camper van.

Christine said she knew who Peter Kay was and had heard of “Max and Paddy” but she didn’t realise McGuinness was the Paddy in the title!

They clicked immediately, with Christine describing him as “quite a charmer” who made her laugh. It wasn’t long before their relationship got serious.

Married life

They married in 2010 at Wirral’s Thornton Manor. They have three children together; twins Penelope and Leo, born in 2013; and daughter Felicity, born in 2016.

They agreed to take part in a BBC documentary, Paddy And Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism, in collaboration with the Open University, to raise awareness. The cameras followed them over several months as they researched their children’s autism diagnosis.

The documentary focused on the family’s daily life at home, as well as the couple’s meetings with professionals and the parents of other children with autism. Their journey has given them a stronger understanding of autism and how it impacts their family.

In April this year, Christine spoke of her relief at her own autism diagnosis in 2021. In her book, Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare, she described how she had noticed “little hints” throughout her life that she was autistic, but she had tried to hide the symptoms because she wanted to “fit in”.

Lifestyle changes

Having been finally diagnosed, she says everything makes sense now. She said she used to question her life, but now, she feels more comfortable and relaxed. The couple make whatever lifestyle changes are necessary to ensure their children have the best life possible.

Paddy said, in an interview, there were some days when he and Christine felt upset as the kids were stressed out or frustrated. He said they wanted to be able to protect their children, like all parents, to make sure they were happy. This means sticking to a routine as much as possible and focusing on the positives.

Christine has recently appeared on TV reality shows such as The Real Full Monty. Now a well-known fitness guru, she has very recently appeared on the ITV sports show, The Games.

Paddy is known for co-presenting the famous motoring show, Top Gear, alongside former cricketer Freddie Flintoff. In 2021, it was announced he was taking over from former tennis player Sue Barker as host of the long-running BBC game show, A Question of Sport. She was a hard act to follow, but he has made the role his own.

Christine says despite her TV career, she is happiest and her most “authentic self” when at home with her children. Her social media followers, especially those who have children with autism, like and comment positively on her posts, as she endeavours to help other parents in the same situation.

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