Carol Vorderman is back on our TV screens as she takes on Bushtucker Trials on I’m A Celebrity South Africa.
And the TV favourite, 62, shows no signs of slowing down as she’s set to make a return to Have I Got News For You later this month.
As her career goes from strength to strength, Carol has been open about her unconventional love life and the reasons why she will never remarry.
Here we take a look about her personal life – from her two divorces to her five special friends and her close bond with her two children…
Romance: Carol Vorderman is back on our TV screens on I’m A Celeb South Africa – here we take a look at her love life from marriages to her five special friends
Carol’s first marriage was at the young age of 24, when she tied the knot with Christopher Mather in 1985.
However, the TV star and the Navy officer did not last long, as they split only 12 months after walking the aisle.
In 2018, Carol quipped that the marriage was doomed from the start, after she performed It’s Raining Men on her wedding day.
Young love: Carol’s first marriage was at the young age of 24, when she tied the knot with Christopher Mather in 1985
Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Carol explained: ‘When I got married for the first time, not terribly successfully… this could be the reason why…
‘So we got married during the day and had the standard reception thing and then there was an evening do.
‘I got changed into a sheer outfit, the kind of thing you would see on Strictly Come Dancing nowadays, and I had been leant it by the girls from Three, Two, One, the programme.’
Laughing, she recalled: ‘I got on the stage and I sang this [song] at my wedding and I was then dragged off by my husband and the marriage didn’t last long, so here we go, It’s Raining Men and you can understand his reasons.’
SECOND TIME AROUND
Four years after her split from Christopher, Carol went on to marry her second husband Patrick King.
She remained married to the management consultant for a decade and they welcomed two children Katie and Cameron.
However, the pair then split in 2000, with Carol calling their separation one of her biggest regrets.
Tied the knot: Four years after her split from Christopher, Carol went on to marry her second husband Patrick King (pictured together in 1999)
She told Woman Magazine: ‘I never said why my marriage broke down and we’d agreed never to talk about it publicly.
‘The divorce is a regret of mine and my mum thinks that we should have stayed together.’
Sadly, she admitted: ‘He’s now remarried so there’s no chance of us getting back together.’
‘Had my career not taken off like it did, Paddy and I probably wouldn’t have split up.’
The experience turned her off marriage forever, as she later said: ‘I never want to get married again.’
Love life: In the early 2000s, she met Des Kelly at a Christmas party and they embarked on a long-term relationship together (pictured together in 2004)
Age gap: Carol then went on to date Graham ‘Duffy’ Duff, who was 14 years younger than her (pictured 2013)
Despite her unwillingness to walk down the aisle again, the Countdown star continued to date.
In the early 2000s, she met Des Kelly at a Christmas party and they embarked on a long-term relationship together.
Carol and Dec lived together and split their time between London and West Cork in Ireland.
However, after six years together the couple eventually went their separate ways in 2006.
Carol then went on to date Graham ‘Duffy’ Duff, who was 14 years younger than her.
The TV star and the Red Arrows veteran dated for four years and then had a short break up in 2015 before rekindling.
However, despite having another go at the relationship, Carol revealed they had called it quits the following year.
She told the Mirror in 2016: ‘I’m happily single, freely independent and doing my own thing.’
Carol then added: ‘I’m not opposed to going out with someone 10 years younger, it’s acceptable. But Duffy was 14 years younger – that was a bit silly really.’
Relationship: The TV star and the Red Arrows veteran dated for four years and then had a short break up in 2015 before rekindling (pictured in 2013)
Single and happy: Appearing on Michelle Visage’s Rule Breakers podcast, Carol recently revealed she has five ‘special friends’
Appearing on Michelle Visage’s Rule Breakers podcast, Carol recently revealed she has five ‘special friends’ while discussing the ‘system’ she has had in place for the past 10 years.
Giving a very candid insight into her complicated love life, Carol said she’s ‘not into one night stands’ but dates multiple men whom she affectionately names her ‘special friends’.
When asked by Michelle if she was in a relationship, Carol quipped: ‘No! I’m having the best time. I’ve spoken about this once. I have a system which I’ve had for 10 years. They’re called ‘special friends’.
‘I spoke a couple of months ago about having ‘special friends’ and it was like, again, the world had fallen in for some people but actually what I found was there was an awful lot of women who said “I’d never thought about it like this”.’
Carol added she has been in ‘long term relationships, if you like’ with her special friends – and has been dating some for years.
She said: ‘One’s 11 years, one’s seven years, you know everyone is single. It’s a happy place. I hasten to add I’m not into one night stands.’
‘The language around a woman of my generation is that if you had more than one partner when you got married you were this you were that. Everything was derogatory about a woman, that was the environment I was growing up in. It was like “she’s desperate”, everything was judgmental.’
Carol went on: ‘Well you can take all that and you can throw it out the window, that’s my polite way of saying it.
‘But there’s no harm being done. It’s a happy place to live. The only thing I was sold when I was young was a fairytale with a poor girl meets a prince they get married and they lived happily ever after.’
‘This whole assumption: ‘Have you got a partner yet? Have you got a man?’ Well, no actually I’ve got five.’
Michelle responded by calling the maths whizz a ‘legend’.
Carol has previously spoken about her many ‘special friends’, with one being an astronaut who ‘calls her from the space station’.
She said on This Morning: ‘I live my life in chapters, and you said and this chapter since I was about 50. So for the last decade or so, I’ve lived a life which is much freer.
‘I’ve never felt freer. So I have ignored the looking for one person and I have a number of what I’ve called “special friends”.
She continued: ‘I don’t really want to marry again. I don’t really want to live with a man again. Have to look after him all the time. But this is a time to break this nonsense taboo, which is a person should only be looking for one other person that satisfies everything in their life. That’s hell.’
Adding of her ‘special friends’ Carol explained: ‘They don’t know each other, but they know about it. It’s a very honest relationship.
‘One of them has gone on for many more years than my marriage. Yeah, it’s over 10 years. Another is seven. He’s an astronaut. He rang me from the space station.
Children: Carol has two children Cameron and daughter Katie, 32, from her marriage to Patrick King. The couple split in 2000 after 10 years of marriage
Family: Earlier this year, the star jetted out to Jordan to celebrate Cameron turning 26 and took to Instagram to share a glimpse of the celebrations
Carol has two children Cameron and daughter Katie, 32, from her marriage to Patrick King. The couple split in 2000 after 10 years of marriage.
Earlier this year, the star jetted out to Jordan to celebrate Cameron turning 26 and took to Instagram to share a glimpse of the celebrations.
Sharing a rare video of family life, Carol gave Cameron a kiss on the cheek as he was presented with a delicious cake.
Cameron has has high spectrum autism, ADD, dyslexia and ADHD.
Carol and her son appeared on This Morning where they discussed how tough it was at school for him because of his special needs.
Touching upon being labelled ‘disruptive’ in school, Cameron explained: ‘That was the whole thing. Being disruptive… it was in a maths lesson. You’re panicking so much on keeping the rhythm with everyone else. When I can’t answer it quickly enough, you’d be disruptive because you couldn’t answer.’
Sharing just how protective she felt of her son in his younger years, Carol said: ‘As a mother, a single parent [you want to] protect, protect, protect. Like a lioness.’
She added: ‘I didn’t want him to grow up with labels,’ before saying that there were ‘early signs’ of her son’s learning difficulties, explaining that while her eldest child Katie was able to ‘learn the alphabet easily’ Cameron ‘couldn’t retain information’.
Carol explained Cameron needed ‘an enormous amount of assistance’ and ‘went through bullying as a kid’.
Of his own experience, Cameron said: ‘If I had the option to go back in time and change my school life – there wasn’t a single day above neutral in terms of enjoyment because of the bullying – I wouldn’t change that, because it’s taught me how to deal with life.’
Cameron went on to achieve a first class Animation and Video Effects Master’s degree from the University of Dundee and of the accomplishment said: ‘I never thought I’d get this far.’