Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with Helen Skelton and her professional partner Gorka Marquez scoring 26 points.
And as the BBC broadcast ended, the Countryfile presenter’s estranged husband Richie Myler broke his silence after their Strictly debut when he branded his girlfriend Stephanie Thirkill “family” in a gushing post on Instagram.
The rugby player, 32, ended his eight-year marriage to Helen, 39, in April just four months after she gave birth to their third child and quickly moved on with Stephanie, 32.
Stephanie is the daughter of Leeds Rhinos President Andrew Thirkill, who is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Leeds and is worth an estimated £175million.
Debut: Strictly Come Dancing 2022 kicked off its first live show in style on Saturday, with Helen Skelton, 39, and her professional partner Gorka Marquez scoring 26 points
Richie first posted a selfie of Stephanie taken on the sidelines after his Leeds Rhinos final game of the rugby league season.
She had written: “Wasn’t a win but couldn’t be prouder of this one. Grand final at Old Trafford and a great game to you. Love you so much @richiemyler,” to which he added, “Love you.”
Richie posted a picture of himself and Stephanie with their family to his Instagram Stories, also captivatingly captioned, “This season ended as a family,” and drew a heart.
The rugby player shares two young sons, Ernie, six, Louis, five, and daughter Elsie Kate, eight months, with his estranged wife Helen.
Family: Richie posted a picture of himself and Stephanie with their family to his Instagram stories and also gushed, “This season ended as a family” and drew a heart
Loved: Richie also reposted a selfie of Stephanie taken on the sidelines after his last rugby match of the season
Richie made his relationship with Stephanie official on Instagram when they attended Wimbledon together.
His relationship with Stephanie came to light in May, days after it was announced that his eight-year marriage to Helen was over.
Helen was said to have felt “confused” by the breakdown in her marriage, and a source close to the couple told MailOnline: “Helen is absolutely devastated.”
They continued, “Now she’s contemplating life without him while he’s moved on with his new partner.”
New Focus: Helen is currently taking on a new challenge as she joins Strictly
Emotional: Helen and Richie’s split came just four months after the arrival of the couple’s third child, Elsie (pictured in May)
“Richie insists there was no crossover, that he began the romance with Stephanie after their marriage collapsed, but Helen feels let down. They are still married and their baby is literally four months old.
“She thought her marriage was safe and secure and is totally shocked by what happened.”
Former Blue Peter star Helen confirmed their split on Instagram, writing: “Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He left the parental home. We will do our best to raise our little children together.”
Making it official: Richie made his relationship with Stephanie Instagram official when they attended Wimbledon together
For her Strictly debut on Saturday, Helen took to the stage with Gorka Marquez to perform an American Smooth to You Send Me by Aretha Franklin.
And despite her protestations that she lacked elegance, Craig was quick to reassure her, telling her, “Love the energy and you have elegance, darling.”
While Anton gushed, “Brilliant line, when you make lines it’s beautiful. own it! Own the dance, just believe in yourself a little bit more because when you do it’s brilliant.’
Shirley also praised the presenter, explaining: “You weren’t too fast, you weren’t too slow. The beginning was divine, the arms were love. Well done.’
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