Coleen Nolan says ‘there’s too much pressure on female presenters’ to be skinny

Former Dancing On Ice contestant Coleen Nolan has blasted TV bosses for giving all the good jobs to skinny women.

The TV presenter stands at 5ft 7, weighs about 12st and is a size 16 and in an interview with Closer she said:

“Tell me why there are no women over a size 12 on prime-time telly.”

“I’m sick of feeling I should disappear from TV because I’m not a size 8.”

“There’s too much pressure on female presenters to look a certain way.”

Coleen, 45, who champions women’s issues in her role as a panellist on Loose Women, admits she’s kept a low profile for the last six months because her weight gain had really dented her confidence.

“If you look at the picture of me at the National TV Awards only last month, you’ll see I’m dressed head to toe in black,” she admitted.

“I know how to dress so I don’t get noticed. But that’s changed now. I’m sick of hiding away. My husband Ray said recently: ‘So you’ve put on a bit of weight. You still look beautiful and you’ll always be beautiful to me.’ It was as if a cloud had lifted. I’m sick of being ruled by the size of my boobs and bum – I decided I’m going to be bigger and proud – I still feel sexy!”

Her acceptance of her fuller figure comes after two decades of Coleen’s weight yo-yoing. She’s been a size 10 at her slimmest and a 20 at her heaviest. She said:

“I’ve learned a lot about how to eat and exercise over the years. I know, for example, that counting calories is pretty pointless. It’s the fat content you need to keep an eye on as fat’s much harder to shift.”

Coleen says she’s put on around 2st in the last year.

“It’s partly because I was writing a book, I also did my back in so couldn’t exercise. I’m an emotional eater – I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad!” she confessed.

“I remember when I split up with Shane in 1997, people said: ‘At least you’ll lose about 3st because you’re miserable.’ But I just ate more cake! But I’m glad I lost weight when I did. I wouldn’t have enjoyed my wedding if I’d been a size 20 – or Dancing On Ice, for that matter.”

In fact, Coleen believes her career would have been rather different if it hadn’t been for the ups and downs of her weight loss. She says: “I’m not daft. I know my phone started to ring and work offers increased the thinner I got. But I think that’s unfair. I was offered my first-ever prime time show presenting Dancing On Ice Friday in 2009, when I was a size 10. But now I’m really fighting the idea that you have to be a size 8 to be on TV. I recently went to a meeting with a TV exec who suggested I might want to have a gastric band. How outrageous is that?! I’m no better or worse at my job when I’m a size 16 than I am at a 10.”

She says: “If I’m to be a poster girl for normal sized women, then so be it. Surely it’s good for women to see someone they can relate to – the average sized woman in the UK is a size 14-16 after all.”

The full interview appears in this week’s Closer magazine is on sale now.

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!