Paddy McGuinness in tears as he worries autistic children will never understand love

2 December 2021, 08:14 | Updated: 2 December 2021, 08:17

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Top Gear's Paddy McGuinness teared up as he worried his autistic children will never know how much he loves them.

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Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine recently gave a glimpse into what it’s like raising three children with autism.

Filming for their documentary Paddy And Christine McGuinness: Our Family And Autism, the 48-year-old comedian opened up about his twins, Leo and Penelope, eight, and five-year-old Felicity.

And in one particularly poignant scene, Paddy revealed he finds it difficult to come to terms with the fact his kids might never understand love.

Paddy McGuinness broke down in tears over his children
Paddy McGuinness broke down in tears over his children. Picture: BBC

Breaking down in tears, he explained: "What gets to me with them all, and it’s only how I think, I think, ‘Will they ever know how loved they are? Do they understand what love is?

"When I’m with Leo every night in bed I will say to him, ‘Who loves you more than anything in the world?’. He’ll say, ‘you do’. Then I’ll go, ‘Do you love Daddy?’ and he’ll go, ‘yeah’.

"But I think to myself, ‘Is he just saying that, or does he know that?’"

Christine, 33, - who was recently diagnosed with autism herself - answered: "Course he knows you love him.

“You've said this for years about the love thing, you've said it for years and it's something, we've not disagreed on, but Patrick has worried for years that the children might not feel loved or they don't understand it.

Paddy and Christine opened up about their children
Paddy and Christine opened up about their children. Picture: BBC

"I've always said they do."

Elsewhere in the BBC documentary, Paddy and Christine were seen caring for their kids at home, as well as meeting other parents going through something similar.

Top Gear star Paddy was very honest about his struggles to come to terms with the reality of his children's diagnosis.

He said: "I think I avoided talking about autism because I was scared by it. Maybe that fear comes from a lack of knowledge.

"If anyone mentioned the word autism to me I'd be like I don't want to speak about it I don't want to think about it, but now I'm finally talking about autism I just wish I hadn't spent so much time trapped by the fear of it all."

The dad-of-three added: "I got that down I had to see a therapist and he diagnosed me with clinical depression.

"In that whole haze of clinical depression if you'd have given me the option to take autism away from my children back then I'd have said yeah. But autism is a part of who they are now."

Viewers at home were left in tears by the stars' honesty, with one writing on Twitter: "Just watching this and thank you Paddy and Christine. Tears are coming out because me and my wife have a son who has autism and he is five - everything you are saying is our life every day."

Another commented: "If you didn't see this programme and have an interest in understanding autism in children and adults, it's well worth the watch.

"It's real, honest, emotional and relatable."