Fearne Cotton reveals she suffered 'imposter syndrome' while presenting Top of the Pops

Fearne Cotton has revealed she used to compare herself to pop stars on Top of the Pops (Getty Images)
Fearne Cotton has revealed she used to compare herself to pop stars on Top of the Pops (Getty Images)

She landed her first presenting job at the age of just 15 - and has become a much-loved face on TV ever since.

But Fearne Cotton, now 38, has revealed she suffered “imposter syndrome” early on in her career while working on Top of the Pops.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she said: “When I was doing Top of the Pops in the 1990s there was a plethora of gorgeous young pop stars around, from Samantha Mumba to Steps, and they all looked like these confident, luminous beings to me, with flat stomachs and stylists and make-up artists.”

The mum-of-two continued: “I never felt I was exuding that kind of confidence or ability. Even later, I always felt a step behind everyone else.”

Read more: Fearne Cotton works out in these affordable tropical-print leggings

Fearne, who as well as fronting a number of TV shows has also hosted her own Radio 1 show, added: “For years I would stand next to someone like the glorious Terry Wogan, thinking, ‘I don’t belong here, but everyone else does.’”

The presenter - who now hosts hit podcast Happy Place and is heading up the upcoming online Happy Place Festival - has also opened up about suffering from bulimia for a decade before experiencing depression in her 20s and 30s, triggered by “lots of different things” including self-judgement as well as external criticism.

She recalled: “I just completely fell apart. Maybe it was a breakdown, because I literally felt like my life had ended, like everything had gone wrong, and I just wanted to be out of my own skin.

“It wasn’t just an emotional discomfort, but a physical one: all day, every day.”

Read more: Fearne Cotton opens up about her recent panic attack

In April, shortly after lockdown, Fearne - who is married to Ronnie Wood’s son Jessie - opened up about experiencing her first panic attack in months at home the previous evening.

Captioning a selfie on Instagram taken on the night, she wrote: “Shortly after I got into bed my heart started racing and I lay there in a heightened state for three hours before drifting off at some point, only to then be woken by Rex who is currently scared of aliens landing.

“Today I feel bruised and fuzzy. This is not a sob story for sympathy as I’m WELL aware that there are much bigger, more serious problems and forms of suffering afoot at the moment.

“I’m putting it out there for those who experience the same yet feel alone.

“I often feel I’m the only one who can’t do normal stuff like sleep well or stay calm in chaos so for all those in the same boat...we stand together.”