Carol Vorderman: A look at the Countdown star's heartbreaking family history

The Countdown star is herself a proud mum-of-two

Carol Vorderman frequently shares upbeat posts and happy messages with her fans on social media. But her positivity masks a painful past. In a candid interview in 2011, the 60-year-old opened up about her childhood – in particular her difficult relationship with her dad.

Carol is the youngest of three children born to her Dutch father Anton – 'Tony' – and Welsh mother Edwina, with whom she was incredibly close. The former couple split up just three weeks after the star's birth.

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"My father was having an affair with a 16-year-old when Mum was pregnant with me," Carol revealed to the Guardian. "She found out when I was three weeks old and left, not surprisingly.

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"She had three children; my sister, who is 10 years older than me, and my brother, who is eight years older. We went to live in North Wales, which is where Mum grew up. Her uncle allowed us to rent a house and we lived in the ground floor, two-bedroom flat and rented out the top-floor flat."

Carol's beloved mum Edwina passed away in 2017

Carol then spoke about her complicated relationship with her dad. "There was a great strain in our family because my father didn't want anything to do with me," she shared. "He was happy to see my brother and sister, but not me. I don't know why. Maybe it was shame. I don't know. But he never wanted anything to do with me.

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"That rejection was terribly hurtful and it went on for years. After his wife died he tried to make contact with me when I was in my 30s, but it wasn't until I had two children that I thought, I'm denying them a grandfather, get your act together. I met him then.

The star with her mother and brother Anton

"Finally meeting him didn't really make much difference to me," Carol confessed. "I didn't want to talk about the past. There was no point. I was 40 and he was in his 80s. He would have just come up with a pack of lies anyway. Meeting him didn't fulfil any underlying feelings of paternal loss. I thought it would be this kind of crescendo moment, but it wasn't."

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