Alistair Appleton is a much-loved member of the Escape to the Country family, but did you know he almost gave it all up at one point? The TV star, who has presented the popular BBC daytime show since 2007, spoke to HELLO!, and revealed the surprising path he almost pursued after falling out of love with television presenting in his younger years.
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"When I was in my twenties, I was very keen to be a television presenter," 51-year-old Alistair said, explaining that he landed his first job on German television before returning to the UK to present the likes of House Doctor, Rhona and Cash in the Attic.
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"When I came back to the UK, I worked like crazy for ten years, doing lots and lots of TV. And then I suddenly got bored of it and frustrated with it because it was exhausting. I think I'm quite sensitive and it was hard to tolerate," he continued. "So I said: 'I'm going to give it all up, I'm going to become a monk!'
"I decided against it in the end but I was up on this island in Scotland called Holy Island and I just had this moment where I thought I should become a therapist instead. I thought that was a good middle-ground. I had some money from the TV work and I could retrain."
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Alistair says he seriously considered joining a monastery
True to his word, Alistair qualified psychotherapist, completing an MA in the subject in 2014, ten years after his first trip to Thailand which sparked his interest in meditation and mindfulness. He now runs Mind Springs, an online meditation business where he combines his expertise and passion to help others.
He kept busy in lockdown, offering his followers free online course in meditation along with his husband, Daniel who is a yoga teacher. In one post on the website, he wrote: "My husband Daniel, a yoga teacher and I are offering free meditation and yoga to keep us grounded and happy during these extraordinary times. All welcome."
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As for his television career, fans needn't fear as it seems that Alistair is not bowing out of Escape to the Country anytime soon.
He explained: "Funnily enough, as soon as I started doing [Mind Springs] I fell back in love with TV because it wasn't the only thing I was doing."
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