Helen Skelton has been dazzling the nation with her dance moves on this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing, but it's been an emotional year for the star behind the scenes.

The Countryfile presenter, 39, has made it to the quarter-finals of the BBC show with her pro dance partner Gorka Marquez after topping the leaderboards on Friday (December 3) during Musicals Week.

However, she's had to deal with lots of drama away from the dance floor following the breakdown of her marriage to her ruby player ex husband Richie Myler.

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Helen and Leeds Rhinos player Richie were married for eight years and became a family-of-five with their sons Ernie and Louis and their baby daughter Elsie.

But their marriage fell apart as Helen announced in April that they'd split and that Richie had left the family home, just four months after they welcomed Elsie Kate.

She took to her Instagram Stories at the time and wrote: "Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co parent our small children."

Although the statement was short, Helen shared her sadness as she concluded her post with two broken heart emojis.

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Shortly after they separated, Richie began a relationship with Stephanie Thirkill, the daughter of Leeds Rhinos president Andrew Thirkill.

It was then revealed that Richie was expecting a child with his new girlfriend, news that came just nine months after he welcomed his third child with Helen.

A source allegedly close to Richie claimed the new couple were "thrilled" by the pregnancy but Richie and Helen were still on "cordial" terms.

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They told The Sun: "Stephanie and Richie are obviously thrilled. They have moved very quickly but are extremely happy together.

"The timing of the pregnancy may raise a few eyebrows though. But Richie and Helen maintain cordial relations."

Helen has kept quiet about her marriage during her time on Strictly, but she previously suggested things weren't perfect in their marriage before it ended.

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In an old interview, Helen admitted they never had time for date nights and hinted they avoided each other around the house.

She said: "We're not in the house together – we are staying out of each other's way."

It appears Richie wouldn't always appreciate how hard it was to look after three children by asking her why the house was “still a mess” when he came home.

"Now he's done it he's like, 'How does she stay sane?'" Helen told the Daily Mirror.

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And because their kids were “terrible sleepers” it seems they didn't always get a chance to spend much quality time together.

In a more recent interview, Helen said that Richie's career made it difficult to maintain friendships as she said her “social circles were very transient”.

She added: “I think you don't realise who your mates are and how much family you've got – and I didn't.

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“People are there for a couple of years, and then they're gone."

In another recent interview, Helen hinted she'd 'forgotten who she was' after her split from Richie and that Strictly has helped her find her identity again.

She told Strictly: "For me, it's a chance to be powerful and sassy and all of that, and I think that's a good thing for me to explore.

"Strictly has given me so many things already. It's helped me remember who I am, and remember what I'm about. I have got lots to be thankful for, and I know what I can offer."

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