Fiona Phillips tells of breakdown

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Fiona Phillips said she suffered a
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Fiona Phillips said she suffered a breakdown while dealing with GMTV and her family's battle with Alzheimer's.

The 49-year-old, who had been "severely depressed" and quit as a presenter on the show more than a year ago, said she was writing a book about how she dealt with the impact of the disease - which her late mother suffered from and her father has been diagnosed with.

Speaking about her book, mother-of-two Fiona told New! magazine: "It's about the build-up of the whole Alzheimer's thing and how I dealt with it. Because, you know, I had a breakdown, dealing with GMTV and what my mum went through."

She went on: "When I look back, I do think, God I was severely depressed. I didn't want to go out. It was everything I could do to just go into work and look after the children. I was not functioning normally at all."

Fiona said her former colleague Eamonn Holmes would tell her she needed help. She continued: "I'd say, 'No, no. I'm fine'. But everyone's got hard times in their lives so I don't really want to moan on about it."

When she announced her departure in 2008, Fiona, who's fronting a new TV show called Forces Reunited on Sky Real Lives, described it as "the hardest decision I have ever made".

She described it as a "very privileged" job, but said it had downsides.

She said: "For one, there's the vitriol that's written about you on the internet. You really have to ignore it, because if you don't, you might as well slash your wrists."

The full interview is in this week's New! magazine, on sale Tuesday.

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