Coleen Nolan opens up about putting on a ‘brave face’ during ex-husband Shane Richie’s affair

Coleen Nolan has opened up about struggling to deal with her ex-husband Shane Richie’s affair on Loose Women.

The revelations came during a segment on ‘Putting on a Brave Face’ on the ITV show, where the panel discussed times when they’ve had to ‘pull it together’ and act like they were doing fine, when really they were falling apart inside.

Coleen spoke about her own experiences with coping with an affair in the public eye – both she and Shane were successful performers during the time that the affair was made public.

‘It’s the pride thing,’ she told the panel, which featured Ruth Langsford and Nadia Sawalha. ‘It’s when people know about an affair – because you always dread when it first comes out, when it gets into the papers or the media – but when it first comes out, it’s the moment of, “everybody knows now”.’

She continued, ‘Even going to the supermarket, shopping – people were so lovely, coming up to me to ask me if i was okay.

‘And you think, “Don’t pity me! Don’t be nice to me! Don’t hug me, because I’ll cry and I have to carry on”.’

Her co-hosts were quick to offer their sympathies, agreeing that it was the media frenzy around an affair that was most difficult to cope with.

‘Sometimes, it’s not even the fact that your marriage has broken down,’ said Ruth. ‘You would deal with that privately. But it’s when other people know.’

Coleen agreed, ‘At first I wanted to keep trying and make it work, and then people look at you and think, “Well, you deserve everything you get then”.’

Coleen and Shane met in 1986, and she has been open about how the affair affected her in the past, writing a memoir in 2009 detailing how she slowly learned the truth.

‘Tearing the letter open, my stomach lurched,’ she wrote at the time. ‘”I hope you enjoyed your Christmas,” it read. “As it’s the last one you’ll have as a family. You need to know your husband is seeing this woman”.’