Great British Menus Andi Oliver wanted to die due to eating disorder

TV presenter Andi Oliver has opened up about battling an eating disorder after the death of her brother when he was just 27 years old.

The on-screen chef has revealed that at points, she was “dangerously ill” and unable to prevent herself from eating. Andi admitted it became a form of addiction.

The Great British Menu host was fractured by his loss and developed a compulsive eating disorder that saw her enter residential care for three months when she was 30.

Talking about how she dealt with her brother’s death, Andi told Saga Magazine’s May issue: “I was dangerously ill, sitting in the dark, crying, wanting to die, not being able to stop myself eating. I was in a scary place for some time.

“So much shame goes hand-in-hand with an eating disorder, with addiction of any kind. It’s very lonely because you don’t know how to talk to anybody. I didn’t know I had an eating disorder, I just thought I was disgusting.”

She still considers herself to be in recovery and has weekly therapy when her work schedule permits.

The presenter and chef also discussed dealing with her hysterectomy and all of the health issues she had to overcome, which left her in a “terrible state”.

“It was like I’d been walking around five months pregnant for a couple of years. The operation was an exercise in surrender, which is not a characteristic of me, but I think the things you find hardest are the things you learn most from in the end. Immediately afterwards Miquita said: ‘Come here, Mummy’, and I went to stay with her.”

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Recovery was supposed to take six months, but Andi gave herself six weeks, her only concession was a little room with a bed, duvet and fridge, created for her on the set of the Great British Menu in case she needed to retreat from filming.

Now though, Andi is getting ready to release her first ever cookbook right before her 60th birthday. Discussing the release, she said: “There’s something about garnering success as you get older that means you’re ready for it. I feel a lot of things would have been overwhelming when I was younger.”

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