TV star Ore Oduba revealed details of his first panic attack as he joined presenter Vernon Kay, rugby player Mike Tindall and comedian Iain Stirling for a special episode of Loose Women to celebrate International Men’s Day.
The all-male panel on the show, dubbed Loose Men, were discussing the importance of men speaking about their mental health when Oduba opened up about a panic attack he had suffered the day before.
“I woke up this morning and thought I’m not sure if I’m going to share this because I feel better and it probably doesn’t matter but because we are here – yesterday I had my first ever panic attack.
“It completely consumed me. I was on the phone to my agent at the time and I was talking about all the things that were in the diary and I could feel myself filling up with the stress … in that moment I couldn’t breathe, I could barely speak and this poor girl was on the phone going ‘just breathe and open a window’, and I just burst into floods of tears,” Oduba said.
The Strictly Come Dancing champion told the panel how he was filling up his diary to “distract” himself from what was going on his mind.
Oduba added: “I mentioned Portia being at home with both of our kids, I am away on tour and while I am doing that facetiming as best as I can, but you’re completely helpless to that practicable element of wanting to be a father..
“I feel good for having identified it, I wasn’t sure I was going to tell my wife [about the panic attack] but I knew this [Loose Men] would be the first time I would say it and she’s at home … she’s got the two kids and my first reaction was I don’t want to lumber her with more things.”
Last year, Stirling was part of the first ever Loose Men panel in the show’s 22-year history.
The comedian said: “It is so nice to hear my mate talk about that sort of thing, I am just so sorry it happened to you, man, and I’m so glad you can open up about it, and that’s why I feel this show is so important.
“What people need to realise is mental health is as much a part of your health as anything. If you were talking last night on the phone to your agent and your back went so bad that you started crying, then your agent would say go and get your back seen to.
“You wouldn’t be running around like the hunchback of Notre dame going ‘it’s probably nothing’, you would go to a doctor and get it seen to.
“You should look at going to see someone for your mental health, it’s like going to see a personal trainer, you’re just exercising that muscle.”
Loose Men aired on ITV at 12.30pm on Friday.