'I didn't want to live anymore', A Place In The Sun's Laura Hamilton on battling dark thoughts after bully drama

SHE’S a television presenter and property expert – but Laura Hamilton has revealed her life was not always rosy.

Speaking on the new Fabulous podcast Things I Told My Daughter, A Place In The Sun host Laura, 39, has opened up about being bullied as a teenager and how it was so damaging she didn't even want to be alive some days.

Talking to host Peta Todd, Laura says: “I remember being really sad, really really sad.

“I remember saying ‘I don’t want to live anymore’, which is horrible.”

The bullying started when Laura was at secondary school, around the time she was studying for her GCSEs. But thankfully, her mum Lynn was there to love and support her.

Remembering the heartbreaking time, Lynn, 67, explains: “We did have a little stage of bullying at school, because Laura always strived to be the best of everything and she usually was the best of everything.

“She always got top of the class.

“One particular time, she got top of the class again and the teacher called us in and said, 'I’m really sorry, I'm not going to be able to put Laura at the top of the class because she’s been top of the class for the last however many weeks'.

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“She got a bit of bullying because she always used to get the lead role in the school play.”

Sadly, while she was clearly thriving at school, the emotional turmoil of facing bullies each day became hard for Laura to deal with and lead to suicidal thoughts.

Laura explains: “I remember being really sad, really really sad.

“I remember saying ‘I don’t want to live anymore’, which is horrible.

“I can’t remember it very much, but I just know it was crap. It was a horrible time.

“I remember getting called into the office at school and them saying if I didn’t want to come in, I could do it at home.

“It was a tough school to go to – there were only about four people in the whole year that actually wanted to work.

“It’s crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about that. “I feel like I’m baring my soul.”

Lynn was aware of how Laura was feeling at the time and revealed that it was a struggle to see her in such mental pain.

She reveals: “I think it was only one particular person that was doing it [bullying] but it had a big effect.

“She didn’t want to go to school.

“It was hard, very, very hard. And you just want to sort it out."

Although Laura’s period of being subject to school bullies was a horrendous experience for her and her family, she believes that it has shaped her into the person she is today.

She continues: “I look back on that time and although I don’t remember details, I think it’s made me the person I am now, to deal with negativity. If anyone wants to say anything bad, I don’t let it get to me.

“It could have gone very differently. But I am proud that it’s made me who I am. I don’t think I’d be doing what I’d be doing if I hadn’t gone through those experiences.”

Lynn's influence has also been a key factor and the pair's very close relationship is unbreakable. Mum Lynn has been Laura's rock throughout her life, supporting her when she chose the route to showbiz over going to university and when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called ITP.

Laura is now a mum herself to two children, who she has with her husband Alex Goward – Rocco, 7 and Tahila, 5.

But, like she did when she was a teenager, the support of her mum and other women around her is what she relies on day-to-day.

“I’m a working mum," Laura says.

"But I couldn’t have done [the the travel and filming] without having mum come with me to look after them, and my mother-in-law has come on trips. I couldn't have done it without their support.

“I’ve travelled with the kids since they were three weeks old.”

But, regardless of her success and happy home-life, Laura admits during lockdown bullies came back to haunt her as her and her family were subject to some online negativity.

She explains: “It really upset me in lockdown, when me and my family got attacked over our coffee shop."

Laura and her husband Alex purchased the village shop and café, Lord Roberts On The Green, in 2017.

The team at the Purley-based restaurant put all their efforts into supplying essentials as well as offering a takeaway and delivery service during lockdown. 

Laura adds: “I was trying to do good by the community and then people put a load of abusive stuff on a Next Door app online.

“I read it and I ended up having a panic attack, which has never happened in my life and I didn’t know what was happening.

“It was because I was letting this negative stuff get to me. That’s the only other time I think it's affected me.

“And I vowed after that, I would never let anything get to me again.

“It’s never acceptable when people are negative about anyone online.

“If it’s work and it’s presenting – not everyone will like your style. They might prefer another presenter over you and I think ‘ok, well you don’t need to say it, it’s better to keep it to yourself’.

“I read these things online about myself and my family and I think because it was personal about our family, that’s why I was like ‘oh my god’, is this really what people are saying and what people think.”

Lynn also recognises the damaging effects of social media and adds: “Social media can be really, really good for awareness. But it can also be really bad and really damaging. It’s a double edged sword really.

“When Laura was starting out, there wasn’t really social media, it wasn’t really something to worry about.”

  • Fabulous magazine’s podcast Things I Told My Daughter is back with a new series. Hosted by Fabulous contributor, influencer and mum-of-four Peta Todd, it focuses on intimate conversations between celeb mums and daughters. Listen to Peta interview Laura now on all leading podcast apps.

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