Paddy McGuinness

Our Family and Autism star Paddy McGuinness battles a crippling disability daily

The TV presenter appears in documentary with his wife Christine on BBC One tonight

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Paddy McGuinness is best known for his cheeky banter, and ever-present mega-watt grin – but, behind the smiles, the TV presenter faces a daily battle with an often crippling disability.

This week, the comedian fronts the emotional documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism.

It’s an honest insight into living with autism.

Here’s everything you need to know about Paddy McGuinness, his disability, and his new documentary.

Paddy and Christine McGuinness
Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism airs on BBC One (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Paddy McGuinness reveals that he’s worried about kids when he’s ‘not here anymore’

What is Paddy McGuinness famous for?

Paddy McGuinness came to fame as Peter Kay’s wingman in a number of comedy TV shows.

These include That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere.

The comedic actor went on to become famous in his own right.

He starred as Ian in The Delivery Man, various characters in The Keith Lemon Sketch Show, and Dougie Ryan in Coronation Street.

Paddy has also became well known as a gameshow host.

He started with the likes of Mad Mad World, Hotel GB Your Face Sounds Familiar and Ready or Not.

Gameshow fans probably know him best for hosting dating show Take Me Out from 2010 to 2019.

His latest offering I Can See Your Voice: UK became a big hit during 2021’s lockdown.

He presents BBC’s Top Gear alongside Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris, and has done ever since 2019.

In 2021, he became the new host of Question of Sport, replacing Sue Barker.

Paddy McGuinness disability: Is he still friends with Peter Kay?

Paddy McGuinness and Peter Kay aren’t ‘showbiz’ friends.

In fact, the pair met as schoolboys while attending Mount St Joseph High School.

And, yes, they are still friends.

Just months ago, Peter teased the return of Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere during a rare return to stand-up.

Peter said the pair always “had a good laugh”.

Paddy recently revealed that onlookers often thought the friends were gay.

He admitted they often shared a room before making it big to save money.

Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness
Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness starred in several TV comedies together (Credit: Channel 4)

Read more: Paddy McGuinness breaks down in tears in trailer for BBC autism documentary

How old is Paddy and where is he from?

Patrick Joseph McGuinness was born on August 14 1973 in Farnworth, Lancashire.

He is currently 48 years of age.

Paddy attended Mount St Joseph High School in Farnworth, which is where he met Peter Kay.

Paddy McGuinness wife – who is he married to?

Gameshow host Paddy McGuinness is married to wife Christine, neé Martin.

They wed on June 04 2011.

Christine was 19 when she met her husband through a mutual friend.

At the time, she was earning a living modelling and “dancing on podiums in nightclubs, in cages”.

The couple have three children – eight-year-old twins Penelope and Leo and Felicity, who is five.

During an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, McGuinness described fatherhood as “the most fantastic thing ever”.

Christine went on to appear on the Real Housewives of Cheshire for three years.

Paddy is 15 years older than Christine, who is currently 33.

Paddy and Christine McGuinness
TV star Paddy and wife Christine McGuinness open up about their children’s autism diagnosis in new documentary (Credit: BBC One)

Paddy’s children and autism

Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have three children – eight-year-old twins Leo and Penelope and five-year-old Felicity.

All three of McGuinness’ children have autism.

Christine was diagnosed with the same condition in August 2021.

Paddy McGuinness disability – what condition does he have?

In June 2018, Paddy McGuinness revealed he had been diagnosed with arthritis.

Doctors told him he had the disability when he was just 44.

Sharing his news with the world on social media in 2018, Paddy posted a picture of himself pointing towards the bandage on his shoulder.

In the snap, he wrote: “Morning! Nursing a poorly shoulder today.

“I had an ultrasound steroid injection in it yesterday. The reason? Arthritis! I’m 44!”

This form of arthritis is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking a person’s joints, causing pain, stiffness and swelling.

If the condition is promptly treated, joint damage and disability can often be prevented.

The charity Arthritis Research UK said: “People often think of arthritis as an older person’s disease.

“But Paddy is actually one of 11.8 million people under the age of 65 living with a musculoskeletal condition, including 2.7 million under 35 years old.”

Paddy McGuinness
Paddy McGuinness hosts Question of Sport 2021 (Credit: BBC One)

Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism

This documentary follows Paddy and Christine McGuinness over many months to gain an insight into living with autism.

Doctors have diagnosed all three of the couple’s children with autism.

And, just months ago, experts also diagnosed Christine as being on the spectrum.

The documentary attempts to give a greater understanding of the condition.

Paddy and Christine meet other parents, experts and people on the autism spectrum.

TV star Paddy admits he found the diagnosis hard to come to terms with at first.

He says: “I wish I hadn’t spent so much time trapped by the fear of it all.”

The Question of Sport presenter also meets footballer Paul Scholes, who has a teenage son with autism.

Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism airs on Wednesday December 01 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.

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