Trisha Goddard has opened up about being racially bullied at school, where she was told by one teacher that "we don’t want people like you here".
The 63-year-old television presenter spoke out on Piers Morgan's Life Stories about being targeted by bullies every day and described hiding her tears in the school toilets.
She explained: "You get toilet paper and you stuff it in your mouth so they don't hear you crying. Because if they hear you crying while they're chanting the n-word outside, then you'll get it worse."
Trisha recalled the worst incident from her school years when a boy hit her lunch tray in the canteen.
She said: "All the food flew off the tray and everybody laughed. And I was so embarrassed and I picked up everything and I did the Oliver Twist thing, I went back to the dinner lady.
"I said 'Excuse me' and she said 'No, you've had'.
"And everyone was laughing. So I got up, I ran out and I sat on a step and I was crying and crying."
Trisha said that one teacher dismissed the abuse and told her instead to "toughen up".
She revealed: "I can see this teacher now, blond hair, goofy teeth. He sat down next to me and he said, 'You've got to understand, you've got to toughen up.
"We people in this country, we don't want people like you here. So if you're going to stay here, you're going to have to toughen up'.
"When I was nine years old and my teacher, who watched me get hit, was telling me this was my life.”
She described not wanting to tell her parents about the abuse because she didn’t want to let her mum down, stating: "I thought I'd failed. I thought I wasn't being English enough.
"I remember that distinct moment because I thought, 'No one's going to look out for you for the rest of your life. You are in charge of you'."
Elsewhere in the interview, Trisha opened up further, telling Piers about suffering a breakdown after giving birth to her daughter Billie, which lead to her attempting to take her own life.
Describing the low period, she said: "To me, it was about just not wanting to be or feel that pain anymore."
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She went on to say what saved her was her needing to breastfeed her daughter and the wise words of one nurse.
Trisha said: "There was a nurse there called Elaine. And Elaine, if you're watching this, you know, you saved my life.
"Elaine brought toys for Billie to play with. She allowed me to be a mum and she watched and she told me I was a good mum.
"And that reminded me of my meaning, that I wasn't useless or hopeless. All the voices in my head that told me I was a failure and this one nurse was the one who got through to me."
For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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