Ben has been a fixture on TV for 20-years
Ben Shephard has announced that he has quit his presenting role on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, after nine years hosting the show.
The 44-year-old has decided to lighten his workload and spend less time on TV so he can spend more time with his children, Jack, 12, and Sam, 14.
“My boys are at an age when they need me around, perhaps even more now than when they were younger,” he said.
“I was on GMTV every weekday while they were growing up. It meant I could go to their after-school matches, but I would have to be in bed by 7pm.
“It got to the point when it was they who tucked me up and read me a story, not the other way round.
“Now they’re teenagers, Sam is taller than me and Jack is not far behind, which I’m trying to come to terms with. They’re consumed by schoolwork all week; the weekend is the only time I can spend with them.”
The Tipping Point star added to The Mirror: “Doing Goals on Sunday has been amazing, but I can see that not only will we all benefit as a family but I’ll benefit too from being more involved in their weekend life.
“If there are things we can share, football, cricket, golf, these are days that I will be able to cherish for a long, long time.”
But his wife and two boys aren’t the only reason Ben is reassessing his work and life balance.
He continued: “My dad was a City accountant who never had the time to come to my football matches, and I know that is something he’ll never be able to get back.
“He’s been quite ill this year, it sort of came out of nowhere and took us by surprise.
“So we’ve all taken a minute to say, you know, we won’t get to the end of our lives and wish we’d worked more.
“I need to make the most of these moments with my children. Fortunately I’m in a position where I can decide to do that.”
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Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo! Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.