Esther talks about the loss of Living With Grief

Esther Rantzen investigates grief and loss in the Channel 5 documentary Living with Grief, but what happened to her husband? And did she get married again?

The experienced TV presenter – now a lady – reports on the show about her widowhood experiences.

Everything you need to know is here.


Dame Esther Rantzen presents Living with Grief on C5 (Image credit: Kanal 5)

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What is Esther Rantzen famous for?

Esther is an English journalist and television presenter who runs the BBC television series That’s Life! for 21 years.

The show ran from 1973 to 1994 and was one of the most watched shows of the time.

She founded the ChildLine charity in 1986 and is known for her charitable work.

Esther founded the Silver Line in November 2012 to combat loneliness in the lives of the elderly.

The Queen recognized Esther for her contribution to television and society by awarding her an OBE for Broadcasting Services in 1991.

In 2006 she received a CBE for Services for Children.

At the 2015 New Year Awards, ChildLine and The Silver Line named Esther Lady for Service to Children and Elderly.

Esther also created the Hearts of Gold television series, which celebrated people who had performed unsung deeds of outstanding kindness or courage.

From 1996 to 2002 she presented her own talk show Esther on BBC Two.

She appeared on the 2008 ITV series “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” Up and was the fifth celebrity to leave the camp.

How old is she?

Esther Louise Rantzen was born on June 22, 1940 in Berkhamsted, Herts.

She is currently 80 years old.

Esther Rantzen presents Living with Grief on C5
Dame Esther Rantzen with her daughters Becca (left) and Miriam (right) – before looking at the monument to Esther’s deceased husband (Photo credit: Kanal 5)

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Esther Rantzen husband: what happened to him?

After an affair with the married Scottish politician Nicholas Fairbairn, Esther fell in love with filmmaker Desmond Wilcox.

At the time he was married to her colleague and friend Patsy, who initially refused to divorce him.

After a difficult start, they finally married in December 1977.

They were married for 23 years until his death in 2000 and had three children together.

Desmond Wilcox died of a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 69.

Esther says: “When Dessie died, I felt like the sun had left the sky.

“One of the things about death is that there is so much to do. I must have been in a frenzy.

“I was the breadwinner now, a single parent, and there were all of these things to deal with.”

Esther has three children – Miriam, Rebecca, and Joshua – and five grandchildren Benji, seven, Xander and Teddy, five, and Florence and Romilly, two.

She has worked to raise awareness of ME / CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) as her eldest daughter, Emily, suffered from the disease.

Esther Rantzen on the first celebrity dates
Esther Rantzen on the first celebrity dates (Photo credit: C4)

Esther Rantzen husband: did she remarry?

The TV presenter has not married since Derek died and he is not believed to date.

In 2016, she was on the first episode of Celebrity First Dates.

The Channel 4 Dating Show connects celebrities with “normal” people.

She has been compared to 68-year-old attorney John on the show.

Esther and John’s date seemed to be going well until he commented on their ages.

He said, “For a woman in your advancing years, you make great company.”

Understandably, Esther didn’t take the comment well and the couple shouldn’t be!

Esther Rantzen presents Living with Grief on C5
Esther lost her own husband more than 20 years ago (Credit: Channel 5)

Esther Rantzen and Jimmy Savile

The TV presenter has been criticized for her actions on Jimmy Savile’s child abuse allegations.

Although she supported the women who were allegedly molested by Jimmy Savile, she told Channel 4 News, “If anyone had concrete evidence, I think and hope the police would have been called in.

“But all they had was gossip – and gossip isn’t proof.”

Abuse campaigner Shy Keenan later claimed she had told Esther Rantzen under a different name 18 years earlier of allegations she had heard about Jimmy Savile.

Esther denied hearing any specific allegations, saying she had no memory of speaking with Shy Keenan.

Comedian Katy Brand wrote for The Daily Telegraph and criticized Esther for failing to respond to rumors she heard about Jimmy Savile.

Living with grief on channel 5

Esther Rantzen presents this moving documentary about death, grief and loss.

Despite the fact that her husband Desmond Wilcox died 20 years ago, she admits that widowhood is still challenging while her family says she is in denial.

In this one-of-a-kind piece, Esther examines her own feelings and hears from six people who speak steadfastly about their experiences of loss.

Esther meets a woman who lost her husband to Covid-19 and a mother whose child drowned.

A young man tells the story of the murder of his brother when he was just 11 years old.

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