Belfast Telegraph

Presenter Simon Thomas speaks about new relationship

Thomas’s wife Gemma died last November, just three days after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Presenter Simon Thomas has revealed that he is in “the early stages” of a new relationship – but the “hole” left by his wife’s death “doesn’t shrink over time”.

Thomas’s wife Gemma died in November last year, just three days after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Speaking about his new partner, the father-of-one told Anna Foster on BBC Radio 5 live: “Right from the early stages – she had this empathy towards me. She’s Christian as well and that’s important to me as a man of faith.

“She’s been an incredible support for me. She was the only person who would always pick up the phone.

“What I saw in her, I saw in Gemma. When she said my phone is always on, she meant it.”

Asked if he was in love, the 45-year-old said: “I’m getting there, yeah. It’s in many ways strange to feel that way again.”

But the ex-Sky Sports presenter said: “Sometimes I struggle with the phrase ‘moving on’ – I don’t think you ever really do move on from what’s happened.

“That hole that a loved one leaves doesn’t shrink over time. Life begins to grow around it.

“You begin to deal with some of the challenges grief throws up, being a single parent throws up.

“I’ve got two choices. Give up – I can’t do that, I don’t want to do that, I’ve got a boy to bring up, I promised Gemma … Right from the start I felt I’ve got to find life again.”

He talked about the importance of understanding that Gemma has not been “replaced”.

“We equate meeting someone else with forgetting the person who’s gone. There are no shoes left to be filled. There will never be another Gemma.

“We are unique – we come to the table with our different personalities. If you’re embarking on a new relationship, comparing is ultimately a futile task. There is no comparison,” he said.

“It’s not my fault what happened to Gemma – it’s nobody’s fault.

“This person is helping me define life again, helping me to feel happy again … For most people we lose, they won’t want us to remain in this empty landscape of grief.”

Thomas said of his new partner: “She has in truth chosen a much rockier path than she could have done.”

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