Anna Ryder Richardson has admitted that her buying and setting up a zoo has ended her marriage as she has just been through a divorce from Colin MacDougall.
Anna who found fame on BBC show Changing Rooms and then had her own show called Chaos At The Zoo had film crews filming her every move on the zoo and now she has admitted that the stresses from the zoo caused the breakdown in her marriage.
“The stresses and strains and expense of running our wildlife park have destroyed our marriage. I’m moving lock stock and barrel to France, and I’m getting divorced.
“I still well up thinking about all the beautiful Welsh countryside and the nature. I had the best of times there, but they became the hardest of times. We had so much work to do we never saw each other.
“I’m having to start all over again with nothing and it’s scary. I’m older and wiser, but I’ve lost a bit of confidence.
She continued to say:
“I’m wrinkled and I’ve lost a lot of weight. I woke up one morning and thought, “Here I am, broke, middle-aged, sad and now single.” We were a privileged couple who had it all, but somehow it all got lost.”
Anna and her husband brought Manor House Wildlife Park in 2008 for £1 million and then they spend another £1 million making the zoo what was falling to bits a tourist attraction.
She then continued to talk about how much they struggled with money after buying the zo as she said:
“It cost us more than £300,000 to build a state-of-the-art rhino house, yet we were freezing to death in a log cabin 50ft long by 20 ft wide. The animals had a warmer, better home than us. Even I, the passionate interior designer, can see the irony in that.
“But our arguments weren’t about our basic living conditions. We argued about whether our rhinos and gibbons were warm enough and even turned our heating off to save money. Our discussions were not what we were having for dinner but what food they were having.”
Then talking about their TV show on Channel 4 about the zoo added more trouble to their marriage:
“It was really beginning to affect me mentally. It was getting to us that our lives weren’t private and our two daughters had to put up with being known from a young age, and that isn’t always good.”
“The daily drudgery of practical chores had us bickering and rowing. There wasn’t really time for us anymore because we had so much to be done each day.