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Give the girl a rest AND her peace of mind

I totally understand why Amanda Holden is going back to work so shockingly soon, yet it worries me deeply.

Twenty years ago, I returned to the TV sofa just ONE day after my third baby arrived, because I was under immense pressure to show my bosses that having a baby would change nothing - that I was still a hard working professional who would turn up at the studio, literally "no matter what".

Back then, there was a long line of young TV presenters lining up to take my place! Can you imagine how many stunningly ambitious and talented wannabees are after Amanda's BGT spotlight should she show the slightest sign of fragility? We are a sick society that cannot allow a woman - even one who's had a straightforward childbirth - to enjoy at least a few weeks off. Back in the 80s, author Shirley Conran created the nauseating culture of the "Superwoman" who worked a 25 hour day and supposedly "had everything". Even the most successful of career women soon found that to be a bankrupt ideal, and I really hoped then that we could learn the lesson - that having a family is something to celebrate and our culture should change to absorb and embrace the business of pregnancy and childbirth.

Amanda, of course, isn't your average young mum except that she has undoubtedly felt the same pressure to prove  that  she can snap back to work. She's done enough of a star turn having a beautiful baby and defying death. Give the girl a rest but also give her peace of mind that no-ones going to usurp her throne while she's away! Maternity leave should be sacrosanct.

It's not Amanda's fault she's back at work so soon. It's ours.

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