Countdown star Susie Dent and husband Paul Atkins “did all they could” to make their marriage work.
But there was just no salvaging the relationship despite their best efforts, a friend close to the couple has said.
The pair called it a day, nearly 20 years after getting hitched.
Fans of the Channel 4 show’s popular wordsmith were shocked to hear the sad new on Thursday.
But it is understood that the split is on amicable terms – and they will continue to put their young daughters first.
There’s no bitterness involved as primary school teacher Paul and the telly favourite parted ways.
They have two children together, Lucy, 17, and Thea, nine, and are said to be working hard on coming to the best arrangement possible regarding their care.
A source close to the pair told The Sun they did all they could to work through their issues.
“It’s obviously a very sad situation, but Susie has handled everything stoically,” a pal told the publication.
“She has ploughed on professionally with all aspects of her working life and is simply trying to make the most of a heartbreaking scenario.
“Obviously Susie and Paul did all they could to make things work, but decided in the end to part ways.”
While we have loved watching Susie TV since 1992, she has decided to keep her family out of the spotlight.
She previously hinted at why she is so reluctant to talk about home life, saying: “I’ve been a worrier for as long as I can remember.
“When I was growing up, I worried that people would dismiss me as a boring swot because I always had my nose in a vocabulary book — usually in French or German.
“My constant fear was that people were judging me, although, more recently, I’ve come to an understanding that that needn’t be in a negative way.
“My work, my love of words, became my refuge, both when I was working on bilingual dictionaries for Oxford University Press and then via my involvement with Countdown — and now Catsdown, as I call it.
“I know what I’m doing which makes me feel safe and in charge of myself.”