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Caroline Quentin regrets working so much when her kids were little: 'You can't turn the clock back!'

Caroline Quentin regrets working so much when her children were little credit:Bang Showbiz
Caroline Quentin regrets working so much when her children were little credit:Bang Showbiz

Caroline Quentin regrets working so much when her children were little.

The 63-year-old actress - who has Emily, 24, and 20-year-old William with now-husband Sam Farmer - had just finished playing Dorothy in the hit sitcom 'Men Behaving Badly' when she became a mother, and also starred in 'Jonathan Creek' as well as 'Kiss Me Kate' in the years that followed.

But the star has admitted she "mourned" her children when she was away working, and she feels "so bad" about leaving them in their early years because she cannot get that time back.

She told Good Housekeeping Magazine: "God, I missed them. I mourned them terribly when I was away. That’s probably why I feel so bad about it because it left a hole in me. People said: ‘Oh, they’re young for such a short period of time’, and I didn’t listen; I thought I knew better, and I didn’t.

"I should’ve said no to work and yes to them, but because I was the breadwinner, I thought I had to do it. Well, I didn’t, did I? But you can’t turn back the clock; you have to live with these things."

The former 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant - who was initially married to comedian Paul Merton but met Sam when he was a runner on 'Men Behaving Badly' and tied the knot with him in 2006 - also revealed she found something of a "security blanket" in gardening during a traumatic childhood.

Caroline admitted getting outside felt like "time out" from her troubles in the real world.

She said: "Ever since I was little, it’s been a sort of security blanket. My childhood was quite chaotic; my mother, who had bipolar disorder, would often spend time in psychiatric hospitals. When I was 10, I was sent to boarding school, with these horrible, grumpy matrons and ­regimented bath and mealtimes.

“I was a painfully shy child, I still am shy beneath my loud persona, and I remember being so homesick and discombobulated by everything in my life. But getting out in nature and watching things grow felt like time out from the ‘real’ world. It was an opportunity to leave all the sadness and scary things behind."