Gary Lineker split from wife Danielle Bux several months ago.
The couple announced the end of their marriage earlier this month after six years as husband and wife and though the news came as a shock to fans, their friend Piers Morgan has revealed they had actually split last summer.
He wrote in his column for Event magazine: “Gary and Danielle Lineker have announced their divorce.
“For the outside world, this has come as a bit of a shock, as there hadn’t been any warning that what seemed like a very happy marriage was in fact on the rocks.
“For their family and friends – I’ve wined, dined and partied with them for the past few years, and like them both enormously – it’s been an open secret for quite a while.
“I sat next to Danielle at a dinner party last summer – Gary was there too – and noticed she wasn’t wearing her wedding ring. She told me they were splitting because she wanted to have more kids and live in Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.
“Gary later confided that although it had been a tough time, they were still great friends, and were planning to say absolutely nothing until their divorce came through.”
Despite their break-up, Piers insists Danielle, 36, and Gary, 55, have managed to remain “great friends”.
He said: “They genuinely are still great friends, and have managed to separate with the kind of maturity, decency, intelligence and mutual solicitousness for each other’s welfare that all the warring couples of the world should seek to emulate.”