WHEN Suzie McGuire rhapsodises about the new man in her life, unconsciously it’s hard to share her delight. Then you realise why you feel unmoved. It’s the realisation the former Radio Clyde presenter’s life seems to have been defined by her relationships with men.

Exactly a year ago, her husband Derek Mitchell was found guilty of a string of domestic abuse assaults. This came after McGuire suffered the ignominy of being accused of assaulting the father of her two youngest children, a charge which was later thrown out. But in the process more dirty washing was aired than in a Monday morning in a Glasgow steamie and headlines blasted out tales such as alleged flings with Premier League footballers.

There had been previous Man Trouble. The lady from Prestwick endured the collapse of a relationship with the father of her two older kids, and a broken first marriage. So sorry for the reservations about your new man, Suzie - even if he does sound like a keeper. But you have to admit, if there were a competition to find Scotland’s Most Eligible Bachelor, you wouldn’t make the judging panel.

“I guess that’s true,” she says, with a contained smile. “But I’m in a great place at the moment, and so happy to be treading the boards with the stage show, Mum’s The Word.”

We’ll come back to her acting debut, but let’s rewind on the past two years. Bringing up Millie, Daisy, Oliver and Poppy (between the ages of three and eleven) was difficult enough, but almost impossible when faced with the physical and psychological battering she suffered in her last marriage. At one point McGuire considered suicide.

Yet, those who’ve never been in this world will wonder how an intelligent woman can miss the signs? “I should have noticed when the temper flare-ups began from Derek, and the strategy he used in cutting me off from friends and family. But the loss of confidence was gradual. Before you know it you are being told you are fat and ugly and not funny on the radio. When you hear that often enough your natural confidence crashes. But I had a baby and was pregnant. I tried to make it work. And at the same time you’re continually being told you’re the love of his life.”

McGuire suffered more than broken finger while living with her husband in their ‘old, creaky’ home in the Renfrewshire village of Eaglesham. Her spirit was broken. But she had to battle too on the PR front. McGuire had a reputation of being a party girl, which was exploited in court. In reflection, does she consider herself an Icarus of the airwaves, flying too close to the sun in terms of the champagne lifestyle, the clubbing with the flash boxing promoters and footballers and fashionistas with more money than sense?

“I didn’t go off the rails but I’ve made a few mistakes,” she says, with a wry smile. “There were a few hangovers from hell, but nothing scandalous.”

The crash to earth seemed to have an inevitability about it. But was the wax in her wings melted by the need to have a man in her life, or indeed the need to please a man? “People don’t know the reality,” she says, in soft voice. Okay, what is the reality, Suzie?

“I didn’t become a party girl until the age of thirty. The life I led as Suzie Milligan was so different.” Explain. “Okay, I’ve never told anyone this but aged fifteen I began to look at religion for the answers in life. And I found it in the Bible. Although my parents were Protestant/Catholic I became a Jehovah’s Witness, which meant no drink and no sex. You weren’t allowed to go out with a boy without a chaperone. As a result, I married at nineteen, largely so’s I could have a love life I guess. It’s no surprise the marriage lasted three months.” She adds; “He ran off with my best friend. And I moved back in with my mum.”

Meantime, the teenager who’d grown up with the dream of becoming a broadcaster, was building radio audiences with WestSound in Ayr. “I was a media girl, but living like an Amish. And this continued right through the early years in radio. I never had a birthday celebration, no Christmases, nothing. The religion meant I couldn’t even do Happy Christmas requests when I moved to Radio Clyde. I was walking a tightrope every day.”

In 2007, Suzie Milligan married a Jehovah’s Witness, John McGuire, but the couple split a year after two years. “I realised the religion wasn’t for me. It had been a great comfort, but it was too extreme. And I went straight into the Glasgow nightclub scene, hosting party nights, the lot. I was having fun for the first time in my life. I just went a bit too far.”

But why did she need religion in the first place? McGuire thinks hard before answering. “I’ve never really analysed this until you asked the question but when I was thirteen my dad, Tom, left us. I never saw him again. My mother, Sheila, was great at looking after me, she made huge sacrifices to send me to classical piano lessons, the lot, and I love her dearly. But I guess I really missed my dad. From that time on I was always looking for the love that was missing.”

She never heard from her dad again, but then in 2005 she received a call from a Ross-shire hospital. Her father was dying with cancer and wanted to see her before he died. McGuire raced to the bedside, rushed into the ward and saw this skeletal figure. She was too late. “I cried and I squeezed his hand. Hard. It was all I could do.” Her eyes mist over; “All those years apart and I was minutes away from seeing him alive.”

The presenter pushed that grief aside to become a major success in local radio, offering an upbeat, cheery voice to the listening world. But there was always something missing. She met Gregg Ross and they had two kids together but that relationship didn’t work out.

“Women who are rejected by their fathers often go on to develop relationship problems. I think not getting the love of your dad does affect a wee girl. It leaves you with a lack of self-worth, where you have to work harder to get other people’s love. And later when I met Derek he would tell me he loved me at every opportunity. What I didn’t realise however was it was a way to control me.”

McGuire won the court case, but lost a career in the process. But here’s the question, Suzie; you walked away from Radio Clyde after thirty years with the parent company - and into nothing. Was Clyde supportive during the pre-court period? “I couldn’t go on air during the build up to the trial,” she explains. “How could I be the usual, cheery girl listeners heard when I was feeling so bad inside?” Indeed. But did Bauer Media reassure you the job would be open for you when (if) the court found in your favour?

She looks away. Were you pushed out the door with a deal that guarantees your silence? McGuire’s says nothing, which in a way says everything. And that’s fine. Suzie McGuire has moved on to new radio opportunities, working recently with Radio Scotland and next month she’s set to join new digital radio station GO, which promises to bring the essence of local radio back to tGlasgow.

And she’s 'elated' to be starring in Mum’s, alongside Julie Wilson Nimmo, Gail Porter, Lorraine McIntosh and Libby McArthur, the hit comedy revue show detailing the relationship with mothers and now their teenage kids. But what about the old life, the celebrity friends? There was a time when McGuire and Michelle Mone were bosom buddies. Was the bra queen a great supporter in times of trouble?

“Life takes people in different directions,” she says, diplomatically. “These days the phone doesn’t ring the way it once did.” She pauses and adds; “What I will says is the friends I had during the wilder times I don’t see anymore. And that’s fine. I’m happy now and I’ve got my mum and the kids.”

And her new partner Kevin, who lives with her in the old house. At forty-five, she says she doesn’t need to have a man in her life. It just so happens she’s found a very nice one.

“That’s exactly right,” she says, smiling. “So don’t you make me sound like Liz Taylor or Zsa Zsa Gabor. I’m a contented woman.”

The McGuire story doesn’t end there. She reveals she’s been able to find closure with the loss of her dad, in the most remarkable of circumstances. It’s almost a classic Christmas story.

“I only told the story of my dad dying to just a few people, but more recently I went with some friends to see a medium, just for the fun of it. And as we were chatting the medium said to me ‘I’ve just had a message from your dad.’ Now, I don’t believe in the spirit world and I looked at her dismissively, but then she said something that floored me. ‘He just wants to say he felt you squeezing his hand ... and he loves you.’ And when I heard that I didn’t feel lost anymore at all.”

• Mum’s The Word 2, The King’s Theatre, January 26,


Suzie McGuire'S favourites:

Favourite Food: I'm a bit of a carnivore so if there's fillet steak on the menu, it's mine. Rare!

Favourite Holiday Destination. With four little ones, I've been force-fed all things Disney - so I've grown to love Orlando. However, if I ever had the chance to return (sans kids) to Sandy Lane, Barbados that would be my dream trip.

Favourite Film: Dead Poets Society

Best Advice Received: Never be fearful about what you’re doing if it’s right.

Worst Advice Received. Never trust your gut feeling.

Ideal Dinner Guests: Robin Williams, Leonardo di Caprio, Stephen Fry, Kevin Bridges, Joey Tribbiani ( the character, not Matt Le Blanc) Phoebe Buffay (same) Angelina Jolie, Dr Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay.

Best Career Moment: Being nominated for a Sony award alongside Radio 1 and Radio 2 for my daft wee afternoon show on Clyde 1.

Worst Career Moment: Counting down to Glasgow Fireworks in front of 90,000 – three times - on Glasgow Green before they finally went off. I was crying inside.

Favourite Music. I’m obsessed with all things David Bowie, but I also play classical piano so I’m partial to a bit of Beethoven on Classic FM.