Ulrika Jonsson is grateful the coronavirus pandemic has brought her closer to her ex-husband.

The 52-year-old star ended her sexless marriage to Brian Monet over a year ago but they have been spending more time together during lockdown because she didn't like the idea of him being at home along, and are now getting on better than ever.

Ulrika - who has 12-year-old Malcolm with Brian, as well as Cameron, 25, Bo, 19, and Martha, 15, from previous relationships - said: ''If you told me two years ago that a cruel and punitive virus would devastate the globe and make me spend more time with my ex-husband, I'd have believed the first part but not the latter.

''My ex moved out about 18 months ago, our marriage having been put through the wringer for many reasons -- one of them being a devastating lack of ­intimacy....

''We carried on co-parenting closely and well. But I think there comes a point in the breakdown of a relationship when you just need to be apart -- you cannot exist alongside each other any more because it's detrimental to your sanity and, most of all, to the children...

''When coronavirus assaulted all our lives I think I was in shock, and the empathetic aspect to my personality meant I worried for others, regardless of the past or the present.

''I felt a terrible anxiety overwhelm me but my instinct was to make sure everyone else was OK ­-- and that included my ex. For the first time in all our years together we had a frank exchange about our unease, fear and sheer ­terror.

''While I may worry about my own state of mind, I always have the capacity to worry more about others.

''The children need their father and this felt like some kind of galvanising moment between us.''

Although the former 'Gladiators' host has been getting on well with Brian, she insisted they won't be getting back together.

She told The Sun newspaper: ''My ex and I have shared some laughs too during this time, something which was lacking in our marriage. That's bittersweet but definitely more sweet than bitter.

''Our oldest daughter, 19-year-old Bo, was busy on TikTok the other day and laughed as she saw us smiling together. 'The band is getting back together,' she giggled.

''We turned to her with a hefty dose of both ­amusement and bemusement. No, the band is not 'getting back together'.

''We have been busy carving out our own solo careers -- I started seeing somebody a few months ago and I have no idea what my ex is up to.

''But we were somehow, by some unexpected twist of fate, brought together for this exclusive, farewell 'tour'. Because we remain a family. And always will.''

Ulrika admitted her children are grateful that the pandemic came around after the former couple - who are not currently living together - had split.

She said: ''My 15-year-old daughter Martha did pull me aside and say that she was grateful coronavirus hadn't come at a time when our marriage was disintegrating. 'That would be absolute hell, Mum,' she said. And she's so right.

''I know of friends who are currently in that situation and I know what a struggle it was for me towards the end, so what the addition of a ­pandemic forcing you together must do doesn't bear thinking about.''