Paddy McGuinness's wife Christine has admitted that they are "struggling" as they live in isolation with their three autistic children, Leo, Penelope and Felicity.

The model and fitness enthusiast, who has six-year-old twins Penelope and Leo and three-year-old daughter Felicity with the Top Gear host, also spoke of her difficulties in trying to get specific items to feed her children as shoppers across the UK continue to panic-buy amid the coronavirus crisis.

32-year-old Christine told ITV's This Morning via video-link from her home that they "never spend this much time together" as a family, adding: "But we're doing all right, we have our moments, but we're doing OK."

On how her children are finding living in isolation, she admitted: "It's really, really difficult.

"Honestly, online we're trying to keep it really positive and fun, but at home we are struggling.

"It's just been so difficult this week, trying to explain to the children that we've got to stay indoors . . . when we've spent years and years encouraging our children to go to places and to go out at the weekend."

She said that daughter Penelope in particular is having a difficult time, as she "really struggles with anxiety as well as autism.

Paddy (centre) and Top Gear chums

"So she's already gone really quiet in herself, I'm not getting as much out of her, her communication isn't as good," Christine added.

"So I am worried about what sort of effect this is going to have if we are stuck in for another couple of months. But, ultimately, we have got to stay home to stay healthy and well."

Christine also pleaded with viewers to stop stockpiling food because her children, and others with autism, prefer to eat specific things.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of families in the same position where their child may only eat one brand of pasta and they can't get that any more," she told the programme.

"This isn't as simple as saying 'Oh, your child is fussy. They'll eat if they're hungry.' They won't. Some children and adults with autism have really strong aversions to food.

"My son, for example, will only eat brown bread for his toast every morning, that is part of his routine. Once I run out of this loaf of brown bread that I have got now, I haven't got any and I can't get any.

"I've got about six days to try and find a loaf of brown bread so he can have his breakfast, because he's not going to have anything else."

Christine, who married the TV presenter Paddy in 2011, said she was surprised when son Leo used the word "coronavirus" earlier this week and asked what it was, and when it would "go away.

"And it really threw me and I just tried to keep it really simple, pick out the important bits," she added.

"Again, explaining that coronavirus is something that is affecting a lot of people and we need to stay away from it, and that is why we need to stay at home."