Managing to juggle a glittering career with caring for her four kids, Natasha Hamilton might look as if she has it all. Truth is, she’s got everything crossed for her happily-ever-after at last
It was only last year that Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton announced her shock split from former 5ive singer Ritchie Neville.
Speaking to her at the time of the couple’s split in March 2016, you’d have thought the mother-of-four had sworn off men for good, considering she’d endured 12 years of roller-coaster relationships.
But it looks as though she has found love again after all with Charles Gay, who she met last summer. Following a whirlwind romance, the couple announced their engagement on Instagram in November last year, alongside a picture of her beautiful diamond sparkler.
And while they plan to get married next year, Natasha reveals that she can’t help
but ‘touch wood’ that Charles lasts the distance.
In an exclusive interview with Now, Natasha spills the beans on her new relationship, body image and juggling motherhood with a career.
Hi Natasha, how are you? How did you feel when you found out you’d landed a role in
the Fat Friends musical?
I was so excited. I started off by auditioning in front of the creator Kay Mellor herself, which was nerve-racking. But I just got a feeling for my character, Julia, straight away.
We can hear the joy in your voice when talking about your new man, Charles.
There has been a lot of talk about baby number five –
are you planning to expand your family?
Everyone keeps asking me about babies – like, for God’s sake [laughs]. I know I’ve had four, but we’re just taking it slow. Obviously Charley doesn’t have any children and we talk about it, but we’re not planning for kids.
But you are still planning
to get married?
Yes, we’ve got the wedding next year. We’re building a really strong solid family unit as me, the kids and Charley all together. The kids absolutely adore him, so throwing a baby into the mix would just be… Well, we haven’t got time. I’m really busy, he’s really busy and we just want to nurture the family we’ve got at the moment. But that’s not to say [we won’t] in the future. Who knows?
Where are you thinking about tying the knot? We heard rumours about Italy…
We did go to Sorrento in the summer, but we’re not getting married there!
You’ve not had the easiest
of relationships in the past
– do you struggle to ignore
the baggage from previous relationships, or has it had an impact on you and Charley?
I’ve learnt so much in 12 years, it’s ridiculous, and it does carve out who you are. I try not to let any baggage come with me, but I’m human – we get insecure, or we have bad memories. But so far, so good.
How is Charley different
from the men you’ve
been with before?
He’s never let me down or broken my trust, and I’m not so obsessed with the relationship either now. At the end of the day, no-one is perfect – we all do silly little things and as I’m getting older, I’m choosing my battles more wisely. It can be the smallest thing and I might think, ‘Ooh, if that was a few years ago I would have kicked off by now.’ I’m glad to be of an age where I’m mellowing, and will do anything for an easy life.
So have you changed as
a person to make this relationship work?
No, that’s not to say I’m being a walkover, because that’s just not me. I know exactly what I do and don’t want out of life, but I’ve met my match. He meets me halfway on everything – actually, more than halfway. He’s so caring, not just to me but all the family – the children, my parents, he’s just so thoughtful. He also says he’s going to work from home a few days, so I can go on tour. We’re juggling and balancing and being equals, which is great. At last – still touching wood.
As you said, you are a busy
mother of four, but how
do you maintain such an enviable figure? Because you’ve always had a slender frame…
Hearing you say that makes me laugh a bit, because I have had four children and, although I’m slim, I have to work hard to maintain a pre-baby size. I go to the gym, but it certainly doesn’t come easy – nothing comes for free. It’s all about exercise and eating the right things.
So what do you eat
on an average day?
For breakfast I’ll have porridge made with coconut milk or coconut water and flaxseed – that sets me up for the day. Some people don’t eat before going to the gym, but I need the energy. I like going to spinning classes and I go to high-intensity classes as well. Then for lunch I’ll have a grilled chicken breast or salmon and couscous, or leafy salad with lots of spinach. I just experiment with a lot of things like that.
Do you ever have guilty moments when you eat something that’s not particularly healthy?
You might roll your eyes, but that’s just not really what I want to eat! But obviously I’m very busy, as I live my life on the road. If the only option is a KFC or a McDonald’s, then I’m going to have it and I’m going to enjoy it. I go to the gym and I work out way too hard to be looking at food thinking, ‘Ooh, I can’t eat that.’ That is just not me. I am a foodie, I love my food and wine and beer. I don’t count calories – I know if something is nutritious, and that’s more important.
You’re on tour with the musical. How difficult is it
to maintain a home life and career alongside one another?
Honestly, we have monthly planners up on the wall at home! My mum’s got one and my sister’s got one. It’s a military operation, but it has to be like that. It is not easy, because I am spending a lot of time away from the kids on this tour. It is manic, but it is what it is. But then I can have two months at home with just the occasional Atomic Kitten gig on the weekend, so I get to be with the kids every day, take them to school, pick them up and get a lot of time with them then. So it’s swings and roundabouts really.
When you are away, how do you stay involved with family life? Do you ever break down in tears because you miss them so much?
God, yeah! It is difficult, especially if something has happened with one of the kids, or they’ve done well, or they’re missing me. When the Kittens went on tour in Australia earlier this year, Ella knew I wasn’t there, but she wasn’t bothered. Now she’s like, ‘Mummy, I miss you.’ She understands what missing someone is. She is emotionally charged and it’s tricky. It sounds really bad, but the only thing I can do for her is say, ‘Mummy’s got to go now. I love you.’ Because I know as soon as I put the phone down and her attention moves on to something else, she’ll forget about it. If I sit on the phone and say, ‘I miss you too, baby,’ it makes her feel worse. So it’s just a matter of knowing the best way to deal with things.
How about your sons?
The boys are just like, ‘Oh well, Mum’s on tour.’ They get it, they’re totally cool. When I’m touring, I get more love from the boys than I do any other time, though. They take me for granted when I’m at home all the time.
Fat Friends The Musical opens at Leeds Grand Theatre on 7 November, ahead of a major UK tour in 2018. fatfriendsthemusical.com