Friday, September 14, 2012

Not really Sophie news but...

Dean Mollet recently posted early demos of two songs - Two Way and Out With The Old School. The songs were re-done when they were being recorded for the album. Here are Dean's demos. Do give them a listen - they're actually quite good!

Words, vocals and instruments by Dean Mollet.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sophie on Alan Titchmarsh

Official catch-up with Sophie: Aug-Sep instalment

Hi Sophie, how are you?
Really good thank you. Today is my first day at home for a little while, which is lovely. We just came back from our holiday.

Where did you go?
We went to Ibiza. We have some friends that have a house there. That was our third summer staying with them. It’s actually where I filmed the video for Not Giving Up On Love. It’s lovely going there. They’ve got kids and they have other friends staying that have children, so there’s always someone there for the kids to play with. They love it.

How long were you out there for?
For about 10 days, although Richard had to fly back during it because he was playing with Ed Sheeran at the Olympic Closing Ceremony thing.

Ah of course! Did you watch that in Ibiza?
I did. It was really incredible. I was quite nervous on the day actually, because you feel quite helpless watching a loved one doing something quite high pressure like that. But as soon as the whole thing started I knew he’d be fine.

He looked like he enjoyed it.
He did. And he looked very handsome.

Did the kids watch it?
Yes, Sonny stayed up to watch. He’s seen a lot of our shows and I think he’s probably a bit bored by it really. It takes quite a lot of attention span for a child to watch a gig. But I think with the Closing Ceremony he did kind of get it. He’d been quite inspired by the whole Olympic thing and the mascots and Team GB. I think it’s been really good for kids.

Were you in London for some of it?
Yes, for the first half. It’s actually the first time I’ve gone on holiday and been quite sad to be leaving. Because London was in such good spirits and so quiet and there was just a really good atmosphere in the city for the whole time. Like a lot of Londoners in the build up, I was thinking, “Oh God, it’s going to be so full-on, am I doing the right thing in staying here for it?” But then on the morning before the Opening Ceremony I suddenly got this real tingly buzzy feeling, like I wanted it all to work out and all the good intentions to really pay-off. Then it was just so lovely to see it happen. And obviously winning so many medals, I think everybody got really swept up.

Did you get to go to anything?
I didn’t. I had tickets to go to the men’s gymnastics with Richard, but I couldn’t make it, so he went with my sister. And then we toyed with the idea of me going to the Closing Ceremony, but it was quite unsettling in the holiday to have Richard leave, let alone to have me going too. So I stayed with the kids. But I’m very much hoping to go to something at the Paralympics.

And what else have you been busy with - have you been doing much work?
Yeah, I’ve started easing myself back into it. I’ve been doing a few trips away for shows, and now I’m starting to book in some studio time. It’s been brilliant, baby Ray is now four months old, and I’ve been feeding him so he’s been glued to my side, but now I’m starting to feel like I want to get back and make a new album. So, yeah, we’ve had a few meetings about it and I’ve got a few ideas. I’m feeling pretty focused. It’s good when you get to that point.

Do you have a rough timeline of when you hope to get the next album out?
I don’t, really. But if everything goes well and smoothly, there’s a possibility of it being in the first half of next year. So not too far away at all.

Have you been taking Ray away for the shows?
I have, actually. He’s been away to Moscow and to Odessa in the Ukraine. And I did one in Scotland and one in Poland. And then I’m off to Dubai with him this weekend.

Wow, so quite busy then?
Yeah, but it’s been quite civilised. It’s been mainly weekends, so because the kids have been on holiday I’ve been able to spend proper time in the week playing with them.

Sounds like Ray’s got a pretty stamped passport for a four month old.
He has! I didn’t travel so much with the other two, but with Ray I thought I might as well. They’re so easy to travel with when they’re under six months.

Do you think he has any awareness that he’s so well travelled?
I think it’s highly unlikely! But in Ibiza he did seem to enjoy being the baby in the house having lots of smiley faces around him.

That’s great that you can take him with you to all these places.
Yeah. I think the first thing I did was when he was maybe seven or eight weeks old, and after that I went to Camp Bestival and did some stuff there. It’s been really nice, actually. All pretty straightforward. And the fully-live stuff with the whole band - like in Scotland a festival in Poland - has been really good. I’ve really enjoyed getting back out there on stage.

So it seems like Eastern Europe is still loving your work?
Yeah, I still find it quite funny how much a part of my life it is, because you don’t really pick and choose these things. I’ve always just been someone that will go wherever wants me.

Can you attribute that success in those countries to anything?
I’m not sure really. As I was growing up, people often asked me if I had any Polish or Russian heritage, so maybe I’ve been mistaken as one of their own! Hahaha!  And the club scene is quite big there. They love dance music. So it’s maybe just the style of music and timing, I suppose.  And Armin van Buuren is incredibly popular in those parts of the world, so working with him probably helped too.

So would walking down the street in Warsaw be tricky for you?
I don’t think so. I’ve never really lived my life like that anyway. I can walk around anywhere, really. And I count myself very lucky that I can.

So, have you finished anything that you think might make the next album?
Well, I’ve been doing some stuff with Ed Harcourt. We’ve done a few tracks together and I want to finish that off. I don’t know if we’ll do a sort of separate EP or short album of he and I together. With the other album, I’ve obviously got a few collaborations that I’ve done in the past six months that I can start to put towards that. But I actually quite like the idea of doing the album with one person. I've always wanted to do that, but it's never really worked out.

With one producer and co-writer?
Yeah. I think then you'd get into a bit of flow. I think that's what I want to do now.

So the stuff with Ed Harcourt is presumably not as beat-driven?
No, it's not beat-driven at all. It's very live sounding. We always start off with just piano and vocal and then add in loads. Ed's a bit of a one man band. He'll start playing the drums and bass and guitar. He's incredibly talented.

Is it quite folky then?
Some of it is a bit, actually. And we've been listening to stuff like Serge Gainsbourg, so it's got a bit of a French-y thing. And I think Ed's also quite inspired by my tales of Eastern Europe, so some of it's got a bit of that kind of vibe as well. So it's a bit of a different thing. It's quite good for your head to do something like that.

And that might see the light of day before the album proper?
I guess that's possible, yeah. Just because I see Ed quite a lot anyway, so knuckling down and finishing it might be a bit easier.

It must be nice to be making music again.
Yeah, well I haven't done anything since I had Ray, but I think I'm ready to get back in the studio now. In the last fortnight or so, I've really felt like I'm ready and that I've got loads of ideas. That's the way I've always worked - I have to wait until I'm really feeling like I've got lots to offer.

You went to V Festival the other weekend. How was that?
We had a good day out, because it was sunny! And how unusual has that been this summer? It was almost too hot, in fact. It was great seeing the Feeling boys play to a really big crowd. I hardly saw anything else though, which was a bit disappointing. I'd literally got back from Stansted with all the kids the evening before, so we just went up there, saw the Feeling, had lunch, moseyed about a bit and then came home.

Is travelling about with a third child noticeably harder?
At the moment, no, he's fairly easy. He's quite a quiet and content baby. But I think when he gets a bit bigger we're going to know what we're up against, because I seem to remember the other two starting out like that as well! Hahaha! And we've already encountered the problems of transport quite a few times. The logistics of having three are much more of an issue. Particularly if we need an extra pair of hands to help because we're working, because then you have three adults and three kids and you can't all fit into one car.

Ah, tricky.
I know. The things you don't think about! But then again Sonny being eight is really working because he's quite self sufficient these days. So at V when I was sitting helping Kit have his lunch and feeding Ray, I could get Sonny to go over to a stall and get me a coffee! That's really handy.

Have you been watching any good telly recently?
We've been watching the Newsroom. That's quite good. And the new Alan Partridge series, which is great. And Adam Buxton's Bug which we love.

What have you been listening to?
Well on holiday, a DJ called Sander Kleinenberg was there. He's the one I would credit with getting me into house music. Twelve years ago when Groovejet came out I went to Ibiza and sang in a club called Privilege. I was on at four o'clock in the morning and was totally sober. He DJ'd before I sang and he was really good, and kept me dancing. That was when I realised there was more to DJing than playing one track and then playing another track. So, yeah, he was playing me some of his new stuff. And we've been hearing some of the Freemasons' new stuff too. And I love that new Pnau and Elton John album. That's really lovely.

And what's happening in the fashion world?
Oh golly, I don't know! I just buy the same stuff all the time. I went to see my mum in a play at the Edinburgh Festival and while I was there I bought some vintage stuff. But I've just had a baby, so don't ask me about fashion!

What's coming up in your diary?
I've got a few studio days booked in. And there's a show in Kiev too.

Have you become a fan of East European cuisine after all these trips out there?
Yeah, some of it's excellent. All the little dumplings and good stews. And luckily I love borscht.

Can you now tell a good borscht from a bad borscht?
Oh definitely. I guess some it's down to preference, but I like the ones that have got proper chunky bits of vegetable and meat.

Have you tried cooking your own?
I've had beetroot soup but not a proper borscht, no. But I think it's delicious. I think I might have to dig out a recipe.

Interview: Family Go Live with Sophie

She likes moshing and washing, could read Nigel Slater’s recipes as bedtime stories and is partial to a fish supper. Family Go Live magazine meets Sophie Ellis Bextor…

FGL: Sophie, you’re supporting the Wash and Mosh campaign. Do you get to do much moshing and washing done with your own kids?
SEB: “Of course! We love going out and playing in the back garden, kids love any excuse just to run around and generally make a lot of noise. We sing, we make up little rhymes, have water pistol fights, make music together, that sort of thing.”

FGL: What is the best bit of being a mum for you?
SEB: “I love just love the general chaos of being a mum, and listening to all the weird and wonderful things children conjure up in their little imaginations, and all the daft tangents you end up on. It just seems to get better as they get older.”

FGL: How do you juggle being a mum with the demands of a pop career?
SEB: “Luckily because I don’t work in an office, I can bring the kids with me when I work. I took them with me to Bestival this year, which is where I launched the Mosh and Wash campaign, so that was their first festival, but they’re well used to coming with me to gigs and concerts. Obviously I don’t take the kids with me all the time, but I think going away and doing my own thing for a bit means that I come back refreshed and can be a better mum.”

FGL: What sort of food do you make for your children?
SEB:  “I’m lucky; all of my kids are all quite good with food. Their favourites are Italian food, vegetables, salad – all healthy stuff.  Even my three year old is pretty adventurous. He likes bruschetta rubbed with raw garlic!”

FGL: Have you got a favourite celebrity chef?
SEB: “I will always have a soft spot for Jamie Oliver. The way he has helped people to realise that cooking isn’t rocket science and anyone can do it is brilliant. My absolute favourite is Nigel Slater. I just think the way he writes is brilliant. His recipes are like bedtime stories for me.”

FGL: So, Sophie, last question…. if there really was murder on the dancefloor, what item would you grab from the buffet before your impending demise?
SEB: “It would have to be fish, chips and gherkins with ketchup AND mayo.”

Interview: Sophie, "Any mum of three boys could take on the world"

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is mum to Sonny, eight, Kit, three, and Ray Holiday, three months, her children with The Feeling bassist Richard Jones. She tells us why could fill the house with 100 babies, and how she got through pre-eclampsia and two premature births...

Ray has just turned three months, and you have two older boys, what's a typical day like for you?
Kit is my alarm clock, he is up at 6.30am every morning. We normally hang around in bed together and watch some CBeebies and then once we're all up and about we're ready for the day, out in the garden or doing whatever we have planned that day. I have a wonderful nanny who has been with us since Sonny was born, my mum down the road and of course Richard. I couldn't do it without them all.

How much sleep do you get?
It's not bad actually, I'm the nocturnal one! If I'm in bed by midnight it's a good night. Kit is up a few times in the night but goes straight back down.

You suffered pre-eclampsia with two pregnancies and Sonny and Kit were both premature, how did you get through that?
I had fantastic care and both cases were spotted and treated early on, which meant both boys and I got through it. Sonny and Kit were both two months premature and were each in hospital for a month after their arrivals. It was a tough time but we got through it and it certainly hasn't affected them.

What's your advice for other mums and dads in similar situations?
Remember you are fortunate and we have amazing care and support in the western world. Look at the positives - that your children are here and safe.

Sonny had meningitis at four months, how did you get through that?
Again we were so lucky it was caught early. I remember him waking up and being very hot. I called an ambulance and I think they knew what it might be. It's weird to look back on it as it was such a scary experience but so long ago.

What are your plans for the summer with your kids?
Sonny has broken up from school and we're just going to be having lots of fun with music and play. I've teamed up with Persil to encourage families to get messy with music this summer, whether that's by going to family festivals or making instruments and dressing up as your favourite pop idols at home. It's all about having fun, getting stuck in, and then Persil can take care of the mess!

You and Richard are both in music, are the boys showing any interest?
Yes, but I think all small children like making music as it's the one time they are encouraged to make as much noise as possible! Enjoying music together is great fun and it encourages creativity.

Do your children go to a lot of festivals with you?
Yes, and so many now are family friendly, like Camp Bestival. It's such good fun and can be an inexpensive way to enjoy the summer together. I did festivals when I was pregnant too as I didn't really stop working when I was expecting. After having Ray I started working again six or seven weeks later, but it was bits and pieces, not Monday to Friday 9-5.

What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
Watching them grow and change and become who they are. There is a great quote in Lost in Translation that sums it up: "Your life, as you know it... is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life."

What do you find the most difficult?
Probably not having as much time to myself, but I knew what I was signing up for. I'm from a big family - there's six of us - so I knew what I was letting myself in for!

Would you like more children?
I've just had a baby and I'm full of new mum hormones, so I could say I could fill the house with a 100 babies, but I think we'll see how it goes! I've never had any preference about having girls or boys, but once I had Kit, I had a feeling perhaps they would all be boys.

I think any mum of three boys could take on the world!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Interview: Sophie can't stand Gina Ford!


'I can't stand Gina Ford!' Sophie Ellis-Bextor on her third son, keeping the relationship spark alive and her kids ending up with office jobs...
By Sally Griffith

Your third son Ray is three months now- how did you come up with the name?
Yeah I’m not sure actually, I love finding names for kids, it’s a bit of pastime. Me and my sister are always going "Oh, that’d be a good name for a baby", you know? If I had another 17 children I’d probably be able to name them all I think! I can’t remember exactly what made me think of the name Ray, but I know I had the name Ray in place by the time I was 12 weeks pregnant.

So when he came out you knew it was him?

One of our readers had pre-eclampsia with both of her sons and she’d love to have another baby but she’s scared of it reoccurring. She just wondered how you felt with your third child having experienced that - were you scared having Ray?
I completely sympathise with her. It’s funny because I kept asking different consultants and they all kind of gave me slightly different answers, and the running theme seemed to be whilst I’d be incredibly unlucky to have it again, given that I’d had it twice, they thought it might happen. But the consultant I had my first two with said, 'you know, it should be ok'. I’m sure your reader would know too- that they don’t take any chances. I felt almost sheepish when I didn’t get ill because they’d been so vigilant, you know, scans every fortnight and that kind of thing. And then when I got to 35 weeks they said "That’s it, you don’t need any more scans, you’re fine." I loved getting big and having a healthy chubby baby I could take straight home. He was 7.15lb so a proper, big baby, it was lovely. I could put away all the tiny little premature clothes in the loft because I didn’t need them anymore!

What surprised you, if anything, about the third pregnancy? Was there anything that was different with Ray from the other two?
Well, I guess getting nice and big really ‘cos I’d never really had that bit at the end where you’re kind of properly torpedo, and I actually really liked it! Feeling properly pregnant, getting seats on the tube every time and that kind of thing!

So did you get seats on the tube, because a lot of people say they don’t?
Oh yeah I definitely did. I think it’s because I was really quite big- it was obvious I was pregnant, certainly by the end! But yeah, I found people alright you know, I think the problem with the tube is that people are just in their own little world, like not looking around themselves so much.  But I think people generally think of babies as quite a happy thing- they seem to quite enjoy being around it and playing a part in it so I think people are quite excited about the whole thing really.

Speaking of getting bigger, did you have any funny cravings?
Not so much, just at the beginning I had a bit of morning sickness- well that’s a bit of a misnomer  because it lasted all day- but I was feeling a bit rubbish and I was travelling all over Australia and South East Asia and round Europe and there were times when putting on a little playsuit and a pair of four inch heels and doing a gig were not really a lot of fun but you can’t really tell people about it at the beginning, so I just got on with it I suppose.

Did you exercise during the pregnancy, and how did you get rid of the baby weight?
I haven’t actually been back to the gym yet, so don’t make me feel too bad about it! I keep meaning to and then keep cancelling it! But I suppose really because I’m still feeding Ray it’s quite hard to find little windows were I can definitely go off for a little bit and have Ray be alright.

Ray is three months now, which is a really cute age. What do you like about babies when they’re that age, when they’re three months?
I suppose I just like that they smile and react so much. For the first couple of months they’re just little beings that eat all the time but now he can smile and kick about and have properly awake time and he’s alert. It just means that he’ll smile and he can be passed to Grandma and he’ll give her a grin and it’s just a lot more exciting for everyone else and everyone else can participate a bit more I think.

Christmas will be really nice now you’ve got a big old bunch of children.

A reader of ours has three boys aged 10, eight and eight months, and she sometimes finds it hard to keep them all happy and entertained. How do you entertain Sonny, Kit and Ray?
Well I suppose it will get harder because Ray at the moment is just so little. It really just a matter of keeping the three year old a bit stimulated because when you’re eight you can make your own fun a little bit more. The older one likes doing things like making Lego and drawing stuff but its really just a matter of running around the garden with Kit a lot really and getting the water pistols out- it’s much easier when the sun's out definitely!

Is there a crafty element to the activities you do with them?
Yes -what I do a lot with them at home is making music. We’ve got a massive box at home which is full of musical instruments and things they can bash- even Kit will literally get a wooden spoon and a bowl and whack it like a drum kit. There’s an instinct I think in children to make music. People are asking if my kids are musical and I but think most kids like it! I think it’s something that if kids are happy and healthy they want to get involved with because it makes them feel creative and they can use their imagination to make up little songs. But they’re also being encouraged to do, rather than being told to be quiet.

How would you feel about any of your children getting into show business?
If any of them wanted to be a musician I suppose I’d be really excited and it’d be a nice thing for me because I know that world, but I think they’ll probably rebel and not want to do that because it’s almost too much a part of their surroundings at the moment because they’re constantly coming to festivals and sound checks, so I don’t know! We’ll see, but they’ll probably end up in an office job. But if they can always enjoy music I’ll be happy with that, I’d be really sad if they had absolutely no interest in going to gigs or listening to music. So long as it’s part of their lives it’s be nice, because I like seeing that- my eldest is now at that point where he wants to start listening to the radio in his room and buying records and I quite like the fact that he’s got his own musical identity now and it’s not what we’ve been playing him, it’s his own stuff.

It’s an insight into their personality and their likes and dislikes, isn’t it?
Well it’s a rite of passage isn’t it? Most people can remember the first single they bought or whatever. I mean it’s not quite as significant when it’s just a download but… he’ll say to me can we get this for him or can we get that, and sometimes you’ll be thinking "That is awful, please don’t get that!" but you have to let them choose their own music.

What sort of thing? 
Oh well, I don’t know, I think it’s more that he likes really quite mainstream pop, just when you’ve got your head in your hands going "No, listen to this instead!" but I’m sure that’s the sort of thing he should be doing, I’m sure I did exactly the same thing when I was little.

Where do you get your musical inspiration?
Spending family time together enjoying music is not only fun but it also encourages creativity amongst children. My love of music came from an early age when I my mother and I used to make instruments, and I’d get dressed up and perform so I could look like my favourite pop stars.

A lot of people have said to me that having a third child once you’ve got two is easier than having a second when you’ve only got one. Would you agree?
Yes I think for me the biggest leap was going from one to two. Two to three feels much easier than going from one to two. I think when you’ve got one you think “Oh I’m just going to have another one, it’ll be fine, they’ll just fall in” but no, you really have got double the amount of stuff to do. Having a third one is really more like you just muck in really! I like having a bigger family but then I know a lot of people who’ve only got one or two, and I think it’s much more about the quality of it and how much time you have for them and what you get up to as a family. I was an only child until I was eight and it was great, I loved having all that time with my parents.

You got pregnant relatively quickly after you met Richard but you’ve been together a really long time. How do you keep the spark between you?
I think time just the two of you spend is really important because I think when you’ve got children you find most of the time you’re together you and your husband end up delegating, like: “Can you do this while I take that one and do that?” So I think just time when you get out and just have supper together, even if it’s just at home actually, and you just sit down when the children are in bed and you just reconnect a little bit. But we work together sometimes at events for a few days abroad together and that’s quite fun, or if I’ve got a job where I’m only away for a night then maybe Richard’ll come with me. You do have to factor it into your priorities, but I think it just happens naturally- there’s a point where you feel ready to come out of the baby bubble.

Do you use any routine with your boys, like Gina Ford?
I can’t stand Gina Ford. I really don’t understand routines with a tiny baby, because they don’t understand what you’re trying to teach them. How can you teach a child that it has to wait ten more minutes for a feed? I know there’ll be people who'll disagree with that and you have to go with what works for you, of course. But that would make me really unhappy. I guess you have to work out how you live your lives before kids and work out what kind of parent you want to be. You could be the sort of person with a tiny home and lots of little to do lists everywhere but I’m just not compatible with that.

What’s the one thing that’s been most helpful to you, that you’ve relied on with having a family and being a working woman?
Accepting help when it’s offered and not putting yourself under too much pressure to get it right all the time. It’s definitely a learning curve - I’m learning things now with Ray that I didn’t do with the others and I think you’re constantly evolving. I think you have to get to the end of each day and if your children are fundamentally happy and sleeping at night then you’ve done the right thing!

Are there any products you’d recommend that have got you through all three of your pregnancies?
I can’t think of anything specific really, it’s all little things like having a Moses basket you can have in the room with you. As long as you've got clean nappies you can pretty much deal with whatever, you know, bathing in the sink and sleeping in a bowl!

It’s all about learning on the job isn’t it?
It is. I think when you first become a parent you’re suddenly part of a market and there’s a lot of guilt tripping, like: “You need this or your child won’t grow up happy, healthy and adjusted” but people have been doing this for longer than those products have existed, you know?

Have you tried controlled crying?
No. I think once they get to sixth months you can do that a bit more, but I think my little one is way too young for that.

Yeah it’s a really contentious issue, people are either really in support of it or really against it.
I know, you have to be careful- I would never judge anybody else’s parenting skills, which is why I’m saying you have to work out what sort of person you are, and you’ve got to go with what works for you. I would never turn to anybody else and say “don’t do that” you know? It’s like a relationship, unless you’re one of the people in that relationship you don’t know how the dynamic works. And I wouldn’t like anyone commenting on my parenting either. You just have to get on with it and if you don’t like the way I’m raising them don’t hang out with me I guess- but by and large I think your friends are fairly similar aren’t they?

One of our readers wants to know what the dynamic is like with you and your husband in terms of parenting? Obviously you see one thing on the red carpet but what’s it like at home- who gets control of the TV remote?
Probably we’re pretty even but I think it’s more likely that he’ll pick the films and I’ll watch whatever he’s watching really but we like a lot of the same things anyway.

What sort of thing do you watch and what are you up to at the moment?
At the moment, we’re on the new series of Breaking Bad which is really good. I've also teamed up with Persil to encourage families to get messy with music this summer, whether that’s by going to family festivals or making instruments and dressing up as your favourite pop idols at home. Music isn’t about being judged, so just have fun, get stuck in, and let Persil take care of the mess!

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has partnered with Persil to encourage families to get messy with music this summer and launched the first ever Persil ‘Mosh & Wash’ stage at Camp Bestival in Dorset. Visit: the Persil Facebook page for the chance to win a family festival in your home town!

Interview: Sophie in Gulfnews


The indie scene’s answer to a pop star, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, finally made it to Dubai for a performance after a couple of cancelled gigs. The “If This Ain’t Love” singer chatted ahead of her Alchemy Project show at Movida on Friday.

Q: We’ve been waiting for you to come to Dubai for a long time.
A; I came for the first time last year and really enjoyed myself. It’s a beautiful place with incredible architecture everywhere. There was a lot to see and do and I’m happy to be back.

Q: Will you be spending anytime here with your family?
A: I’m bringing my new baby, Ray, with me, and my husband came last year.

Q: You’re back performing again not long after delivering your third child. How has having children changed your work as a musician and performer?
A: I’ve been a working mother for the majority of my career now so hard to remember life before, but essentially I’m more focused when I work as if I spend time away from my children, it better be worthwhile.

Q: Do you write or sing songs for your sons?
A: All the time, mostly daft silly things. Mind you, my dad did the same when I was little so I don’t think it’s my day job that’s led me to that.

Q: What are you working on at the moment — any new album coming?
A: Yes I’m back in the studio and feeling very positive and inspired. Hope to get new songs out there asap.

Q: You played a few festivals this summer. Any favourites, good or bad experiences? Which other acts did you enjoy watching while at the festivals, if any?
A: I’ve been lucky as all the festivals I’ve been to have had good weather, believe me, it makes all the difference! I loved Friendly Fires and Basement Jaxx.

Q: You’ve got a fun sense of style. Where do you like to shop?
A: Anywhere, I love a bargain and I love vintage so a good rummage in a market makes me happy.

Q: Your family’s restaurant is undergoing some changes. Do you have any involvement with it? Do you like to eat out or do you cook at home at all?
A: No involvement other than eating there whenever I can, it’s delicious. My dad has decided to sell the business as though he’s made a success of it, it’s very demanding and takes up a lot of his time when he has other work too. It’ll be sad when it’s gone but less stressful for my dad so I understand.

Q: You retweeted Lauren Laverne’s “free Pussy Riot” tweet. Tell us why you think the group should be freed.
A: Because they held a peaceful protest to articulate how they felt about the state of their country’s politics, everyone has the right to that.

Interview: 10 Minutes with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Original Post -

What can you tell us about your new album?
I’ve started doing some unprocessed, live sounding stuff as well as music that picks up where the last album left off. I hope to finish writing it this year!

What do you get up to when not performing?
Family life takes over. That’s my priority and what keeps me sane! I also love cooking and seeing my friends. I have a group of girlfriends I’ve known since school. We’re very close.

How do you juggle family life with work?
It’s chaotic at times and now that there are three it’s definitely logistically a little more complicated but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my little boys and wouldn’t say no to another child one day but let me get my new baby [Ray] a little bigger first!

You have great style. How important is fashion to you and what’s your fave look?

Fashion and music have long been bedfellows. I love vintage clothing as it tells a story and is unique.

This year loads of celebs are getting a re-style. Any plans to shake up your look?
Post baby, just getting back to my classic look will be enough for me! I’m a creature of habit and I know what I like so no, I’m happy as I am.

You’ve recently done a track with Bob Sinclar. Any more collaborations planned?
I’m up for trying a collaboration with pretty much anyone. The worst that can happen is you write a bad song but you might just write something that changes everything. I love that possibility.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beautiful (almost full-version) is FINALLY here

The song is EPIC! There's no need  to say anything more, the song will speak for itself.

Why don't you listen and decide.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mathieu Bouthier ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Beautiful (Remixes) PREVIEW

Mathieu Bouther is such a tease. He uploaded a snippet of two remixes of his new single with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on his soundcloud. The first one sounds phenomenal, and I'm really looking forward to hearing that one in full. I'm eagerly waiting for July 16 now - the song will be released by Universal and Serials Records, so I'm assuming UK will also be getting this song on the 16th.

Here are two previews. The first one is gorgeous. The Mischa Daniels mix isn't very impressive to be honest, not after what he did with Can't Fight This Feeling and Not Giving Up On Love. Then again, this is only a snippet, so I'll wait for the full length remix before I make up my mind.

Pier Poropat & Jerry Monroe Remix

Mischa Daniels Remix

Also, the Get Over You performance from Java Soul Nation, Jakarta -

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mathieu Bouthier ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Beautiful (out soon)

French DJ Matthieu Bouthier collaborates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on a hard-hitting dance track called "Beautiful", and as the track title itself suggest, the song is simply beautiful. Ellis-Bextor sounds absolutely gorgeous on the track. The chorus is brilliant - it just explodes in your face. The "la la lala" bit had better stretch on for a whole minute on the track...she sounds sexy when she la-la's.

Listen below:
Mathieu Bouthier ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Beautiful (extend snippet):

In other news, Fear Of Dawn release their remix of Fuck With You. Its very good; but I only wish they didn't cut out the second set of verses.
Bob Sinclar ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Gilbere Forte (Fear Of Dawn Remix):

And SEBOfficial have upload the Not Giving Up On Love performance. The live version is so good. Its criminal they didn't release a DVD.
Armin Van Buuren vs. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Not Giving Up On Love (live @ Java Soul Nation, Jakarta):

Monday, June 25, 2012

Official Catch-Up + Can't Fight This Feeling performance

Hello Sophie, how are you?
I’m really good thank you. Enjoying my current quiet life.

We noticed that the Daily Mail had a piece about you going to the park with Ray and Kit.
Yeah, that was a bit funny. When I lived around Notting Hill there were photographers just loitering all the time because quite a lot of people live around there. But that’s the first time that’s happened where we live now.

A lot of people probably imagine that famous folks organise those sort of photos with a paparazzi themselves. Were you even aware those ones were happening?
No, I had no idea at all. Sometimes you’ll see pictures and you’ll have to try and work out what day it was. But it’s alright. I wouldn’t like it if one of the kids noticed and felt uncomfortable. But so long as I’m oblivious, I think its pretty harmless.

And they pixelate the children’s faces. Well, unless Kit actually looks like that.
Haha! Exactly. But, yeah, they do seem to do that.

So how’s it all going with little Ray?
Oh, lovely. It’s been a completely different experience this time because it’s the first time I’ve had a full-term baby that I can take straight home from hospital. It’s a different world. And I much prefer it.

The birth went well?
It was all fine. I had to have another C-section because he’s my third one now and they said it’d be too risky to try anything else. So it was quite odd, you go from a standing start really. Make a little playlist of songs and then head to the hospital and off we go. It made the recovery a lot quicker because I could have him with me. I think that makes you feel a bit more focused on the positives rather than just feeling like you’ve just had an operation.

When did you bring him home?
I was in for three days. I think that’s kind of the advised time after you’ve had the operation. But, yeah, then straight home and start settling into life with five of us.

And how’s that been? Does it feel like 33% extra effort having a third child?
At the moment I’d say no, it’s not actually. It’s been fairly OK. We’re fortunate because we’ve got quite a lot of support. My mum’s just down the road and we’ve got Clare our nanny. But then at the weekends when it’s just been the five of us, it’s actually been alright because Ray’s fairly minimal in what he needs. I’m feeding him myself so we’re not taking out loads of bottles and all that kind of stuff. All he needs really is a little change of clothes and a blanket. And I can fit that in my handbag! But I think once he gets a bit bigger, he’ll start taking up more space, both figuratively and literally.

Is he sleeping OK?
Yeah. Newborns don’t do much, really - it’s all eating and sleeping. He’s definitely not sleeping through the night, but I don’t really mind. It’s quite a mellow kind of tiredness that I’ve got. The thing that’s tricky is that sometimes Kit - the one with the pixelated face - wakes up in the night, and then you have to get out of bed and sorting him out. That is knackering. But generally it’s all good. I was a bit apprehensive because we’d heard from some people that having a third is really full-on, but so far so good, I’d say.

So are you finding time to do anything beyond being a mother?
Well so far it’s all been very homely. We’ve been going out and about, but it’s all been nice family things. We went to Kew Gardens at the weekend and had a run about and did the treetop walk and all that. And I’ve been going to the cinema thing where you can take your baby along. So I’ve seen a few films, which has been quite nice, because then you’ve got something to talk about other than just baby stuff!

You’re mainly staying put in London then.
Actually, we did go to visit my dad in Sussex during half-term. But it’s all been quite localised and cosy. It’s been nice.

How have the boys taken to Ray?
They really like him actually. Luckily. Hahaha! They just squabble over who gets to cuddle him usually. But it’s early days. I think newborn babies maybe lull you into a false sense of security because they are fairly low maintenance and their demands are quite straightforward. I think once Ray is crawling about and a bit more active and needs a bit more stimulation, then we might find ourselves a little bit more spread thin.

We saw that Popjustice and various others were suggesting you should be the UK”s Eurovision entry next year. Is that something you’ve ever seriously considered?
No, I don’t think so. I love Eurovision, but I really think it’d be like throwing me to the lions. It has actually been suggested to me in a serious capacity along the way, but no. I think with all these things, anything that has a risk attached, you should go with your first instinct. And if your first reaction was, “God, that could really backfire and be quite humiliating” then you’ve got to go with that, really. The UK is very unpopular in Eurovision. It’s not just about the song. So it’s a no. But I do love watching it.

You said on Twitter that you went to see Coldplay recently. Was that your first night out since Ray was born?
It was indeed.

How was that?
It was a bit strange to be away from him, but it was nice. I was only away for a few hours.

And you took Sonny?
Yes. He was excited for about the first 20 minutes or so and then he got a bit bored. I remember when I was about 8 being taken to see Pink Floyd and I had a similar reaction.

And Sonny booed Chris Martin for swearing?
Yes! Hahaha! He didn’t like that. The flashing wristbands were amazing, though. I absolutely loved those.

Have you been up to anything else?
Not much, really. I’ve had the odd meeting and I’m starting to think a bit about work. And I’m going away to DJ with Richard this weekend. That’s my first job, actually.

Where are you doing that?
We’re going to Serbia. To Belgrade. We’re away for 24 hours, and we’re not taking Ray.

First night without him?
Yeah! I think I’m going to find it a bit traumatic, actually. I know he won’t miss me, but I’ll definitely miss him!

And here is the live performance of Can't Fight This Feeling from the Java Soul Nation gig at Jakarta.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Revolution (live) + Incredible Women Play

Revolution always goes down well live. She packs so much energy into the song when she performs it. I wouldn't mind another banger like this sometime in the future - it sounds fantastic. Still, none of her performances have outdone the performance at Meribel. That was something else....

Sophie took part in a small 15-minute drama on BBC Radio 4 on June 1, 2012. In this story, reporter Jeremy Front spends time with Andrea Wickham, a very loud, but rather bad opera singer who has invited famous people to her home in order to record an album in support of her favourite charity. All of the celebrities make excuses, and only Sophie arrives. When she learns more about the charity, Sophie tries to make excuses too, but she cannot avoid having to sing a duet with Andrea. We hear them singing a tiny bit of The Teddy Bears' Picnic, a famous children's song from the 1930s.

Download the whole comic play here -

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Roger Sanchez ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Work It Out (full stream)

The full song:

thanks to Dedei for the song

ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It's very Trip The Light Fantastic and Read My Lips. It should have been released... Polydor were foolish to have prevented Roger from using this. Plus, if Can't Fight This Feeling found a place on Make A Scene, I can't see why this wouldn't have a place on the album as well.

Here are the lyrics:

You've got me hooked with just a touch : C'mon and notice it's all too much : I give an inch, come take your mile : It's time for progress, not for denial : Maybe I'm fooling myself over you : Oh, I can't help it : Now there's no point in us playing it cool : No, I thought you felt it :: 'cos I'm giving you the signs : Can't you work it out? : I'm going out my mind : C'mon work it out! :: I'm not afraid to set it straight : I wanna show you and I can't wait : Your hold on me, its plain to see : This spell I'm under won't let me free : I could be fooling myself over you : Oh it can't be healthy : Now there's no point in us playing it cool : No, I gotta know where this is leading me :: 'cos I'm giving you the signs : Can't you work it out? : I'm going out my mind : C'mon work it out! :: I want you here with me, I can't take it anymore : It's just so plain to see but somehow you ignore : I'm giving you the signs to love : Why don't you read them? : I'm giving you a try at us : Why don't you see it? : I'm giving you a time to stand up : So come and do it! : I'm giving you a chance to be loved : Why don't you use it? :: 'cos I'm giving you the signs : Can't you work it out? : I'm going out my mind : C'mon work it out :: Either you're with me, or you're not : Either we got it, or we stop.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Work It Out (leak snippet 2)

So, a second snippet of the Roger Sanchez and Sophie demo has just leaked. And MY GOD it sounds fantastic! I don't understand why Polydor stopped Roger from releasing this song. It sounds like it has the potential to chart somewhere high in the top 20. Record Labels can be really stupid sometimes...

Anyway, here's the second snippet. Apparently its the middle-8.

And here's the earlier one, in case you missed it.

I love how she's screaming "work it out" just before the middle-8 kicks in. She sounds sexy in this song. I hope it leaks in full. This and Did I sound fantastic - both outtakes from the Make A Scene era.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mathieu Bouthier ft. SEB - Beautiful

No release date yet, but here's a snippet - listen:

A new song just popped out of the blue, and it is FANTASTIC!

My thoughts about the song are here on PJ -

Really excited for this song. I hope the Brian Cross collaboration comes out soon.

What are your thoughts about the new snippet?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Official Catch Up + Baby News + Jakarta set + Fuck With You Official Video

Hi all. I've been away for quite sometime; been very busy with my studies and my career. Also, nothing much was happening in Sophie-world all these days, so things were quiet around here. But now we're back online. Sophie has given birth to her third child, she is working on her fifth solo record - lets hope this year goes well for her.

So before we get to the official catch-up, here are some of the significant things I have missed out on all these days.

1. The FUCK WITH YOU video - It is branded NSFW.

2. Videos from Java Soul Nation (Jakarta) - SophieHQ have been uploading one video a week, and they promise to upload the entire set over a period of time. Its a good way to keep fans occupied, really. Although, I hope she considers releasing an EP of songs that didn't make it onto Make A Scene, just so we can kill time waiting for the next album.
Here are the videos:

Dial My Number


Take Me Home

Me And My Imagination

Today The Sun's On Us

What Have We Started

Catch You


3. Have you heard the latest leak? It's called "Work It Out". The entire song isn't out yet, but a snippet of the song was recently uploaded to Soundcloud. It sounds like the old Sophie, from the Read My Lips days..

4. Sophie gave birth to her third baby boy, called Ray Holiday Jones on April 25, 2012. A couple of tweets that followed the birth of the child -

5. A couple of other interesting tweets caught my attention. There was one with Billy Reeves (yes, The Billy Reeves of theaudience. Its nice to see they're still in touch). And another with Jake Shears...possible collaboration maybe? I hope so. Jake knows his way around good hooks. And an interesting response by the dirty rapper to what Sophie said on her interview.

6. And finally, here is the official catch-up from her official website. She revealed two song-titles - Love Is A Camera and The Wrong Side Of The Sun. The latter sounds phenomenal - hopefully it will be another Today The Sun's On Us / What Have We Started / Cut Straight To The Heart.

Hi Sophie, how are you?
Not too bad thank you.

Blooming and full of child!
Haha! Yeah I am. I'm at 38 weeks now.

So it's third time lucky with going the full term.
I know. It's been phenomenal. The people at the hospital have been absolutely brilliant. I do really appreciate it.

Have they had to pay you a lot of attention because you've had the two premature babies?
Yeah, exactly. They've had to keep an eye on me in case I started to get ill again, but I didn't. It's all good.

So you've never brought a newborn baby home before?
No, this will be the first time. Kit and Sonny both came home after about four or five weeks.

How are you feeling at the moment?
Excited, really. I have moments where I feel like I don't really know what to expect, but I just want to get on with it now, really. We're as ready for this baby as we're ever going to be!

Do you have an inkling of the sex.
We don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be another boy. We had quite a big visual clue at one of the scans!

Do you have names sorted?
Of course, yeah. I always do that. I'm a bit tragic. By the time you start telling people I already know what the names are. I like to be organised.

Has your girl's name been the same all three times?
No, I've changed it actually. I think you get to different points in your life and things have different resonance. Actually, people say to me, "I bet you want a girl" but I don't really feel like families work like that. When your child is born you just think, "Well, I was always going to have that baby". I didn't really realise that there was a bit of a thing about that. I've got three sisters, two brothers, we're all very higgledy piggledy. It didn't really occur to me that I would have any preference. But the amount of people that, if I say I think it's a boy, say "Aww" as if they feel sorry for me! And I'm like, "Well, I quite like the way they turn out!" And you do go into it knowing it's 50-50!

You really do get that?
Oh totally. I had it a little bit with the second one, but I've had it tonnes this time around.

The idea that you would be disappointed with a boy because it's not a girl.
Yeah, exactly. Like, "This is a disaster! Why did nobody warn me this might happen?!"

So, once you've had the baby presumably you'll be taking a bit of time off work?
Yeah, well, I don't really know how I'll feel. I've got a couple of things in June and we'll see how it goes, really. There are a few things in the diary.

And it's nice to have that other side to your life still going.
Definitely. It's been quite a peaceful start to the year for me - which has been lovely - and I quite like seeing that I've got stuff going on. But we'll see. I'm going to try and sort the baby out with a passport quite quickly so that I can take it with me as well.

The other big news in Sophie world is that the Bob Sinclar video is out.
It is! How's that for synchronicity!

It's certainly quite a viewing experience.
Hahaha! Yes. There's a lot of really peachy bottoms. But hey he's French, what did you expect?

What do you think of it?
You know what, I really like it. I think it's really kitsch and cool. Bob asked me if I'd be able to do the video and I was like, "Um kind of, but only from certain angles!" So he decided to do it that way. And, actually, I think it's great. I'm happy.

And are you pleased with the song?
Yeah. I don't even think it's that rude any more - I just find it quite funny. But some people are still adjusting to it, I think!

It's incredibly catchy. You have to be careful or you find yourself singing that chorus in public places!
Well, there is an "I wanna rock with you" version. You'll be safer with that. Actually, I had to play the sweary version to my 7-year-old because I wanted him to hear it from me and noone else. I told him that in France it doesn't meant anything rude, it's only rude here. So he thought that was OK. He's obviously quite anti-swearing and he's never heard me swear either. I'm not really a very sweary person.

The song certainly makes up for that.
Haha! Exactly.

Remind us how you came to do the song?
I was sent an email from Bob and I was obviously aware of what he does, but then I saw in the subject heading of the email attachment, "Fuck With You" and I thought that was ridiculous. But then I heard it and thought, "Well this is really catchy and quite fun". And I always thought it was quite tongue in cheek. It's not just a sexy thing, it's more of a woman getting her revenge on someone. Like, I wanna mess with you. The rapper, Gilbere, is the really rude one. I wonder if he's told his parents yet!

And the timing of the song, with you about to go and have a baby is pretty good.
I just think it's hilarious. It tickles me.

So, what else have you been up to?
I've been doing a little bit of songwriting. I've been working a little bit more with Ed Harcourt. And I did a song with Cathy Dennis the other day. So, yeah, I've been keeping busy but just on a low-key, at home sort of way. And Richard and I have been doing a bit of writing as well. It's been fun.

What kind of stage are you at with an album?
I'd say I still need to knuckle down and do a few more months, really. But it's definitely taking shape. I've done some great stuff with Ed and we've found a bit of a musical direction. But I'm going to take a pause while I have the baby.

Is there a song title you can tease us with?
We did a lovely one called Love Is A Camera and we did another one called The Wrong Side Of The Sun.

Obviously we've been posting the Jakarta videos and they've gone down really well.
Yeah, that's been really good. They filmed it for TV, I think. It's quite good quality, I thought.

The crowd looks amazing.
Yeah, it was fun. We really had no idea what to expect going to a country I hadn't been to for a long time, so it was a nice surprise.

Do you have any notion of when you might start to put some new music out?
Not yet. It's a bit early to say on that front. We shall see.

And have you been filling the house with new paraphernalia for the baby?
Not really. The only thing we got was a new buggy, because the old one was looking really tired. We've gone for another Bugaboo.

What colour?
Navy. I always go for that. I know they come in really loud colours but I like it a bit more restrained. Black always seems a bit too severe, so navy is quite good. And then I got a new Moses basket because the handles on the old one were held together with string! But that's all we've done.

It's going to be so strange to have a tiny baby in the house for the first time.
I know! It's quite odd for Richard and I because we've actually been quite busy in the last few weeks, and then suddenly we're going to have this little baby in the basket and he'll actually be here. I can't imagine it at all.

Are the kids excited?
I think so. Kit wants to call the baby Rose, whether it's a boy or a girl. Before that he wanted to call it Power Ranger. He's a bit obsessed with Power Rangers. If any of my fans have got any Power Rangers that they're getting rid of, they can always donate them to Kit's Power Rangers collection. We have to know the name of all of them - and they have different names in each series. There's probably about 12 different versions of them and he likes to know each of their names. But, yes, Sonny is really looking forward to the baby, because he loves babies.

That's great.
Yeah. And I think Kit's just got his head around it in the last month or two. He's three now so he's starting to find his feet a little bit more. I think he's really warming to the idea of being a big brother. Sonny's going to be 8 on Monday, so I'm hoping he'll actually be able to give me a bit of help. I was 8 when my brother was born and I adored him and used to give him his bottle and look after him. And now he's my drummer!

And it's so nice that you've not had the stresses of the last two births.
Oh totally. I sort of want to tell people that. I know that a lot of women, if they've had two bouts of pre-eclampsia severe enough to have premature babies, they'll probably be really apprehensive at the idea of a third. I know I was. So it's really nice to know that it doesn't always happen. It's just been so lovely to be able to enjoy it this time.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Official Catch Up (2 parts) + Revolution

So a remix Revolution is released as a single in Italy. You can listen to the remix RIGHT HERE...

Here's the official Catch-up.

Hello Sophie, how are you?
I’m good thank you.

What are you up to?
I’m actually looking through a load of backing tracks. I’ve been sent some dance-y stuff over the last few weeks. So I’m going though them and seeing if there’s anything I want to work on.

So people just send you tracks out of the blue?
Yeah. It’s how I used to work years ago and then I stopped doing so much of that and started working in the studio with people. But then because I’d had quite a quiet January it’s been quite nice getting things sent over again. So I’ve just been pottering through them to see if there’s anything that grabs me and makes me want to write a chorus for it.

What’s usually the ratio of good stuff when you go through tracks like that?
It’s probably about 50/50, I would say. But some stuff you just get ideas for straight away, while other stuff I might like but realise it’s not quite right for me. So I would say there’s probably about 25% of it that I decide is worth working on. And the ones I’m actually disciplined enough to finish is probably about 5%.

Have you heard anything in this batch that you think could be good?
Yeah. There are two tracks which I’ve got on the go at the moment which I like.

What kind of thing?
Both quite dance-y. One is slightly Robyn-esque, I suppose. And the other one is a bit more anthemic, hands-in-the-air kind of thing.

And you receive them as instrumentals?
Yeah, that’s right.

Do they have any control over what words you choose to put on there?
Well, it will usually go back and forth a bit. That’s why working in a studio with people is much easier, because you thrash that out at the time. But I sometimes find that if I work with people I haven’t got a long working relationship with I can feel quite self-conscious trying to come up with stuff in the moment. So it can be easier to do it at home on your own. That’s actually the way that Groovejet started.

Ah, really?
Yes, that one was an instrumental that they sent to me. I used to work like that a lot. With Groovejet I went into a studio and just recorded what I’d done, which was verses, a chorus and a middle eight. I didn’t realise they’d been sending the same track to lots of people, but then they came back to me and said they liked my verses and my middle eight, but asked if I could use a Rob Davis chorus. And I was a bit confused, because I was quite earnest and this was actually the first song I’d ever written that was released. I was like, well, it doesn’t really make sense now, because the chorus and verse are talking about different things, so I had to rewrite it.

What was your original chorus then?
Well, Rob’s chorus was much more straight to the point and had a really great hook with a really good lyric. I think mine was a little bit more complicated. His was far and away better than mine! Mine was not so much a chorus with a capital C.

Do those old demo versions exist?
Probably somewhere. I haven’t really chucked much out, but I’ve got boxes and boxes of CDs, and I’m not exactly sure where it would be. I’ve still got the old demo cassettes from theaudience! I’m not sure whether I’ll ever come to actually sit down and go through them all. There’s always so many other things to be doing. I thought I’d get so much done in the first three months of the year before this baby comes, but actually I find if I’m not working then I want to be spending time with the kids. So yesterday I went to the Natural History Museum with Kit.

How was that?
It was actually really sweet. I hadn’t ever taken him there before and his big brother was at school, so we went on the tube and went to a cafe before the museum and then went around the dinosaurs. It was really nice to have that one on one time. It was a lovely day.

How was your Christmas?
Really, really lovely. I had it as a bit of a beacon before me because December was a bit full-on. I even had the offer of a gig that came in, which would’ve meant two flights there and two flights back and getting home on December 23rd. My manager phoned me and told me he wouldn’t let me do it because they were worried they might kill me! Which was good, as it meant I had Christmas week to get ready. We had 12 of us here for Christmas and it all went really well.

Apart from not receiving your full supermarket order, which you tweeted about.
Mmm. I thought that was really pathetic. I’d actually booked it for the 22nd so that I had a day to go and buy whatever they didn’t bring, in case there were any things missing. But there was just so much missing! There were no sausages, there were no carrots and there was no butter. Stuff like that. And I’d ordered it ages beforehand! I know there are bigger problems in the world, but it was rubbish.

Did the supermarket in question respond to you on Twitter?
Yeah, they did. They said if I DM’d my order number to them they’d try and sort it out for me. But I didn’t want special treatment. I didn’t think that was very fair. They should know what was in demand.

But your Christmas was all good in the end?
It really was. I think I was the most chilled out I’ve ever been doing it at home, because it was the least amount of people. My mum had bought pre-peeled potatoes from the online supermarket she uses. Oh my God! What a treat!

Did you get any nice presents?
I got really great presents. Now that I’m a grown-up I sort of forget that I’m going to get presents at Christmas too. So I think everything you get as an adult is more touching in a way. Richard did very nice presents - I’ve got flowers every other Friday for the whole year. And I got a massive jar of chip shop gherkins, because I love those. So I’m happy.

And then on New Year’s Eve you went off to Phuket with Richard. How was that?
It was pretty lush actually. We were booked for a full live show, so the band came too, which was great. We had three days in the sunshine eating Thai food and being on the beach. I’d never had a warm New Year’s Eve before, and I definitely get it now. I’ve always been a one family holiday a year in the summertime sort of person. But now I’m seeing the appeal of a winter break.

How was New Year’s Eve itself?
Well, it was a private party - held by Russians - and they did celebrations and fireworks at midnight Thai time and then more at midnight Russian time, which was 3am. There were loads of performers - Kelly Rowland was there, who’s always very lovely - and there were dancers and circus performers and all sorts. And the weather was lovely, which sounds obvious, but actually there were question marks that it might be stormy. It rained pretty much continuously the next evening, in fact.

You said on Twitter recently that you were struggling to find maternity wear.
Yeah, I just think a lot of it assumes that because you’re pregnant you don’t want to look fashionable or attractive - that you just want comfort and stretch and that’s about it. I think it’s a bit of an omission really. I don’t really understand why it’s not done better.

Have you ever been offered a clothes range or anything?
Well, it is something that I’ve been thinking about for maternity. A girlfriend of mine - who’s also having her third baby - is a stylist and we were thinking we should maybe look into it. Even if it’s just a very small range of really nice things which you could wear while you’re pregnant and then also for the first few months after you’ve had the baby. Some of your features you still want to show off. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean everything has to be a smock on top and down to your ankles. I quite like the 60s look where you have it A-line but still more tailored around the top. That’s quite cute. But I’ll do some research and see what comes out of it.



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