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YOU editor-in-chief Jo Elvin speaks to Louise Redknapp a year after she split from Jamie


Louise Redknapp's next and dearest know that she is in a dark place when she is curled up on the couch in the cardigan. It is multicolored, with large threads that hang down and reach over her knees. "It's called the man repeller," she laughs. "The kids are going," mom, you're wearing the cardigan. Are you all right? "

I would guess that The Cardigan has been hit in the past 18 months. Because when reviewing the recent dramatic events in Louise's life, it's hard to know where to start. When she split her chin just a few days before her performance 9 to 5 The musical – the West End version of the film with music by Dolly Parton – the Mann Repeller continued and did not come out for almost a week. But more on that later.

After almost two decades without pop, nobody is more surprised than Louise Redknapp's comeback in 2019. And she's clearly excited

Fortunately, today it's spray-on gray skinny jeans and a stunning pair of Céline ankle boots. Your leather baseball jacket is oversized but fashionable. We are at Louise's record label HQ to discuss their brand new music. A single, "Stretch", will be the first from the album to be released later in the year. She wrote all the songs, her first foray back into the charts since her solo success in the 1990s and early 2000s. At 44, she's the same deer-eyed beauty she always was. The only visible indication that she's aged is when she lifts off the couch to hug me and wince. After yesterday's music video shoot for "Stretch" everything hurts.

After almost two decades without pop, no one is more surprised about their comeback in 2019 than she is. And she's clearly excited. The bittersweet reality, however, is that Louise's rebirth was only made possible because life, as she had known it for over 20 years, was irrevocably destroyed. She was in hell and back. And got the cardigan.

People probably expected the song with a broken heart. I didn't want to be so predictable

I will try a simple summary.

It was 2016 when Louise agreed to put them on Be sure to come dance Shoes. As fate would have it, I worked with her the day before rehearsals started, and I remember that she talked a lot about being a mother at home long enough. "It is time I had to do something just for myself again," she told me.

Louise wears a leather jacket, Massimo Dutti. In an interview last year, Louise admitted that she had spent most of my life pleasing everyone else and thought I should always do the right thing by staying at home and caring for my children and take care of my husband. I lost myself & # 39;

Louise wears a leather jacket, Massimo Dutti. In an interview last year, Louise admitted that she had spent most of my life pleasing everyone else and thought I should always do the right thing by staying at home and caring for my children and take care of my husband. I lost myself & # 39;

At the time, their relationship seemed the least likely candidate for the fabled “Strict Curse & # 39 ;. Her marriage to Jamie Redknapp was a fairy tale from the 90s. When they met, she was Louise Nurding, the undisputed "hot" member of the platinum-selling group of girls, Eternal. Jamie wasn't that famous, but the handsome soccer player was an aspiring star.

They were introduced by Robbie Williams and from the start their marriage had a quality that most celebrity unions missed: authenticity. Sure, they did the flash football thing to celebrate a lavish Bermuda wedding in 1998. But it was remarkable for the lack of famous guests and the absence from the Hello! Magazine.

Children soon followed, at a time when Louise's solo career was at its peak. She went away from everything to raise her sons Charley (now 14) and Beau (now ten). She and Jamie generally avoided the red carpet circus in favor of Surrey-based family life. In more than 20 years, their marriage didn't even give a hint of scandal. Aside from the strange TV stay, Louise – apparently happy – bowed to the limelight while Jamie's career first appeared on the pitch and then on television with shows such as: A league of its own.

I don't blame Jamie. It was up to me to say, "Something is wrong."

That's probably why Louise got stuck in the tabloids so quickly when she started working on Strictly. The lips were used as a headline after the headline that said that she had "left" her husband and children "half as old" for wild nights with people. There were even rumors that their relationship with a guy Strict The candidate, model Daisy Lowe, was not platonic.

"I went out more than ever," Louise says now. "I had found a little spark. I was enjoying myself. I think I had always been such a well-behaved pop star, and then I got married, had children, and stayed away from playing. But I remember headlines like "Louise, out in the city, drunk again" when I knew I was home at 9:30 pm and had a bowl of Frosties with my son. "

Whatever the fact or fiction may be – although Louise makes me realize with a wink and a belly laugh that “Daisy Lowe was never my girlfriend Strict! “- according to their own statementsStrict a light turned on again. "

Trench, Moschino, from Fenwick. BH, Freya. Tights, gucci. Shoes, Gianvito Rossi. She strictly opened the door to new opportunities and was no longer happy to turn her back on them

Trench, Moschino, from Fenwick. BH, Freya. Tights, gucci. Shoes, Gianvito Rossi. Strict opened the door to new opportunities and she was no longer happy to turn her back on them

It also seems very solid to have turned a light on her marriage of almost 21 years. In an interview last year, Louise admitted that she had spent most of my life pleasing everyone else and thought I should always do the right thing by staying at home and caring for my children and take care of my husband. I lost myself. & # 39;

She strictly opened the door to new opportunities and was no longer happy to turn her back on them. She won't give a detailed explanation of why her marriage broke down, but I think I can safely assume that her renewed ambition has played a major role. "Who gets a second chance, you know?" She asks. "I just didn't think it would ever happen to me." I'm glad I did Strictly, because without it I wouldn't have had the courage. Any woman who has reached her 40s will understand that.

"But I don't blame Jamie. I wish I could only have spoken three years ago. It was easy to blame him for a long time. But in the past six months I thought you know what? It was up to me say, "Something is wrong. My self esteem really struggles. I have no passion. I love my children more than anything else in the world. I also love what I do and I don't have the courage to go out and try again. "I just didn't speak. I don't blame anyone for it. I wish I was just gone." Right, the kids are getting older and I love my job and I'll try, and Jamie, if you don't like it, is tough. But if you like it, let's talk about it. "

I found her spark at Strictly in 2016. "I'm glad I did Strictly, because without it I probably wouldn't have had the courage. Any woman who has reached her 40s will understand that," says Louise

Find their spark Strict in 2016. & # 39; I'm glad I did Strict, because without them I would not have had the courage. Any woman who has reached her 40s will understand that, ”says Louise

On vacation with Jamie, sons Charley and Beau and dog Corky in 2016

On vacation with Jamie, sons Charley and Beau and dog Corky in 2016

In 1995 Louise and her group Eternal accepted a music award. The last time Louise released an album, 2000 & # 39; s Elbow Beach, she was the imagination of every teenager

Received a music award with her group Eternal, 1995. When Louise last released an album, 2000s Elbow BeachIt was the imagination of every teenager

Earlier this year, YOU showed a photo shoot and interview with Jamie's parents, Harry and Sandra Redknapp. They have been married for 51 years and still live in the company of one another like hormonal teenagers. I think Jamie grew up in a very traditional household where the father who worked and the mother who stayed at home were the undisputed model of marriage. That must have felt a lot to do it justice?

"Well, you feel a bit of a failure," she says. “I was in a safe marriage for 21 years. You know, through good times and bad. Many of those 21 years have been incredible. And there were moments in those 21 years when I was sad. Not because of Jamie. Most of it is thanks to me. "

When the couple finally announced their split at the end of 2017, both were dignified, but Louise found that this too has a price. "The hardest thing to read about myself was that I had left my children," she says, and the tears are now swelling. "I promise you, Jo, I got up this morning when it was in the newspapers and I wanted to stand everywhere and shout:" Do you think I would leave my children ?! “These guys are my everything. It was like someone else's life unfolding before me. "

The latest rumors say Louise and Jamie are getting back together, and although that's far away, things are better.

"I have to say Jamie is a great father. And when it comes to our children, we're both on one side. I hear so many people say," My husband won't have children. "Jamie is the opposite. I have actually called him earlier and said, "Can I have beau-beau tonight because I'm home a little earlier?" and he said, "Oh, I'd get him." And I ask, "Oh, you can do it tomorrow to do? I got him steak and fries tonight and it's his favorite, "and Jamie says," Oh, OK. "We actually want them both all the time."

When Louise last released an album, 2000s Elbow BeachIt was the imagination of every teenager. Now she is the mother of a teenager and there are already signs that pop and mother life could be an uncomfortable mix. Charley has forbidden her to watch his cricket games. The older boys enjoyed letting him flinch and think about how they like them. "He says I can go to rugby in winter if I wear a puffa jacket and hat," she laughs.

I'm afraid to think about what he'll do with the music video she just told me about. She's not wearing a puffa jacket, that's for sure. She roars with a laugh and remembers the conversation Louise might have had with her father 20 years ago.

Tuxedo jacket MSGM by Fenwick. "I'm nervous about work and career and all of these things because I'm not young. And people are judgmental," says Louise

Tuxedo jacket MSGM by Fenwick. "I'm nervous about work and career and all of these things because I'm not young. And people are judgmental," says Louise

Charley called me from school yesterday and asked how the video was going. I said … "Um … I'm wearing a leotard right now" and he said, "I'm just not going to look at it!" I said, "Chas, you will have to understand, this is the pop world."

"It's pretty sexy," she says sheepishly. "Not, you know," boobs out "sexy, but real, empowering for women my age. People probably expected the song with a broken heart. I didn't want to be so predictable. So I got sexy and funky for the first single back. I want people to say, "Oh, we didn't expect that."

It is common to break down a singer's music for clues to his private life, and the title "Breaking Back Together" will undoubtedly spark speculation that it is Jamie.

I've been single for a year and a half now. Nobody calls and asks me for a date

"Ah, but if you really hear it, this song was all my mother and close friends told me in such a difficult time. It contains lines that my mother would tell me in the morning: "I will not lie, it will hurt, but you will break and reassemble."

Is she there already? Together again? Yes and no. "I'm really scared," she says matter-of-factly with a shrug. "I'm afraid of the future. Jamie and I have achieved a really positive place together. But I don't know what life will be like.

"I'm nervous about work and career and all of these things because I'm not young. And people are judgmental. The music industry has changed so much. I'm trying to understand iTunes and Spotify. It would be really nice if they were Music would be good enough to go on a tour next year.

"I hope people will like it, but I realize that it doesn't always work. So I'll just give it what I have. I never thought that this would be an option for me."

Is Louise happy? & # 39; Yes, I'm happy. I am really happy. I'm afraid. I'm scared happy. I've definitely learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought. "Jacket, equipment. Pants, me + Em. BH, Freya

Is Louise happy? & # 39; Yes, I'm happy. I am really happy. I'm afraid. I'm scared happy. I've definitely learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought. "Jacket, equipment. Pants, me + Em. BH, Freya

And what about the second chance for love? Did she give Tinder a tear? "No way will I ever go anywhere," she says with a shudder. "Could you imagine? My two younger brothers are on tinder and they are having a terrible time! They are blown out and get no answers. I don't know, I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I think if I met the right person, but … I think I'm having trouble. I am pretty reserved. I am not that person on the dance floor who flirts with all men. I rather sit in the corner. "

It's hard for me to believe that the once crowned “sexiest woman of the decade” (2004 by Lads magazine) FHM) might feel like this, but she insists: "I've been single for a year and a half and nobody calls me and asks me about a date." That’s all I say. But who knows? At the moment, I just don't know if that will ever happen. What I'm going to say is, if it happens, I'll be honest and open and accept it. But my children have the final say. "

It is difficult to imagine where she has time anyway. After all, she is a mother of two and besides her new music, she finally returned to her main role in this week 9 to 5. It seemed like she really couldn't take a break when she fell down the stairs of her new house during rehearsals in January and landed on concrete with her chin first.

"My mother ran out of the house and started crying," she says. She thought someone had cut me open. I was covered in blood. “Ten stitches later, with a broken wrist, she plowed – unbelievably – to the rehearsals. But the next day it was severely infected and she couldn't move her mouth at all, which put her out of action for weeks. She put on the cardigan and cried for two days.

I wonder if Louise is happy after everything she's been through. Happier than a year ago?

& # 39; Yes, I'm happy. I am really happy. I'm afraid. I'm scared happy. I have definitely learned that I am stronger than I ever thought. And you know what? I'm excited again. This is something really nice because I forgot what it feels like to be very excited about things you do. "

Something tells me that Louise will not forget that soon.

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