This week, we interviewed the beautiful Amanda Holden, actress and TV presenter, most recently known for her role as a judge in Britain’s Got Talent. Amanda lives in west London with her husband, two daughters, Lexi and Hollie, and their dog Rudie and cat, Muffy. 

You have two beautiful children, but pregnancy has not always been easy for you. Would you tell us a bit about your experiences and what advice you would give to other women that might be going through the same thing? 

It is very well documented what I went though. Writng my book-  No Holding Back has helped me draw a line under the whole subject. I am a very pragmatic person and always try and take the positives from a negative situation. It was extraordinarily hard to deal with but I had to move forward for the sake of my daughter Lexi. I try not to create any more drama than necessary. And to be really honest – my husband pulled me through it. I also talked a lot to my close fiends and a couple of years later  sought therapy.

My advice, it may sound heartless, but to try and find  a light and a reason and to not wallow in self pity, and do not be afraid to talk out your grief and cry.

You live in the beautiful riverside town in West London.. Where are the best family-friendly places to go, and how would you spend a family weekend? 

Yes, we are very lucky to live right by the water, we spend a lot of time in our local parks which are vast and sprawling. The local swing parks are also fantastically well maintained and the girls love it – let alone by husband. We often go to a restaurant called Bills for brunch and Jamie Oliver’s new Italia in Richmond is amazing and completely geared towards kids. Also, a Hummingbird Bakery has just opened up nearby and I have bought my body weight in cakes – I particularly love their red velvet.

What’s your favourite family recipe? 

I am quite good at making a Quorn shepherd pie with my secret recipe for the gravy which my husband Chris says I should market.

Was it always your dream to be in show business? What would be your ultimate dream role in television / film?

It was always my deem to be an actress – I am not keen on the phrase ‘show business’. I just wanted to be able to work doing a job I love. Now it has turned into a dream. I would love to play a psychopath, or something really against type – though Chris might disagree!

What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?

Coffee. Its not a baby product, but I couldn’t have lived without my Nespresso machine when she was born!!

You’re such a busy mama, how do you stay looking so incredible?

I have an amazing glam squad (cv as websites), who have really changed and helped the way I look this year. My husband gives me a lot of confidence – he is always telling me what a nice bum I have got. I also have taken up Kundalini yoga and I like to run when I get a chance.

You were recently quoted as saying ‘I tell everyone to have a baby. Forget your career – you can do it at the same time’.  What are your top tips for juggling such a successful, busy career with family life and motherhood? 

Your baby has to fit in with you, is my first rule. If you live in a noisy house, keep it noisy when the baby is born – don’t creep around – it’s unrealistic and you will never be able to keep it up. Try and have a good support team around you. I am lucky enough to have a very hands-on husband, and my mum and dad are amazing. My job allows me to dictate the hours on lots of occasions so I cram everything in to enable me to do school runs and have weekends free. And then when I don’t work, I am like a normal stay at home mother. Sleep when you baby sleeps (if you can!) and if you can afford to, treat yourself every now and then to a little bit of pampering, even if it just means buying a big slab of chocolate. Be the mother that you are going to be, don’t pretend to be something your not.

What’s your staple wardrobe look, and where were your favourite places to shop for clothes during pregnancy? 

I never wore maternity wear. I was lucky I had a big round bump, that rather than hide under enormous jumpers, I preferred to wear fitted clothing and show it off. So apart from my amazing pregnancy jeans my wardrobe pretty much stayed the same. I was sent a few key pieces from Crave which were great. My normal every day look now is normally PAIGE jeans or trousers, and an M & S cashmere jumper, (which are really reasonably priced), worn over a Cos t-shirt.

What’s in the pipeline for you next?

Britain’s Got Talent, of course which I never tire of. I can’t believe this is my 8th series. I love it and we have such fun.  It’s not like work at all!

I filmed a documentary for dispatches, and I have a number of projects waiting confirmation. and after BGT I fly to the states where I still keep up my CBS hosting. 

How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?

Generous, gregarious, loving, realistic and very irritating (I get on my own nerves frequently).

Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden