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Christine Lampard certainly has a lot on her hands right now juggling a newborn, a feisty football-loving toddler, two step-daughters and a summer of TV as she’s taken over the hot seat on ITV’s Lorraine.
Not to mention trying to find some quality time with her husband of six years, former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, 43.
But you won’t hear any complaints from the Northern Irish star, 42, because she’s living her dream. Having welcomed baby Freddie in March, Christine’s feeling like her world is complete thanks to a loving husband, healthy children and an enviable TV career.
So it’s no surprise she’s beaming from ear to ear as she sits down with OK! for a chat about life on and off camera.
Here, Christine reveals all about balancing her home life and work, and why she’s backing her showbiz gal pals to flash the flesh on national TV…
How are you feeling about being back in the hot seat for the summer?
I still pinch myself that I’m here. I still walk into that television centre and I cannot believe I’m doing what I’m doing because working in television was always a dream to me. And not necessarily being in front of the camera at all, but just being part of the set-up was something I always wanted to do. So when you get to actually do it, you have moments where you think, “Oh my gosh, am I actually here and someone’s asked me back?” I don’t think that’s ever left me, either. It’s a bit of a Northern Irish thing, too. I think we’re always apologising for things that we haven’t even done, so I think it’s just in our DNA a little bit.
Do you ever feel nervous?
Yeah, but I’m very lucky that I’ve got two very good friends who do make-up and hair for me. They’re there all the time, but I’m very close with them. So basically you’ve got 60 minutes with your mates before work. And we quite often talk about everything other than what’s happening in the programme. Weirdly it’s nice and settling.
Have you got a dream guest who you would like to have on and interview?
I love Steve Carell and he would be an all-time favourite of mine. Oh, and Kristen Wiig – I love her. I think she’s just fantastic. You can’t complain about going to work when you get to meet these kinds of people, can you?
In terms of your style for the series, have you planned your wardrobe in detail?
Like most people in the past year, never mind having had a baby in the middle of it, there has been no style at all. Even wearing heels… that’s a daunting task. I do love that aspect of it. Everyone’s obsessed with photographs on Instagram of your morning outfit, so I have to put a bit of effort in, that’s for sure. Amanda Holden loves a plunging neckline and Davina McCall wants to have a “plunge-off” with her.
Is that something you would get involved in or would you just leave the girls to it?
No, I’m just not a plunger at all. I can’t delve into the plunging world just yet – definitely not in the middle of breastfeeding, that’s for sure! Mind you, I think I’d give them both a run for their money at the minute. But no, I’m definitely not a plunge sort of a girl, especially at 8am. No one needs to see that.
In the past there have been complaints about Amanda’s outfits on Britain’s Got Talent. What do you make of that?
I just think fashion is part of the fun. I know Amanda and I know she’s certainly not worried about it. Let’s face it, what would we all do if we were wearing turtle necks on a Saturday night? That’s not glam. That’s part of the fun of it for me. Gosh, if the girls started dressing all boring, where’s the fun in that for any of us?
You’re back after welcoming baby Freddie. How are you feeling in terms of body confidence?
I care less now than I’ve ever cared. I just think it is what it is. I haven’t been moving much other than what I need to do for two small children. I haven’t been to the gym – I don’t do that. I try to walk as much as I can. I pick up the pram and we’ve got a little dog and we do all of that, but you can only do so much. God, even pre-babies I was never one for putting too much pressure on myself.
You must just be proud that your body safely delivered two healthy children…
Yeah, I swear to you, I think I’ve absorbed it a bit more the second time around. When it comes to feeding babies, it’s whatever works for you. I feel quite passionately about that. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed both of them and that amazes me. It truly amazes me what your body can do to keep another little baby human alive.
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How is Freddie?
He’s just great. Touch wood everything’s going according to plan. He’s doing all the things he’s supposed to do, I think. He loves his grub, loves to sleep, and just basically wants to be cuddled all day. He literally wants to be carried – the second I set him down is when he starts getting a bit moany.
Frank’s thrilled to have a boy in the house, but how’s his relationship with Patricia?
Patricia certainly holds daddy’s heart. She is a daddy’s girl at the minute and loves playing football – she can’t get enough of playing football. Even at almost three years old, he’s telling her what to do and all the rest of it, so we’ve got a lot of football going on just with her. They have a lovely little bond.
Do you think you might have a future England lioness in the family?
Who knows but Patricia loves it. I don’t know if Frank’s just the typical dad, but he seems to think she’s got something when it comes to football. She’s not even looking at the ball, but she’s able to connect with it, to use his language, and he’s quite impressed with her so far. So who knows? There could be another Lampard on the back of an England shirt one day. Can you imagine?
You’ve got teenagers, toddlers, a newborn and a dog in the house. How do you and Frank make time for each other?
We just try to find time for each other. For instance, we managed to get tickets for Wimbledon. So just as an example of that… to plan it all, to have someone there that you know can look after the two of them, that in itself is a military operation. But we love just going for a big, long walk and going for a little sneaky dinner occasionally. This is when I need my parents to move over and my sisters so I have someone on call 24/7. We feel lucky though. You just make time, you have to. You do need a little bit of a breather just for each other.
Parenting really is a juggling act…
Honestly, I think it was probably why I had no interest in having children at one point. I just thought, “I’m not sure I can do it, really.” You’re just like, “Oh gosh, that’s too much stress.” But then, randomly, once you’re in it, you’re in it, and suddenly you make it work because you have to. It’s as simple as that.
There is a core group of very successful female presenters like Holly, Emma [Willis], Davina and Rochelle [Humes]. Do you ever look at their careers and compare and despair?
I can swear to you there’s not one fibre of me that feels that way at all. Luckily I’m good friends with the majority of them, which also helps. But no, not at all, and I never would. If I wanted to do something else, I’d have to go out and make that happen, as opposed to sitting at home being jealous of somebody else.
Does it help that they are all mothers too?
I learn an awful lot by watching them do all their things. They’re all really, really good women. There’s Emma with three children, Rochelle with three children, Holly with three children, yet they’re all on the telly looking fantastic and making things work at home. I have nothing but respect for my contemporaries, if you want to call it that. It seems like a sisterhood… I think so. I will say I have personally never felt any sense of rivalry. I really, really haven’t. Even if someone told me it did exist, I’ve never experienced that at all. I just don’t think it exists. People are too busy doing their own thing and living their own lives.
Christine is presenting Lorraine weekdays from 9am on ITV and ITV Hub
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