Joe Swash on marriage and raising six kids with Stacey Solomon: ‘People underestimate the power of separation’

If anyone knows what it's like to juggle a large family and a bustling career, it's Joe Swash and Stacey Solomon. With six children between them, they certainly have their hands full.

But when Joe decided to enter the all-star version of I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, after winning in 2008 during his first stint, it meant weeks away from one another and Stacey having to look after the kids on her own.

“At the time, Stacey was six months pregnant, so it was a difficult decision whether to go or not," Joe admitted exclusively to OK!.

"I got really homesick. But I still loved it and I’m so glad I did it. It was another thing to tick off my box of things to do.”

And speaking of feeling homesick at times, when we asked Joe what his secret was to making sure he still felt connected to his family when he was over 6,000 miles away, the actor admits it was making sure they were never far away from his thoughts.

"It really is hard to leave the kids for so long. Usually when I work abroad, I can FaceTime and call them, but with [I’m A Celebrity… South Africa] it was very much, your phone has gone and that’s it," the former EastEnders star revealed.

“I think people sometimes underestimate the power of separation and having no contact. I can be anywhere in the world, but I can always communicate with my family.”

Joe and Stacey, who first shot to fame on The X Factor, met when Stacey won I’m A Celebrity back in 2010, while Joe was hosting the spin-off series, I’m A Celebrity: Extra Camp.

Then, after six years of dating, the couple decided to tied the knot in July 2022 surrounded by family and friends at their home called Pickle Cottage.

These days, however, life is a little different to their time in the jungle as the pair are parents to Rex, four, Rose, two, and 10-month-old Belle.

Stacey is also mum to sons Zachary, 15, and Leighton, 11, with previous partners, while Joe is dad to 16-year-old son Harry with ex, Emma Sophocleous.

Joe was speaking at Tombola’s Critter Challenge event. Play Bug Match now at

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