Billie Faiers worried she’ll pass out during Dancing On Ice and hasn’t asked Gemma Collins for advice
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As one of OK!’s favourites, it’s never a chore catching up with The Mummy Diaries star Billie Shepherd. The mum-of-two is always great company and when we tune in for a Zoom chat, she’s looking fabulous, too.
In fact, we can’t help but notice she’s made up to the nines. “It makes a change actually,” she laughs. “I’ve been living in gymwear for the last few weeks.”
Billie is launching another kids’ clothing collection with George and is excited to tell us all about the new range, as well as the input her adorable children Nelly, six, and three-year-old Arthur had in the design process.
But the topic of conversation quickly turns to her forthcoming appearance on Dancing On Ice, which will see Billie compete against the likes of high-profile signings Denise van Outen and Myleene Klass.
“It’s such a good line-up and that worries me,” she says nervously. “A lot of the contestants in the show this year have got skating or dance experience. I don’t have either, so I’m going in as one of the most inexperienced people!”
As well as training sessions on the rink with her pro partner Mark Hanretty, the former TOWIE star is filming for series nine of The Mummy Diaries (which would explain the perfect hair and make-up at 11am on a rainy morning) and has her ranges with George and In The Style to focus on.
So it’s fair to say Billie is feeling the mum guilt, as her schedule gets ever more hectic. Thankfully, she explains her husband Greg, 35, has been a “really big support” and “encouraged” her to get her skates on in the first place.
Here, Billie reveals how she’s finding training so far, her mission to get in shape on the ice and why she’s nervous about passing out during the live shows…
The Mummy Diaries' Sam and Billie Faiers look sensational as they head on night out in matching leather
Dancing On Ice star Billie Faiers shows off legs in sexy knee-high white boots and jumper dress
So Billie, how is training going for Dancing On Ice?
It’s hard, I’m not going to lie. I can’t actually believe I’m doing it still, because it’s so out of my comfort zone. I’ve never done a competition like this and I’ve never done anything on my own – I’ve always been with my sister [Sam Faiers]. I just thought, it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m learning a new skill.
Have you had lots of falls so far?
Yeah, I’ve had a few! The first part of my training I was being overly careful but I’ve pushed myself a bit more now. I fell over the other day – I’ve hurt my back and I’ve got a huge bruise on my leg, but it’s going to happen. I keep saying to my ice-skating partner, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” The live shows, I’m going to pass out – I’m going to be so nervous!
Have you ever skated before?
Once a year for Christmas!
How are you feeling about the costumes?
I’m so excited for the glam. When I told my mum [Suzie Wells] and sister I was doing it, the first thing they said was, “Imagine the outfits, the hair, the make-up!” I don’t know what my first song is going to be yet. I really want to know that and then I can visualise what I might look like.
Imagine if it’s the TOWIE theme tune The Only Way Is Up…
Oh, can you imagine?! I’d have to change my song.
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Have you noticed your body changing from all the training?
I’ve only been training for just over a week and a half, but I’m so looking forward to that. The physical challenge of Dancing On Ice was so appealing to me, because the last few months I’ve done nothing – I’ve not been motivated at all. Greg’s really funny because he’s poking my bum going, “It’s already getting more toned!” So much of it is in your core, legs and bum. I’m hoping by January I’ll be in better shape.
You posted on Instagram that skating makes you feel really hungry…
My appetite has increased. Now I’m training I can eat more protein and chicken. I need to get my diet right, especially as I’m grabbing stuff on the go.
How are you getting on with your skating partner Mark?
Really well! I’m so lucky to be partnered with Mark because he’s such a nice person and he is an amazing coach.
Your friend Gemma Collins competed on the show in 2019. Has she given you any advice?
She messaged me a couple of times, saying, “Oh my God, amazing.” And wishing me good luck. I haven’t spoken to her directly to get any advice.
Will Greg be coming down to watch you skate every week?
Yeah, he’s so excited. He’s been a really big support and encouraged me to do it. Being a mum and with my other work commitments, I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to physically do everything. He was so encouraging and my mum has been as well. I didn’t want everyone else’s lives to be turned upside down because I’m doing this. So he’s been very good with it all.
Is it hard juggling everything?
Yeah, it’s a real juggling act at the minute – there are a million and one things going on. I’m trying to skate as early as possible in the morning, so I’ve got my days freed up. I’ve actually started filming for The Mummy Diaries series nine, so it’s very full-on.
Do you ever get mum guilt?
Yeah, completely. At the moment it’s okay, because I’m juggling, but after Christmas it’s going to get really intense with skating, training and the live shows. I always try to keep my weekends free to be with the kids, but with the live shows, you’re committed to the weekends. I’m really lucky I’ve got my mum, Greg and family around. The kids won’t notice as much, but I know I’ll feel the mum guilt.
Do you feel under pressure to be the perfect mum?
No one’s perfect. I’m not the perfect mum. When The Mummy Diaries is on air, we get so much support and lovely comments, but actually what I’ve found is that mums and parents really love to see the raw stuff. The kids having the tantrums, me having a go at Greg – because that’s real life. People say all the time, “Thank you for putting it out there,” and I think that’s really important.
You’ve spoken about wanting more children, but we guess because of your schedule that’s on hold for now?
I know – especially with the ice-skating! I’d really like to have more children, but towards the end of next year maybe.
Do Nelly and Arthur ask for a sibling?
Yes! Nelly’s like, “I only want a sister, Mummy.” So I’m like, “I can’t really guarantee that for you, Nelly.” And she’s like, “Imagine if we have another Arthur!” I said, “Don’t be so mean.” She wants her little dolly. When I asked Arthur, he said, “I want a sister.” But he just copies everything Nelly says.
How are they different personality-wise?
It’s really funny because they both have traits of Greg and I, but Nelly is more like Greg and Arthur is more like me. Nelly’s very outgoing and both of them are really friendly, but Arthur can be a little monkey. He’s so funny, but then he switches and is hard work. Nelly is such a good girl now, she’s so grown-up. The other day I was going out to work and she went, “Come here, Mummy. You work hard, don’t you? Give me a kiss.” The way she said it was like an old lady!
We loved the latest series of The Mummy Diaries. Will you and Sam be doing this until you’re grannies?
Yeah, we were laughing saying it’s going to be called The Granny Diaries or The Teenage Diaries with the kids. We’re hoping it will go on for as long as people are interested.
You must be missing your annual trips to The Maldives. Greg said he’d be up for doing a vow renewal out there…
He sent me a picture of someone having a vow renewal on the island we got married on and said, “Do you think they’ll let us back?” [Laughs] Any excuse for Greg to have a party. It wouldn’t surprise me on our third anniversary, he’ll think of something!
Tell us about your seventh kids’ clothing collection with George…
There’s more loungewear and lovely knitwear, as well as some traditional bits. One thing I bear in mind with the design is that I love my two to look smart, but also be really comfortable. The quality’s lovely and the price point is amazing.
Does Nelly get a say in the pieces you choose?
When designing the collection, I do bear Nelly in mind because she’s a real fusspot when it comes to clothes. If she wears everything in the collection, it passes the Nelly test. Any child will wear it now!
Billie by Billie Faiers at George at Asda launches Friday 30 October.
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