Presenting and parenting
It's been a busy year for Emma – presenting The Voice UK, raising a young family and now hosting Celebrity Big Brother. So how does she fit it all in? The Daily Express' Denise Marshall found out...
"It’s been hard to miss Emma Willis this year. The star has had her hands full as host of Big Brother and co-presenter of The Voice UK and a weekly Heart radio slot – which hasn’t stopped actor James Corden demanding she front next year’s Brit Awards, saying she’s, “really funny, gobsmackingly beautiful and very cool.”
And it doesn’t look as though she will be out of the spotlight any time soon, with the launch of Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother this Monday. Series 14 will see her chaperone a mixed bag of stars as they prepare for three weeks of tears, tantrums and mind games. Secrecy surrounds the line-up but rumours put Coronation Street’s Michael Le Vell and former Gladiator and model Kelly Brook’s fiancé, David McIntosh, among the new season’s housemates.
The series sees Emma, 38, host the show for the third time – but despite years of celebrity the former model insists her family is her main priority. She has a four-year-old daughter, Isabelle, and a son, Ace, two, with her McBusted singer husband, Matt Willis. “What happens when you’re a mum is you stop being selfsh because everything is about the children. Nothing is about you any more,” says Emma. “They are your reason to live and the reason for everything you do.”
Long workdays and hectic schedules can make things difficult for Emma and Matt who often rely on their parents and a part-time nanny for help with childcare. “I love my kids. They are the best thing that ever happened to me but, being a normal human being, sleep is quite important,” Emma says. “I think every mum and dad, at some point goes, ‘Oh, let’s just have one full night’s sleep,’ because the minute you have kids that really never happens again.”
The couple have discussed expanding their family, but Matt isn’t so keen. “I have said maybe we should think about having another one, and he says we’ve only just started sleeping. It’s always about the sleep thing,” Emma adds.
The family’s north London home is where Emma is happiest, of duty and simply being a mum. “There are days in the week where I don’t have to work so I get to be at home with the kids. It’s really nice,” she says. She and Matt recently celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary with Emma publicly declaring to her partner, “You are my world.” And Matt, 31, echoed the sentiment tweeting, “This day six years ago I became offcially the luckiest man on earth and married the hottest girl I’d ever met! I love her more every day!”
Emma dismisses the seven-year age gap between her and Matt, “I don’t feel like I’m my age, I think I feel much younger. I feel like I’m 18 with two kids.” It’s this youthful and bubbly energy that makes Emma stand out from the crowd and made her the obvious successor last year to Holly Willoughby on BBC1’s The Voice UK. The show has been thrilling for Emma and although she is sad at the departure of judge Kylie Minogue she has nothing but praise for the star and the impact she has had on the programme.
“It’s had a great response and that’s refective of the talent,” she says. “Kylie brought a huge audience to The Voice. She has an aura about her and she created something with that show that I don’t think it had before.” Emma is equally impressed by the other judges, Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson, Sir Tom Jones and The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am.
“Ricky has so much charisma and presence and Tom Jones and will.i.am are legendary and unique,” she adds. Emma says she hopes she and her co-presenter Marvin Humes, former member of boy band JLS, have also played their part in the show’s success.
“Marvin has JLS fans and hopefully I’ve brought some Big Brother people over to the show,” she says. But even with her track record, Emma is far from complacent and says that despite accolades for her delivery of Big Brother, she will still feel the pressure of fronting the new series.
“No. Live TV is terrifying!” she exclaims."