January, 2014

27 January


I’m working on a secret project so watch this space!

Hello everyone,

Well it’s been a really busy week of work and play!!

I’m still cracking on with my January detox and have been trying out Raw Food. At first I was convinced that it was going to be a crazy fad diet that consisted of wet lettuce and carrot sticks and was therefore extremely boring, however my best friend Mariesa, who has just started a raw food business, has actually managed to change my opinion by treating me to a raw food buffet at her house.

I sampled kale crisps, homemade hummus, vegetable wraps and cheesecake made from cashew nuts! It was delicious, so much so that I’ve jumped on the bandwagon a little bit and she’s even been delivering lunches to me at work.

I don’t intend to completely change my diet and become 100 per cent raw as I don’t believe in cutting out food groups, however after a week of adding in a few raw snacks and one or two meals I feel so much more energised and my skin seems a lot brighter. I’m definitely going to stick with it for a while, especially as every time I see Mariesa she seems to look more and more radiant. Yes I’ll definitely be having some of that ha ha!


The past week has been really lovely as I’ve been able to catch up with my fantastic friends. From girly lunches to cosy evenings in and nights on the tiles with the ladies and husbands – we’ve had a lot of laughs!



This week has also been extremely exciting as I’ve started working on a secret project with my good friend Kate. I can’t say what it is just yet as it’s still early days, but what I can say is we’ve gone through A LOT of pencils and paper already! Definitely watch this space for more details over the coming weeks.


Anyway I’ll say bye for now.

Lots of love,

Natalie xx

15 January


Little Freddie’s helping with my fitness regime!

Well after a very indulgent holiday followed by a nasty bout of the winter sickness bug I am definitely getting into my January detox, a little late I know, but better late than never I say and so I’m back at the gym, eating healthily and feeling motivated. It helps that my on-screen husband and sister happen to be an ex DOI champion and Yoga instructer!!


They are both super fit and so have been instructed to keep me on the straight and narrow. I’m such a firm believer in a little bit goes a long way and so rather than feeling like I’ve failed just because I didn’t get going on the 1st of January, I’m cracking on now and trying to make small changes for a healthier lifestyle.

Waking up at 6am and seeing it’s dark is incredibly depressing and so it’s very easy to start the day feeling lethargic and if you’re anything like me, reaching for the tea and biscuits as soon as you get to work only to suffer from the dreaded sugar crash at 11 am. This little cycle would normally repeat numerous times during the day for me as I love the comfort of a hot drink and something sweet when we are working outside for such long hours, which means that by the time I get home I feel sluggish and not in the mood for exercise. However I aim to be fitter and healthier in 2014 and so have been replacing (some of) my Bourbon biscuits for nuts and fruit and reduced my caffeine and alcohol intake and I have to say I’m starting to feel the benefits already and am feeling a lot more energised.


This is proving to be extremely helpful as Freddie now insists on us either dancing to Little Mix or doing about 20 verses of ‘The Music Man’ as soon as I walk in from work at the moment. I have to pay particular attention to the piano verse and sing along with him whilst doing all the actions at full force otherwise he gets quite cross and says, “Again mummy”… He’s obviously destined to be a very strict director!


Anyway I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m getting on, I’m hoping to be able to bend my body like a contortionist by the summer with all Roxy’s expert yoga teaching… one can only dream ha ha!

Love Natalie xx

05 January


I’m loving my winter holiday in Tenerife!

Hello all,

Happy New Year!!



After an extremely busy autumn and Christmas at Emmerdale, James and Freddie and I decided to go on a much-needed holiday and so we’ve jumped on a plane and headed to western Tenerife to find some winter sun and I have to say, thankfully we found it and it’s boiling!!




The run up to Christmas was so busy as not only was I filming Emmerdale but I also sang on ITV’s Christmas Carols and at TV Times ‘ Christmas Carols with the stars at The Royal Albert Hall in aid of leukaemia and lymphoma research and then filmed for Daybreak and This Morning with Matthew Wolfenden and that was all before we got to Christmas itself where we had friends and family coming and going the whole time… (just how I like it though!) By the time we got to New Year I was shattered and so ended up spending it watching Gary Barlow on the TV in my onesie and drinking red wine with James. It was perfect!



This Morning with Matthew Wolfenden


ITV’s Christmas Carols


Happy New Year!

The day before New Year I had the fabulous opportunity of filling in for the very lovely Richard Arnold as Daybreak‘s Guest Entertainment Editor. I’ve held the fort before for Richard and I have to say the Daybreak team do such an amazing job of making you feel at home, especially when you’re out of your comfort zone. Presenting on live television is a totally different skill to playing a character in a drama and so I always get a touch of nerves. However I always think if you’re not a little bit nervous then you might not do as good a job as the adrenaline helps you focus. Anyway suffice to say I did my spot and thoroughly enjoyed it, I really enjoy new challenges and learning new skills and I have to say being bright and bubbly at 6am is definitely a skill, hats off to the whole Daybreak team who make it seem so effortless!

Well it’s back to the day job at Emmerdale next week and after a lovely long break I’m very excited as my characters sister Leyla played by my gorgeous friend Roxy Shahidi has returned to the village and is causing chaos for Alicia and so there’s exciting new storylines to film and get my teeth into. I can’t wait! It’s been two years since Roxy left but it feels like she’s never been away. I absolutely love working with her as not only is she such an amazing actress, but she’s one of my best friends. It’s funny because I never actually screen tested with Roxy before I started playing Alicia, our then producer (the late Gavin Blythe) said, “I know 100% you will get on and work as sisters,” and so the first time I met her was on my first day on set when I said, “Hi I’m Natalie, I’m playing your sister”, and he was totally right we instantly clicked and over the last two years I’ve really missed her.



Me and my beautiful friend Roxy Shahidi (Emmerdale‘s Leyla)

Anyway that’s enough from me as I have a very mischievous 17-month-old who is trying to splash me and do I have to run away.

Speak soon.

Love Natalie


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