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24 August
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Happy 1st birthday Freddie!

 

Hey everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog!!

I feel like after the madness of Your Face Sounds Familiar I’m finally getting back to normal!!!

Firstly we celebrated Freddie’s 1st birthday with a lovely garden party at home with all the family. I’m from quite a big family so there were about 35 of us altogether with the majority being children under 6!! It was definitely a baptism of fire with regards to children’s birthday party etiquette.

I pride myself on being a really good hostess and organiser but the realm of children’s parties is a whole other ball game!! Catering, drinks, entertainment, prizes. Who knew musical statues could be so competitive, not to mention pass the parcel!! Thank god the other females in my family were there to dish out much needed advice. I definitely have to be better for next year when we have Freddie’s friends around.

 

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Although I’m back at Emmerdale full time now we very luckily managed to get a last minute break before the end of the summer. We decided to head to Whitby as its not very far from us and is such a pretty place, with lots of tea rooms, cobbled streets and a gorgeous stretch of beach…perfect for Freddie’s first holiday in the UK. He absolutely loved playing in the sand, so we bought him a bucket and spade to make sandcastles, although his favourite bit is knocking them down.

He also loved paddling in the sea. As he went straight to water babies when he was very little he’s really not frightened of water at all, he really enjoys splashing about. We’ve had some lovely walks with him in the pushchair along the coast and then stopped for lunch at some really gorgeous beauty spots.

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The sea air totally knocked Freddie out one day and James and I were able to enjoy a lovely seaside meal….I opted for champagne and oysters and he went for full on fish and chips and tea, typical!

It’s been so nice to get away for a few days before the madness of the autumn begins at Emmerdale. I’m so excited as we’ve got an absolutely fantastic year ahead, with so many different storylines. Obviously I can’t say anything in detail but it’s definitely worth tuning in for.

Watch this space!

Love Natalie xx

15 August
1

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Farewell to ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re enjoying my blog.

So it’s been just over a week since Your Face Sounds Familiar ended and I can definitely say I’m really missing everyone. I literally went straight back to work at Emmerdale on the Monday and before I knew it, it was the weekend again although this time I had nobody to be but myself!

Your Face Sounds Familiar was such an amazing show to work on and I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of it

The costumes, the makeup, the routines, the laughs, the tears and of course the people – it was all so brilliant. It felt incredibly strange this weekend not being dressed to the nines as somebody else, standing in the Your Face Sounds Familiar lift bubbling with nerves, ready to perform live to the nation. Instead I was sat in my PJs with a list as long as my arm, prepping for Freddie’s first birthday party!!!

 

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A collage made by a lovely fan

 

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the show I have to be honest and say that juggling it with everything Emmerdale and Freddie’s teething did sometimes get the better of me and I had the odd emotional moment – but no more so than when my name was announced as the series winner! Although I’d done well in the previous weeks, the final prize money was still very much all to play for as everyone’s performances were fantastic, especially Matt’s Robbie and Xander’s Susan Boyle!

 

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Me as Jessie J

 

I’d done an awful lot of travelling up and down to London that week and of course we had double the work load as we were performing as two people (I was Jessie J and Mariah Carey). To top it off I twisted my knee during my Jessie J rehearsals on the Friday and therefore had to sit out for a bit while my knee was on ice and then have it strapped up!

As you can imagine going into the Saturday live show I was feeling exhausted and in quite a lot of pain as my knee was still in bandages and I was literally relying on adrenalin to get me through to the end. In fact if you watch the show again you can see me holding on to Xander’s arm for dear life at the end as I’d had to take my shoe off because I couldn’t stand up properly! When Alesha said my name as the winner, I really couldn’t hold it together any longer.

 

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And the winner is…

 

I was so unbelievably overwhelmed at the amount of money that was going to my charity, I couldn’t help but cry. £80,000 for my charity Bliss is just amazing and will pay for a specialist nurse for 3 years to support and care for very sick and premature babies and their families.

I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who picked up the phone to place their vote and to all who supported the show by tuning in

I really hope there will be another series next year that other charities can benefit from, and that we at home can enjoy, I for one will definitely be watching!

Love Natalie xx

31 July
0

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Your Face Sounds Familiar: Bieber, Bonnie and being Jessie J

Hi everyone,

Thanks for reading my blog.

Well it’s certainly been a busy old time over the last couple of weeks!

Being Justin Bieber on Your Face Sounds Familiar was brilliant fun and although I didn’t win I was thrilled to be in the top three. Matt did an amazing job as Freddie Mercury and was a thoroughly deserving winner!

 

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Next up for me was Bonnie Tyler, which scared the life out of me as her voice is so completely different to mine and to anyone else’s I’d impersonated on the show. I really had to work hard at getting her husky sound and to be honest I was extremely nervous going into the semi final, I felt quite emotional.

 

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What’s incredibly difficult about a show like Your Face Sounds Familiar is only having a couple of days to encapsulate each person. None of us on the show are singing full time professionally and so we are literally giving it our best shot every week at doing the best vocal/acting impression we can with very limited time. I didn’t get to my rehearsals for Bonnie or Justin Bieber until the Friday morning! I was therefore very shocked and overwhelmed at winning last week as I thought Alexander was incredible at impersonating Pavarotti. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who voted for me as the money we are raising for my charity Bliss will really make a huge difference.

 

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So into the final we go this weekend! Yet again I’m absolutely terrified because I’m performing as Jessie J whose voice is absolutely fantastic – she’s not a judge on The Voice for nothing! She’s super confident and full of attitude, which I am most definitely not and so i’ve got my work cut out for me!

I’m practising as hard as I can and keeping my fingers crossed that i’ll do my best, but to be honest whoever wins on Saturday night will deserve it as we’ve all worked so hard and become such a team. I’m actually really sad it’s the end as I’ve made some lovely friends and we’ve become like a little family.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on!!

Love Natalie xx

 

19 July
0

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I’m facing my biggest challenge yet on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ – impersonating Justin Bieber!

Hi everyone,

Wowsers! So sorry I’ve not spoken to you guys recently, I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. Thank you so much for reading my blog.

I’m feeling a little bit like I have multiple personalities at the moment because I’m in Your Face Sounds Familiar. I’ve impersonated Britney, Kate Bush, Alicia and this week I’ve been Justin Bieber!

 

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Matt and I – he did a great Elvis impersonation

Taking part in the show has been absolutely amazing! As I’ve said before it’s such a lovely show to work on because the people are great fun and incredibly supportive. I feel like each week the shows are getting better and better and the performances have been incredible!

Matt’s Elvis, Cheryl’s Meatloaf, Bobby’s Ozzy, Denise’s Tina and Xander’s Jonny Rotten were all brilliant! When you consider we only really get five days from the randomiser selection to become our person, it really shows how talented everyone is and how much of a challenge we have week to week.

 

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Me as Britney

 

Although I absolutely loved being Britney, it was a hard performance because my microphone kept going into my mouth while I was singing which was so off putting!

Nevertheless the drama school student in me kept shouting to keep going, which in the end paid off as I went on to win £10,000 for my chosen charity, Bliss. I was extremely overwhelmed and shocked because I was genuinely happy to just to have got through the performance without stopping!

 

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My Kate Bush hair!

I was even more shocked to have won a second week with my performance as Kate Bush. Because I have a background in musical theatre, I felt quite comfortable performing the song Wuthering Heights due to its theatrical nature. I did think everyone else’s performances were brilliant and extremely entertaining. It was such a mixed bag and I for one definitely couldn’t have called the final three. Again I was incredibly grateful as another £10,000 for my charity which really will make a huge difference.

I fear I may not be as lucky this week, as the randomiser dealt me Justin Bieber and although I was thrilled to get him because I really wanted the challenge of performing as a guy, it’s going to be the toughest week yet.

Nevertheless I will give it my all and try to enjoy the experience as much as possible as we only have two weeks of the show left

The weeks are flying by!

Speak soon.

Love Natalie xx

06 July
0

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Having a laugh on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ — Katy Perry was a challenge!

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog.

What a week! I hope you all enjoyed the first live show of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’. My nerves were playing havoc with me all day leading up to it, but I ended up having the best night. It was so much fun, especially the end when we got to press the ‘randomiser’.

Although being Katy Perry was a good laugh and I loved the costume, I was also quite happy to say goodbye to her as she proved to be quite a challenge for me.

 

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I was so desperate to find out who I was going to be this week — I was almost jumping up and down with excitement. It was such a surprise to see Britney, Justin Beiber and Madonna on the screen. Secretly I was hoping that I’d have to be Justin as I think it would have been great fun, but also a huge challenge to impersonate a teenage all singing, all dancing male.

Nevertheless it’s been brilliant being Britney Spears! I’m a huge Britney fan and in a roundabout way I’ve been given the opportunity to indulge my guilty pleasure of singing and dancing about to Britney classics (which normally would take place when pyjama clad inside my house or in a very dark nightclub after a cheeky wine or two).

 

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The costume and the choreography were amazing. We really do have such a fantastic creative team working on the show, I feel incredibly spoilt. I also loved the blonde hair.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the performance on Saturday. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and comments.

Keeping everything crossed that it all goes well. Speak soon!

Lots of love,

Natalie xx

01 July
2

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Freddie’s first few days at nursery, he’s growing up so fast!

Hello lovely readers,

Thanks for checking out my blog.

Last week Freddie started nursery! I have to say that although I was extremely excited for him to start making new friends and learning, I was also quite sad as it was another step towards facing the fact that my little boy isn’t a baby anymore.

I can’t believe he’s nearly one, the year just seems to have flown by. My lovely best friend Donna has just given birth to a little girl (Emily), it seems like literally two minutes ago that we were finding our feet with Freddie in those first few weeks.

 

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It’s such a special time and I keep saying to Donna “Don’t rush anything”, just enjoy each day as it won’t be long before she’s climbing all over you and trying to talk, which of course is great fun but is very different to sitting and staring at your baby, eagerly waiting for a new expression, move or noise.

However, I am so excited to see what Freddie gets up to with his new friends at nursery.

The assistants tell me he’s very animated and musical… I have absolutely no idea where he gets that from, ha ha

Hope you managed to catch the first live show of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ on Saturday night? Did you enjoy it? I’d love to know what you thought!

Love Natalie xx

28 June
0

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The Queen looked absolutely amazing at Royal Ascot, I have so much admiration for her

Hi everyone,

Hope you’ve had a great week.

I wanted to share a couple of pictures of my very glamorous day out at Royal Ascot.

 

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James and I were invited by our lovely friends Barbara Wilkinson and Karin and Peter Swann last weekend. Despite the weather being typically British – in other words freezing for June – we had the most wonderful time.

I was incredibly unlucky when it came to the betting as I decided to go do my homework and back the favourites, however I wished I’d gone with my Grandma’s technique of picking a horse either by its name, or the colour of the jockeys silks because none of my horses won!

 

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Nevertheless we had great fun and it was fantastic to see all the gorgeous outfits and hats. As we were in the Royal Enclosure, we also got to see the Queen who looked absolutely amazing in a powder blue ensemble.

I have so much admiration for the Queen and was so thrilled that she’d won earlier in the week as it gave the whole event an added sense of excitement.

Speak to you all soon!

Love Natalie xxx

27 June
0

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I’m loving every minute of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ – I can’t believe it airs on Saturday night!

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog and for all of your sweet comments, I really appreciate them.

The weeks seem to be flying by at the moment. It’s been all go again, what with juggling Emmerdale, Your Face Sounds Familiar and finding Freddie a nursery…eek!

I can’t believe Your Face Sounds Familiar goes live on ITV1 at 7.30pm THIS Saturday night. I have to say that the nerves are really kicking in now as we’ve had choreography sessions, vocal sessions and costume fittings and it’s suddenly all got very real.

 

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I’m performing as Katy Perry this week, which although has been great fun so far, it’s also been extremely challenging, as Katy’s voice is not one that I’ve naturally been able to pick up.

I’ve had to work quite hard at getting her sound and although I’m getting there with it, the minute I add the choreography to the performance it all seems to go out of the window….oh dear! Fingers crossed once I get the costume on and I’m on the set with all of the dancers and lights etc, it will come.

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Everyone at Your Face Sounds Familiar is absolutely lovely! The production staff have been so brilliant, juggling rehearsals with my schedule at Emmerdale. It definitely feels like a home from home as Emmerdale is such a lovely place to work too, I feel incredibly spoilt!

The other contestants (Denise Lewis, Bobby Davro, Alexander Armstrong, Matt Johnson and Cheryl Fergison) are so much fun. We’ve had such a laugh together, learning routines and filming videos, it’s been really lovely to get to know each other. I’m really looking forward to spending the next 6 weeks with everyone.

James and I enjoyed a really fab visit to Royal Ascot last week and I’ve got some lovely photos to share with you all on the blog next time.

Speak soon!

Love from Natalie xxx

12 June
0

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Exclusive details about the new ITV show that i’ll be singing on

Hello lovely readers,

Since I’ve been back from my lovely relaxing break, it’s been all go with numerous trips to London because alongside Emmerdale I’m also working on a new ITV show called Your Face Sounds Familiar. Basically it’s a Saturday night singing show with a twist and i’m very excited to be taking part! There are six contestants who have to perform live as a different music icon every week, with the artist being completely random – I have no idea who I’m going to end up being, I just know I have a week to ‘become’ that person – vocally and visually!

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I had to have my face cast for the programme in case they need to make any prosthetics

Although I do sing this is a huge challenge because impersonating someone is a completely different skill, but one that I’m really looking forward to learning and most importantly it’s an opportunity for me to raise awareness and much needed funds for a charity that is very close to my heart, Bliss, for babies born too soon, too small, too sick. T

The show starts at the end of the month but we are very busy getting ready for it, my high/low light has been having a face cast done in case we need any prosthetics making. For someone who has a fear of being suffocated, let me tell you it was hell! Having at least an inch thick of liquid rubber set onto your face before then having it paper mached is not my most favourite experience and I have to say I did struggle as I also had a terrible cold, but the production staff were amazing and really helped to keep me calm. Well we’ve got roughly 3 weeks before we go live, so I’ll keep you posted with how it’s going and whether the nerves are kicking in.

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I tried my hand at cricket last weekend

The weather was perfect for the Emmerdale cricket team’s charity match against the West Yorkshire police at Headingley stadium in Leeds this weekend. Despite only having played cricket once before, I somehow managed to get myself roped into being in the team. Now I’m not sure if either a) this cricket lark isn’t actually as hard as the boys were making out, b) I just got lucky with where I decided to stand or c) the boys had actually strategically positioned me away from where the ball was likely to go – I didn’t seem to do very much except stand and top up my tan in the sun and do the odd little jog backwards to widen the fielding range. Either way I had a very enjoyable time even though we lost. We finished the day in a very nice beer garden, eating and drinking in the sun….lovely!

Speak very soon!

Love Natalie xx

10 June
3

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My holiday photos from our family trip to Dubai and the Maldives

 

 

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and for all your comments.

It’s been a few weeks since my last post because I’ve been on holiday with my lovely family. I was so excited and really ready for it as I’d been so busy with Emmerdale and various other things that I was starting to feel really run down, and I have to say that fortunately I wasn’t disappointed! We went to the Maldives and Dubai, a trip that James and I have done before but as you can imagine was a little more daunting with our 10-month-old son Freddie. Thankfully my amazing mum was with us, so I felt a little less nervous.

 

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It was great all round as my mum got to spend some time with Freddie inventing all kinds of new games, with his favourite being ‘monsters sleeping’. She pretended to be a sleeping giant and then frightened him when she woke up!  He seems to enjoy being frightened and frightening other people at the moment – his first proper word and action is ‘boo!’

 

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He suddenly started doing it to everyone whilst we were away, I’m not quite sure what that says about James and I as parents, ha ha. Having my mum around was also lovely because James and I were able to have a bit of time together too. We celebrated his birthday with dinner in a restaurant that was on stilts over the sea, which was gorgeous.

 

 

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I have to say thank you so much to everyone who sent messages to me about what to pack etc, your advice was fantastic! We really did have a smooth time of it as Freddie had everything he needed and really enjoyed himself. The hotels that we stayed at were also brilliant with him. They both had baby packs for us with extra toiletries and a pushchair for us to loan which made things so much easier when packing and travelling. I’m definitely much more confident now about travelling with Freddie, I think as long as your organised and you get the essentials packed, you’re fine.

I’ve got another very busy week this week, another This Morning trip and of course back to the day job at Emmerdale!

Lots of love,

Natalie

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