Posts Tagged: Emmerdale

09 September
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Camping with Freddie and my new hairstyle

Hello Everyone!!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the last few weeks of the summer. I for one have definitely got that back to school feeling. I quite enjoy it though as the start of September brings summer to a close whilst opening the door to autumn, which I have to say I love, as the leaves start to fall from the trees and we have to snuggle up a little bit more. If I’m honest though, it’s mainly because my birthday is in October! Rounding off the summer was quite hectic for me as I took Freddie on the camping trip I mentioned in my last blog, visited Ant and Dec on their Takeaway tour twice, filmed at Emmerdale and finally, had a girls weekend in Manchester. I’m definitely ready to get my head down and back into a routine.

Even though I was slightly nervous as Freddie’s temper tantrums have become so erratic and intense, the camping trip was fantastic and he was so well behaved. He was once again my little angel child, which definitely says something about the great outdoors. My favourite moment was waking up with him after our first night and him looking at me in amazement and saying “Mummy we slept in the tent!…wow”. He loved every minute of it. He was running around and eating breakfast outside the tent with the sun shining down (thankfully the weather gods were kind and we had mostly sunshine). We stayed at a lovely little campsite just outside Whitby and so I was able to take him to the beach as well. I wanted go show him that you can have a really fun and adventurous holiday without the luxuries of a hotel! It was brilliant and something we will definitely be doing again although I think we might have to wait until next year now as you know me and the weather.

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Fresh from our camping trip I was very kindly asked to present an award with Matthew Wolfenden on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Tour in both Leeds and Sheffield. We had such a good time! I have nothing but admiration for Ant and Dec as, despite being national treasures and excellent at their job, they are thoroughly nice guys who always make you feel welcome. The tour is brilliant and so funny, one of my favourite bits was watching Ant and Dec perform ‘Riverdance’. They were brilliant and so serious I couldn’t help laughing my head off. As much as I love Riverdance and am in complete awe of the dancers, it does always tickle me how fast they swing their legs back and forth and so you can imagine my eyes were streaming watching Ant and Dec do the same. We had a really great night on both occasions and the crowds were fabulous.

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I spent this weekend in Manchester with some of my girlfriends which was so nice. It was my first girls weekend away in nearly three years, the last being my best friend Donna’s hen do. My very close girlfriends and I, who I often speak of in these blogs, used to make a habit of trying to do a SATC style trip at least once or twice a year, but since having Freddie I’ve not really had the opportunity, and quite a few of the other girls also have young children now too. It was lovely to be invited to my friend Judy’s 30th birthday weekend as well. It was such a luxury. Waking up after 8am, having lunch with afternoon drinks, taking a trip to the spa followed by gorgeous dinners out, it was bliss and guilt free as the trip had been planned for quite sometime. Also it was lovely for Freddie to spend the weekend with his daddy as I had taken him camping with my mum and friends as James was at the rugby. It was funny really as I felt a bit like the old me in Manchester. I was saying to one of the other girls on the trip who had older children that when you first have a child you can feel like you’ve lost yourself a little bit. You don’t really have time for yourself anymore, whether that’s going to the gym, going shopping or even something as simple as having a bath, as you’re too busy either looking after your child or perhaps, like me, working as well and so you want to spend all of your spare time with your family. Your sense of style changes too as you can’t run around after a toddler in 5 inch heels, even though we all want to because we’ve seen Victoria Beckham do it….four times (I’m sure behind closed doors she has a track suit and trainers just like the rest of us) and so you look to other, more practical, ways of being fashionable. I know that I definitely tried to cling on to my 30 year old self with my skyscraper heels and little dresses but as Freddie’s got older, I’ve definitely had to adapt and I have to say I do actually quite like it. It’s quite refreshing to be a bit more relaxed. Nevertheless, during our trip to Manchester I did wear my 5 inch heels with a super tight LBD as the only person I was running after was the birthday girl, from the hotel to the restaurant to the bar and so on. It was so much fun and it’s quite nice to play at being Carrie Bradshaw again from time to time.

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Speaking of changing styles, I’ve recently had my hair cut from very long to shoulder length. It’s quite a change for me and was a bit of a shock at first, so much so that I’ll admit I did nearly cry when the hairdresser first took the scissors to it, but by the time she’d dried it it was exactly what I wanted. Although I’ve been a fan of the long bob for sometime now, the main reason I did it was because when I first had Freddie I lost an awful lot of hair. It terrified me as each day more and more seemed to fall out and I thought it was never going to stop. I’d always felt able to hide behind my hair, as even if I’d been feeling a bit rubbish it had always been in relatively good condition and looked nice, so I did feel a bit exposed losing so much at once. However, then I gave myself a good talking to as there are many people who lose all of their hair through illness or indeed after pregnancy, and so I count myself very lucky to still have mine. Nevertheless, I had become frustrated recently as the underneath that had fallen out was shoulder length whilst the top was past my chest, and so after speaking with the Emmerdale make up supervisor we decided that now was the time to get it chopped. I’m really happy with it, and again it’s great because I can style it quite quickly which really helps when I’m running around after Freddie.

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Anyway I will speak to you all again very soon, but if you’re in on Saturday night, as I probably will be as I’m already obsessed with this years X Factor (mainly Cheryl and Mel’s outfit choices) then you can catch the episode of Through The Keyhole I filmed a little while ago straight after it. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to see it.

Speak soon,

Love Natalie Xx

P.S I’m super excited about the news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy! A huge congratulations to them all. Xx

25 July
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My lovely summer: Work trips, filming and family time!

Hello Everyone!!

I hope you’re all enjoying this amazing weather we are having!

What a gorgeous couple of weeks I’ve had!! I feel like for the first time in a very long time I’ve achieved the famous but almost unattainable work/life balance. A few work trips to London combined with a spot of filming and lots of family time has equalled the most lovely summer.

First and foremost when we last spoke I was heading off to see Keith Lemon as I was due to film an upcoming episode of ITV’s Through the Keyhole, which I did and absolutely loved!! I was always a fan of the original series as I’m a bit of a nosey parker, but I have to say I think the new version is even better as it combines an insight into people’s homes with lots more laughs. If you’re a fan of ITV’s Celebrity Juice then I’m sure you’re already well aware of Keith’s humour and hosting skills and so I was indeed subjected to much mickey taking and innuendo, although I have to say Keith was actually pretty tame, almost gentlemanly on this occasion compared to Jimmy Carr, my fellow panelist along with the lovely Dave Berry, I could hardly breathe for laughing at some of the jokes he aimed me, in fact between keith and all the guests involved I laughed so much my eyes hardly stopped watering throughout the whole 2 1/2 hour shoot. As with all of these things unfortunately I can’t tell you which celebrities were brave enough to let Keith wander freely around their homes but I can say its definitely worth tuning into when it does air mid August, in fact it’s almost educational viewing thanks to one of the fantastic guests. I for one can’t wait to see it!!

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I decided to wear a customised version a little red dress from my own collection for filming Through the Keyhole, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to wear my own designs as it means I always feel comfortable, which is such a big thing when your being filmed or photographed.

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So that was a bit of work and now onto a bit of life. Whilst sitting in the Emmerdale Village green room a couple of weeks ago, I randomly decided to book a log cabin in the Lake District for the following weekend. I called my best friend Donna to see if her and her husband and their one year old daughter Emily were free to join us and as luck would have it, they were. It turned out to be such a fantastic weekend and our first (hopefully of many) holidays as families. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been best friends with Donna since we were at school and so it was really special for both of us to be living out one of the little daydreams we used to have whilst sitting in registration about what we’d do when we grew up (I use that term very loosely). We went for long walks with the kids, had bbqs, went on a boat on lake Windermere and sat up until the early hours having wine and chats. It was lovely! I think one of the best things was that we had very little phone service and so I personally felt really relaxed as my phone is normally attached to my hand ready for me to receive emails, texts and phone calls and that’s before we even get to the social media side of things. Prior to our little break I’d become a little bit addicted to twitter and Instagram and found myself checking it constantly, and so loosing the ability to access both apps was actually quite freeing and something I’m trying to keep up to, albeit the said nosey parker in me can’t help but sometimes have a sneaky peak, mainly to see what Kim Kardashians been upto this week! Ah we all have our guilty pleasures.

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Freddie loved his little trip, and whilst we were there he decided to what has now become the norm, march up and down the lodge decking singing the Grand Old Duke of York as loudly as he possibly could. I think he believed he was defending us from the lions and tigers and bears that were obviously hiding in the woods!

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After our lovely little break I headed back to London to do some pick up filming for the episode of Tricked I did with Matthew Wolfenden and to attend the ITV summer party, which was so much fun. It was a beautifully warm night which was fantastic as the event was held outside and it was a great opportunity to catch up with lots of people you meet throughout the year but don’t necessarily get to socialise with. For instance I met the super gorgeous Claire Richards at another event recently and so it was lovely to spend some time with her, especially as we both have young children and so we had lots of mummy talk. Also this time last year we were right in the middle of filming Your Face Sounds Familiar, so it was really nice to see both Matt Johnson and Paddy Mcguiness at the party as we reminisced about the previous year and how much fun we’d had working on the show. I can’t believe its a year ago!! Time goes so fast these days. All in all it was a really fun evening with gorgeous food, drinks and company.

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Speaking of time I can’t believe Prince George celebrated his 1st birthday this week! In my mind he was still only a few months old. I feel the same about Freddie as he will be 2 next week. I can’t believe my little baby is nearly 2 already. I’m currently making arrangements for his party, which I’m really looking forward to as I’m hoping my children’s party skills have vastly improved since last year, where I basically ran around like a headless chicken trying to make up for the fact that I’d catered really well for the adults but terribly for the children (how was I to know that children under three don’t like pepperoni pizza, it HAS to be margherita!) Anyway as always ill let you know how I get on.

Speak Soon

Love Natalie

07 July
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Ascot, Emmerdale cricket, BBQs, fittings and Le Tour!!

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s so lovely to hear your thoughts.

What a super busy couple of weeks!! Ascot, Emmerdale cricket, BBQs, fittings and Le Tour!!

Our trip to Ascot this year was absolutely fantastic! We always have a great time but this year was just brilliant as the sun was shining brightly and to top it off I had a winner in each race! I absolutely loved my outfit, the dress was a new design from our Enais Chapman label. I had some amazing comments from people and was interviewed by Martha Ward (Stylist and contributing editor for Vogue) on Ascot TV about it, who said I was “one of the best dressed of the whole week”. Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled as Kate and I had designed it as part of a new line we are developing and so I felt very proud.

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Apart from its legendary glamour and style one of the other reasons I love Royal Ascot is that members of the Royal family attend the meeting throughout the week. Now anyone that knows me will tell you I’m a huge fan of our monarchy and in particular The Queen and so you can imagine how excited I was to see her look DIRECTLY at me as she made her way to the Royal box, only for Prince Philip to do exactly the same.

And just to show you I’m not making it up I have photographic evidence. Now yes I appreciate from my pictures it could be perhaps argued that although she is definitely looking in my direction, her gaze may not be solely upon me, however until the day I actually get to meet her properly I will continue to insist that she is indeed looking DIRECTLY at me. It turned out to be an extremely lucky day for me as I also managed to have a winner in every race! This may sound quite funny but I always bet by my grandmas rules. She is of Irish Liverpudlian descent and it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about horse racing, so much so that by the end of the day our other friends were asking me who I was backing as I kept winning. It’s a very simple method…..choose the Irish jockey with a blue jersey! Well it definitely always works for me.

 

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Next stop for me was the Emmerdale charity cricket match in Northwich in aid of St Luke’s hospice, The Joshua Tree and Halton Haven hospice. It was an absolutely fantastic day and again topped off by the fact the sun was shining. There’s obviously a running theme here, the quality of my days out seem to be determined by the appearance of the sun! Now normally I would say that I’m absolutely dreadful at cricket and am probably more of a joke addition as apposed to an actual valued member of the team, however on this occasion I didn’t do half bad. Ok my bowling was abysmal but I’d say my fielding (or catch, as I frequently refer to it) has definitely got better and as for my batting, well I even surprised myself. I managed to hit the ball a number of times and even scored quite a few runs, eventually retiring myself!! Now that is a first! I suppose it helped that I was playing opposite my husband and so the (very) competitive edge came out in me as I wasn’t about to let him mock me all the way home for playing as terrible as I normally do. In fact I got quite serious and even ended up wearing the full kit, of pads, helmet and gloves, which made me look a bit scary. It was lovely to have a day out with other members of the cast away from work. Chris Chittell, Bhasker Patel, Matthew Wolfenden and Joe-Warren Plant who plays my on screen son Jacob were also in attendance and so it made for a fun filled day. The crowd in Northwich were so lovely and supportive and so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved for making it so wonderful day which raised over £5000 for the charities.

 

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Obviously this weekend Yorkshire was in the spotlight as we hosted the Tour de France, Grand Depart. What a weekend it was! The atmosphere in my home county was just amazing and I felt incredibly proud to be a Yorkshire girl. The tour started on the Harewood estate which also houses the Emmerdale village and then went on to Otley and Ilkley which are just on my doorstep, before heading off to Harrogate and York. I have to say even after 8 years as a cheerleader I don’t think I’ve ever seen as much lycra in my life. Cycling fever had completely taken over, fans, media, cyclists and members of the Royal family had all descended on Yorkshire.

 

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I know I’m biased but I think that the coverage of the race really showed how amazingly beautiful our county is AND yes the sun was even shining again as if to show us off in all our full glory! Nicola Wheeler (Nicola King in Emmerdale) was quite heavily involved with the lead up, taking part in the ITV Corrie to Emmerdale bike ride and attending the pre event dinner. We designed Nicolas outfit and I took all of her fittings on my own, which I was quite proud of as obviously I’m still learning about that side of the design process. Thankfully she was really happy with the dress and so consequently I was too….phew!!

 

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Anyways Its going to be a super busy week with a trip to the Lake District and filming for Through The Keyhole with Keith Lemon….eek!! I’m sure that will be fun and games. I’ll make sure to tell you all about it, next time.

Bye for now,

Love Natalie Xx

09 June
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Fun on BGT and my super glamorous HELLO! shoot

Hello Everyone!!

As always thank you so much for reading my blog and for leaving your comments.

It’s been a manic couple of weeks with a trip to Britain’s Got Talent, filming Emmerdale and a super glamorous HELLO! shoot, and that’s at the same time as trying to pack up my family for our holiday to Dubai!!

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Britain’s Got Talent was so much fun and I am so pleased that my favourites Collabro were the winners of the whole competition. I’ve championed them from the start as I thought the were all individually very talented but as a collective they were amazing!! Their vocals were beautiful and complemented each other wonderfully and I felt they were different to anyone else on the market as they were a musical theatre harmony group as opposed to opera or swing which we’ve already seen before. I think my opinion was also helped by the fact they chose songs from one of my favourite musicals ‘Les Miserables’. I went to watch the last semi-final with my lovely friend Nikki as I was appearing on Britain’s Got More Talent alongside the super gorgeous and glamorous Laura Whitmore and Jason Gardiner. It was a really fun show which saw me not only giving my opinions on the acts of the night but also dancing away to the Klaxons and playing ‘Give us a clue’ with its original host and legend Lionel Blair! I absolutely loved it and I think Stephen Mulhern was even more brilliant than normal, this years slightly different format really suited him. All in all Nikki and I had a brilliant night which ended with super late night food in soho and a rickshaw back to our hotel! Only the best for us!

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Last week I flew to London to do a gorgeous ‘what to wear for Ascot’ shoot for HELLO! I’ll actually be attending the meeting on the 21st of June so it was fantastic to get some tips and advice as the rules for the dress code can be really strict. It was a fabulous day albeit absolutely freezing! None of us could believe it. There we were shooting beautiful summer clothes and it felt about 2 degrees. Nevertheless it was still a really fun day and definitely one of the most glamorous shoots I’ve ever done. The team on the shoot were so lovely and really helped me feel at ease as obviously I’m not a model even though I do really enjoy dressing up. I loved how daring the stylists choices were as it made me feel even more distanced from myself, I felt like I was a 1950′s Parisian socialite in some of the outfits! I loved it! Diana, the photographer really helped me to get into character too as she has the most gorgeous Venezuelan accent that made me feel a million miles away from London and she was also really helpful at giving me lots of direction so I could get into character otherwise it’s very easy for me to become really self conscious as obviously I’m an actress and not a model. I can’t wait to see the final pictures, fingers crossed they look as glamorous as I felt doing them.

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After the Ascot shoot I hopped back on a flight to Leeds, which was actually quite a big deal for me as I absolutely hate flying and yet there I was on a 40 minute flight home all by myself!! I’ve found the best thing for me is to actually get a window seat so that I can see exactly what’s going on outside and almost convince myself that I’m flying the plane in a kind of Krypton Factor way, otherwise I get freaked out quite easily, the slightest bump has my heart beating ten to the dozen. The flight was also good practice for the 7 hour flight to Dubai I was about to embark on the following day. Eeeek!!!

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Anyway I can tell you all about that next week as I’ve probably waffled on as always, so I’ll say goodbye for now and speak very soon.

Lots of love

NatalieXx

27 May
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Seeing my dresses on the British Soap Awards red carpet was amazing!

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s really lovely to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave your comments.

What a weekend!!! After months of planning and preparation the day of the British Soap Awards finally arrived and more importantly for us, we launched our ‘Enais Chapman’ online boutique. I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.

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Although it was quite a stressful weekend it was also so much fun. I loved being with the Emmerdale gang. There’s only a few occasions throughout the year where a lot of us can get together as our work schedules are so hectic, people generally need to spend their free time with their families. However this weekend the majority of the cast and crew came out to play and despite only picking up one award at the ceremony, albeit a fantastic award (we won Most Spectacular Scene) everybody really seemed to let their hair down. I think what’s really lovely about our cast is that we are incredibly supportive of the other soaps as we know how tough it can be working on what at times can feel like a treadmill of never-ending episodes and so we were really pleased for Corrie and particularly Julie Hesmondlaugh and David Neilsen (Hayley and Roy) on picking up so many awards for their excellent portrayal of the ‘Hayley’s cancer storyline’. I personally was also absolutely thrilled for Hollyoaks and their Best Soap award as like us they tend to be the underdog and so it was a wonderful achievement for all involved.

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The weekend was also a huge achievement for all of the Enais Chapman team as four of our dresses were showcased on the red carpet and our website and online boutique were officially opened. As I said I have been so nervous these past few weeks as obviously we are opening ourselves up to criticism and opinion however we have received some really positive feedback about the collection which is amazing. Our Harlow gown (the dress I wore on the evening) has even made it onto several of the best dressed lists which is absolutely amazing!! It was such an wonderful feeling seeing the other girls in their dresses too. To watch them evolve from sketch to toile to production and then finally gracing the red carpet was incredible. Laura Norton who plays Kerry Wyatt opted for a bespoke apple green creation which we aptly named the Laura gown and Roxy Shahidi wore our Cate gown which will be available later in the year and Michelle Hardwick wore our Bergman gown. Anyway it’s back to business for us now as alongside working on our next made-to-order collection we are also developing the Ready to Wear side of our label which will be available online in the autumn. No doubt we will be buried in sketches and swatches over the next few months, however as always I’ll keep you all posted with how it’s going.

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This week I also revealed my inner minx as I took part in playing an epic trick on my on-screen husband Matthew Wolfenden for ITV2 show ‘Tricked’. If you’ve not seen the show show before it basically sees magician Ben Hanlin play tricks and perform illusions on famous faces. Our trick was incredible and we really got Matthew good. He had absolutely no idea that he was being tricked which I found hilarious as he’s always poking fun at me and telling me how gullible I am. Unfortunately I can’t give away any real details about the trick itself however I can assure it’s one you won’t want to miss when the new series airs in September!!

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Matthew and I with magician Ben Hanlin.

I’m absolutely loving Britain’s Got Talent this year and so I’m incredibly excited to be going to the live finals this Saturday as I’m appearing as a guest on Britain’s Got More Talent. I think BGMT is having it’s best series ever as everyone looks like they are having so much fun although having watched last night’s first live show I’ll admit I’m a little worried about what the lovely Stephen Mulhern has got in store for me as last night it was games galore…oh well I just need to remember I was once Justin Beiber on national TV, I don’t think anything will ever beat that in terms of making a fool of myself. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all of the fun and gates.

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Anyway I’ll say bye for now and speak soon.

Lots of love

Natalie X

P.s. We celebrated my lovely hubby James’ birthday too this weekend. I think Freddie enjoyed the chocolate cake don’t you….look at his mouth!

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