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WITH most weddings, it’s the bride who tends to get a bit OTT over all the details of their big day – but not Myleene Klass.
Myleene Klass says her wedding will be ‘mayhem’ as her daughters are planning the ceremony
Myleene is engaged to PR exec Simon Motson, who she has been dating for six years
Myleene is mum to daughters Ava, 14, and Hero, 11, and shares two-year-old son Apollo with Simon
In fact it’s her daughters Ava, 14, and Hero, 11, who are making all the decisions – and you’d be forgiven for thinking they were planning Glastonbury rather than their mum’s nuptials.
“We’re right in the middle of it all, because Ava’s got 12 pages of Pinterest images.
“Hero has four costume changes, from: ‘I’m going to show up as Wonder Woman and be coming down from the ceiling,’ to: ‘I’m gonna wear a white tux.’
They are writing songs to perform. They’re training the baby [Myleene and Simon have a two-year-old son Apollo together] to walk with the rings.
“I’m only probably going to get to choose the dress,” says Myleene, 44.
“That’s what they are surrounded by – planning concerts all the time and creating events, and they go to broadcasting events.
“So that’s the only world they really know. They’re going to make the wedding into a concert and fashion extravaganza. Mayhem is all I can say.”
Touchingly, the girls want to walk their mum down the aisle, too.
“They have decided they want to give me away – that’s what they want to do,” Myleene explains.
“They said: ‘You’re our mother.’ It’s lovely. I’m just letting them choose that role.
“Now we’re trying to decide how and where, because Covid put a spanner in things. We couldn’t travel and we didn’t know who could be there.
“We haven’t set a date, but we have a closer idea of when we’re going to do it.”
For the moment, however, she’s keeping that between her and Simon, 47.
The couple – who have been together for six years – got engaged in September 2020, when he popped the question with a 7.6-carat emerald-cut black diamond, during a romantic, at-home proposal when he transformed the garden shed into the private members’ club where they had their first date.
The Smooth Radio presenter had previously sworn she would never marry again, following her split from first husband Graham Quinn in 2012.
The pair had been together for 11 years and had married just six months before their relationship ended. So what changed her mind?
“I just wanna be with Sim, I just want to get on with the living. For me, it’s about the marriage [rather than the wedding itself].
“Spoken like a true wedding-trauma war veteran,” Myleene adds with a laugh.
“It means so much to the girls. It’s just solidifying everything. Choosing somebody and them choosing you, and you’re making this promise to each other.
“And I think for a long time I probably thought: ‘Oh no, I’m not gonna find someone who believes in this the same way that I do,’ but actually it’s gone the other way.”
‘I DON’T WANT TO FEEL HELPLESS’
Having finally found the right person, Myleene is now looking forward to making a declaration of love in front of her friends and family, and celebrating how they kept her going when she had lost faith in love.
She explains: “When you do find that person who is your soulmate, you actually want to [marry them in front of your friends] and say: ‘It’s all of the people around me that have made this happen and who believed in us and cheered us on and got us here.’”
One of our all-time favourite cover stars, this is the 12th time Myleene has fronted Fabulous – and what a journey she’s been on.
Since finding fame with band Hear’Say on Popstars in 2001, she’s released a solo album, gained I’m A Celebrity! legend status with that iconic white-bikini shower and forged a mega-successful career as an entrepreneur.
“It’s funny, because you guys have just basically tracked my life. You’ve lived it with me,” she jokes.
It’s true, while there have been highs, there have been massive lows for Myleene, including adapting to life as a single parent as well as coping with four heartbreaking miscarriages, before having her rainbow baby Apollo in August 2019.
It’s these times that were the inspiration for her new book They Don’t Teach This At School – an illustrated guide to more than 100 life skills for both children and adults.
“At school, we learned about Pythagoras, the cells of a plant, how to analyse prose, but there were huge gaps.
“We went out into the world and were expected to know how to budget for a household, send an invoice, call someone when the boiler broke,” Myleene explains.
She credits her practical life skills to her parents – her dad, who was in the navy, worked away from home for long periods, so he taught her how to do things like put oil in the car or put up wallpaper – and to being a single mum.
‘IT PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO ME’
“I want my girls to see me getting things done, not just calling someone to do these jobs.
“I have friends who have almost compartmentalised jobs, like: ‘That’s the man’s job,’ and: ‘That’s the woman’s job.’ And I’m like: ‘No, actually, it’s all our jobs.’ We’re super-capable.
I like feeling strong and able. I don’t want to feel helpless. I have three children and two stepchildren [Simon has a son and a daughter from his first marriage].
“I’m part of a blended family, so I want to be prepared for all these children.”
The book is jam-packed with handy practical hints – that even people without kids could benefit from – including how to read a washing label, how to jump-start a car and how to bleed a radiator, as well as more emotional ones, such as dealing with toxic people and bullies.
There’s also advice on first aid – an issue that’s particularly close to Myleene’s heart.
She thinks it’s a travesty that it isn’t taught in schools, after using it to save her daughters’ lives, when Ava choked on a piece of calamari on holiday a few years ago, and Hero swallowed a toy as a baby.
“When Ava started to choke, I didn’t immediately realise what was happening.
“I thought she was messing around. Then there was a deafening silence and no one moved.
“I whacked her three times on the back and she sprang back to life.
“Hero was a baby and that was really terrifying. They say it happens so quickly, but actually it seemed to happen in slow motion for me.
“She was younger than Apollo is now. It still makes my blood run cold. She staggered in and wasn’t making any noise and holding her throat.
‘I WANT THEM TO BE A TRIPLE THREAT’
“She was turning blue and flopped in my arms. It was horrible.
“I’d done courses and grown up with a mum who was a nurse, but when it’s your child, something else happens.
“I laid her on her front, angled along my arm, and hit her five times hard on her back and nothing happened. I did it again. It was awful.
“I did it a third time and said: ‘Come on baby girl,’ and she coughed and vomited up this little plastic star. It put the fear of god into me.”
The book was inspired by Myleene’s “Mama school”, which she runs on Saturdays, teaching her children about everything from budgeting and constellations, to current affairs and music.
“We’ve done it since the girls were little. We choose a subject and we delve into it.
“I say: ‘If there’s something you are confused about, let’s discuss it.’ I always end the lesson with finances and household budgets.
“Everyone gets some pasta pieces, which is their wages, and they divvy up what their household requires, from the mortgage to what it costs to run a car with petrol and insurance.
“I think women are not taught to talk about finance. We have to ask for what we want. We need to get our place at the table.
“We need to hold that space for other women as well, and I think that’s so important.
“My girls earn their own money as piano teachers – Ava has a ledger and we go through it and she invoices for the jobs she’s done. This comes from the talent they have.
“I don’t want them to think: ‘When I flick my hair and flutter my eyelashes, that’s going to be enough,’ because it’s not.
“As RuPaul says: ‘There’s always gonna be another bus of pretty a few minutes down the road.’ I want them to see that their talents can contribute.
“I want them to be a triple threat. I’m raising my girls to be breadwinners, like I am in my family.
“And I’d like to raise my son to do the same, but also to know that men and women are equal.”
Even sex education is on the curriculum. “I’ve got a little board with diagrams of vaginas and penises.
“We’ve talked about what the male anatomy looks like and what the correct words are, so there’s no embarrassment.
“I believe in this so strongly. So many children are told silly names. I give them the information.
“Ava says I’m like the mum in Sex Education. I’ve got books and folders, and I say: ‘Let’s look at penises’.
“We discuss: ‘Where are your ovaries?’, ‘What is the journey of an egg?’, ‘What is an ectopic pregnancy?’
“We discussed miscarriage a lot and I said: ‘Let me show you what’s going on,’ because statistically it’s gonna happen to them or their friends.”
Myleene is also keen to instil body positivity in her daughters. She’s banned scales, always refers to Diet Coke as DC and doesn’t speak negatively about herself around them or let other friends criticise their bodies either.
‘I WOULD SEE RED’
The singer was often criticised over her weight at the start of her career. One particular incident, when she was 19 and performing in the West End, still rankles.
“I was standing on a stage, in front of 30 guys, rehearsing for Miss Saigon, when [a woman who worked on the show] pulled my body apart, saying: ‘You need to lose weight. You can’t stand on that stage in a bikini.’
“I will never forget it. If someone did that to my daughter, I would see red.
“The irony is, I’ve literally made a life out of it. If only my 19-year-old self had known that then, because a little bit of me died that day.
But that girl who was ridiculed for her weight went on to sell bikinis for the next 15 years and still is selling them.
“I could have decided: ‘I’m never wearing this again,’ and taken a step back. But I use it as an example to my girls and say: ‘You will be judged on how you look and your male counterparts won’t be.
“You will have to work twice as hard to stay at the same place, and you will have to ask for your money. But we’re gonna keep on trailblazing and smashing that ceiling.’
“So I don’t have scales. I don’t want my girls to see me look in the mirror if it’s a negative. I want to teach them: ‘You are not the numbers on that scale.’ We discuss fat from a scientific point of view.”
Along with her busy career working as a radio presenter at Smooth, being a TikTok ambassador, as well as designing ranges for Next, it looks like Myleene could go back to the band that made her famous.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Hear’Say getting together, and rumours abounded of a reunion to celebrate the milestone.
“I don’t know at the moment. Yeah, it’s definitely a train that keeps rumbling on,” she says.
“So it’s lovely that people are still excited. What is funny is all of my daughter’s wardrobe is all the stuff I wore in Hear’Say.
“She’s literally walking around like the new Myleene Klass out of Hear’Say.
“My only regret is I can’t find the black belt that said ‘Hear’Say’ on it, which I wore to the Royal Variety Performance in 2002, when I fell over in front of the Queen.
“It was one of the worst and best days of my life.
“My daughters aren’t interested in my pop music though. It’s all about Camila Cabello and Olivia Rodrigo. They are passionate about their music.
“Ava did two grade eights at 12. The three of us play piano together. They earn money from it and they don’t realise it’s a job.
“Apollo can identify instruments like a violin and a cello. He plays the piano, too. This is not me being a Tiger Mum – he wants to do it.”
It’s clear Myleene thrives on teaching her kids, but does she ever make time for herself?
“I haven’t always had the strongest boundaries,” she admits. “How can I keep going to my girlfriends: ‘Be kind to yourself, you’re doing a lot at the minute, you’re working, you’re raising children, you’re rushing around,’ if I’m not doing it myself?
“So I’m trying to be kinder to myself. The kindest thing I could do for myself right now is sleep – I need more hours in the day!”
- They Don’t Teach This At School by Myleene Klass (£20, HQ) is out May 12.
In the make-up chair with Myleene
What are your skincare heroes?
I love Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. That’s my go-to. I’m looking after my skin more now.
Any make-up bag essentials?
Mac Lip Pencil in Spice – I’m obsessed with it. And Bobbi Brown eyebrow mascara and Benefit mascara.
Who’s your beauty icon?
J.Lo is a goddess.
What’s your top beauty tip?
Take your make-up off. Your older self will thank you.
What’s your budget buy?
Vaseline – it’s just a winner.
And what do you splurge on?
My treat is I like to get my eyelashes done. This lovely lady Helen from Flutter comes to my house and she is wonderful.
Describe your beauty evolution.
I used to use make-up as camouflage. I used to hide behind it, but now I use it to enhance myself.
Myleene is keen to always instil body positivity in her daughters and has banned scales
Myleene’s daughters earn their own money as piano teachers
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Hear’Say getting together, and rumours abounded of a reunion to celebrate the milestone
Myleene in a bikini became an iconic TV image when she appeared on I’m A Celebrity