When we catch up with Kimberley Walsh, the 40-year-old is reflecting on her youngest son Nate celebrating his first birthday. “I feel like I had him yesterday and now he’s one, which is crazy, but he’s such a good little boy,” she says.
The milestone must also feel poignant for the former Girls Aloud singer because she says Nate will be her last baby as she has no intention of trying for a girl.
“I’m good with my little hat-trick,” she laughs. As well as Nate, Kimberley is also mum to Bobby, seven, and Cole, five, with her husband Justin Scott.
Away from family life, the star has been busy presenting BBC’s Morning Live alongside Gethin Jones, and she’s just launched her first clothing collection with Dorothy Perkins.
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This year also marks 20 years since Girls Aloud shot to fame, but after losing bandmate Sarah Harding to breast cancer last year, she admits the anniversary feels “different”.
Here, Kimberley opens up about her time in the iconic band, returning to the stage and why it was tough turning 40 with a five-month-old…
Hi, Kimberley. Your youngest son Nate recently turned one. How did you celebrate his first birthday?
I got a soft play for him in the garden. He’s just started walking, literally a couple of weeks ago, so the soft play blew his mind.
He was in heaven! He’s such a happy little thing and he loved having all of the attention on his birthday. His brothers literally adore him. They know when they need to step in and try to help me entertain him. If anything, they smother him a bit too much. I have to tell them to give him a break.
Do you and Justin ever get the chance to make time for each other?
It’s quite full-on. We don’t have a lot of time for just us, but we have a lot of family time and we’re both so family-orientated, so that’s just as enjoyable to us. Even if we try to have an evening together, it’ll be the one night that Bobby will come down the stairs like, “I’m back, what are we watching? Where are the snacks?”
Would you like to have more children and be tempted to try for a girl?
No, I’m good with my little hat-trick. It’s actually good having three of the same sex because you know what you’re doing and they all kind of want to do the same thing. I’m sure it’s nice to have a variety but I think it’s going to work really well that Nate’s a boy.
And there is a little girl in the family now after your sister, Emmerdale actress Amy Walsh, welcomed Bonnie in December…
There is! Amy’s coming down today. It’s probably one of her first trips away from baby Bonnie. But yeah, I can just borrow Bonnie and keep buying her lots of girlie stuff and get her [Amy] to take lots of photos for me.
Exactly! Are the boys loving their new cousin?
They are, but they’re totally freaked out by her being a girl. We’ve got seven boys and Bonnie’s the first girl so they say they don’t know what to do with a girl. I think it’s going to be really cute, but she won’t be able to do anything with her big cousins protecting her.
This year marks 20 years since Girls Aloud rose to fame. How does it feel to have that legacy and still be a huge part of people’s lives?
For me, this 20-year thing, with everything that we’ve dealt with over the past year, it’s different. But I still feel very grateful that people still celebrate our music and do appreciate our moment of pop. Personally, I feel very grateful to still be out there in a job that I love and being part of the industry that I grew up loving and wanting to be in.
Little Mix are on a hiatus so there’s no big girlband for the first time since the Spice Girls. Are you upset by that?
I love Little Mix. I thought they were a really strong, powerful group of girls. They’ve done amazingly but everyone needs to take a break now and again, it’s intense. A couple of them have babies now, so I totally get it.
But it is sad that there isn’t a new girlband coming up to follow in their footsteps. Bring back girlbands and boybands – it was such a fun time. These guys don’t know what they’re missing.
Are we going to see you doing more theater?
I will definitely go back on stage at some point, but I just can’t do it when the baby’s so young. I’d miss him too much. And the older ones would be cross if I left every bedtime. They’d be like, “What do you mean you’re not going to be here every bedtime and give me cuddles?” They’re like, “OK, you can do that job, but you can’t do that job.” They’re the bosses, but they’ll get past that stage.
Do you feel more confident since turning 40?
Sometimes turning 40 can be a big deal. I’d just had a baby as well, so it’s tough to turn 40 when you’ve got a five-month-old because you’re not going to be back to your best self, but in some ways I think that was quite nice because it took the pressure off.
I wasn’t going to look the best I’d ever looked because I’d just had a baby. I always take my time to let the weight naturally come off rather than killing myself to get back to what I was before.
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I was really fit before I had Nate and he’s one now and I’m just fitting into the jeans I wore before. But I’m not stressing about it because it’s summer so I can wear floaty dresses.
Talking of dresses, you’re launching your first collection with Dorothy Perkins. How did that come about?
I’ve been a fan of Dorothy Perkins for years. I remember saving up my money to go in there on a Saturday and buy my favorite dress, so it’s literally a dream come true. I’ve been watching their collections over the last couple of years and how they’ve evolved.
I just love that there’s so much variety and so much choice for women of all shapes and sizes. It was lovely to choose my favorite pieces and make sure that I included something for everyone.
Also, to think about shapes that are really flattering on women and little details like arm coverage for some of us slightly older women who are maybe not as confident in certain areas. They really have everything covered and it feels like the perfect partnership.
The Styled By Kimberley Walsh Collection is available now at dorothyperkins.com.
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