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воскресенье, 8 января 2017 г.


It was only when actress Lucy Benjamin gave up on romance that she found Mr Right.
After a difficult on-off relationship with her EastEnders’ co-star Steve McFadden (who plays Phil Mitchell), and a fling with gymnast Bobby Hanton, 14 years her junior, Lucy was glad to be single.
“I was bored with dating idiots,” she reveals. “I’d been looking for love so desperately, but as long as you look for it, it’s never going to happen. You are not going to meet great people that way.
“I got caught up in a cycle of unhealthy relationships. Boyfriends said I was difficult, moody, even crazy, and I believed them. I reached a point where I’d given up on men.”
But all that changed two years ago when she met hunky oil trader Richard Taggart.
After a whirlwind romance, the couple are now married and the proud parents of four-month-old Bessie.
Lucy admits that, when she met Richard on a flight to Dubai, love was the last thing on her mind. That changed as she got to know him.
“I was going on holiday on my own and was thinking, ‘Men, sod them all!’ I’d been mucked around and I’d had enough,” she recalls.
“I saw Richard and his friend and thought, ‘Oh no, they’ll want to talk to me’ and they did! Then we got chatting and didn’t stop.
“By the time we got to Dubai, I knew he was The One and it was a done deal. From the moment I met Rich, my life turned around. We’re mad about each other.”
To Lucy’s delight and relief, he said he felt the same. The couple wed in March 2006, with Bessie arriving in November.
“I had a Caesarean because she was breech. Then over-softening of the pelvis made it hard to walk. But it was worth it,” she smiles.
“Bessie transformed everything. I had no idea being a mum was so amazing. I’m obsessed and protective – she’s taken over my life.
“If she’s out of my sight, I worry about whether she’s missing me,” she adds. “I haven’t had a night apart from her since she’s been born and probably won’t for years!”
Lucy was floored by the love she felt for the infant in her arms.
“Nothing prepared me for it,” she says. “Although it wasn’t overpowering at first, it’s built up and is running away with itself!”
The former party girl has even given up booze.
“I only have the odd glass of wine, but then guilt kicks in so I don’t enjoy it – I’m worried that by breastfeeding, I’m making Bessie drunk!” she jokes.
Luckily, Richard doesn’t share her anxieties about parenthood.
“He’s brilliant,” beams Lucy. “He stops me being too neurotic.”
However, Lucy is unsure about having more children.
“It feels disloyal to be thinking about another baby when Bessie’s only just arrived,” she admits.
“At my age, 36, maybe it won’t happen but we’re having a great time. I’m so grateful I got pregnant, I don’t want to push my luck.”
Lucy is backing Bold 2in1 Crushed Silk and Jasmine’s campaign to encourage mums to put their feet up – research shows that women would prefer half an hour of relaxation over any other indulgence.
“It’s really important for mums to take time out to relax, whether it’s going shopping or enjoying a nice soak in the bath with a glass of bubbly,” she says.
Lucy had a trial run at motherhood during her time at EastEnders – her character, Lisa Fowler, had a daughter, Lou, who Lisa grew fond of. However, Lucy has no plans to return to the soap – she doesn’t even watch it!
“Rumours have been flying around but it’s not on the cards,” she says. “I haven’t seen the show for two years.”
And after winning Celebrity X Factor last year – she confesses her nerves stopped her from fully enjoying the experience –Lucy would now love to try her hand at musical theatre.
Lucy put on 2st during pregnancy and she is slowly losing it through breastfeeding and eating healthily.
“I loved being pregnant – I could eat what I liked!” she says. “I didn’t mind my bump – I felt guilt-free about having a big old tummy.”
Her aim is to squeeze into her skinny size 6 jeans.
“They fitted when I met Rich,” Lucy laughs. “I have 10lb to go. I lost weight through breastfeeding and six weeks ago I got back into gentle exercise, running and weights. But I don’t feel pressure to get back in shape.
“I love my food and I don’t think about my weight. If it takes another three months to shift my mummy tummy, fine. I’ve done a fabulous job bringing a baby into the world.”

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