Louise Redknapp on life lessons, love, pursuing her passion and being happy solo

Virgin Radio

6 Mar 2021, 12:12

The Eternal-ly lovely pop star joined the Graham Norton Radio Show earlier to talk about why she’s written a heartfelt book, what she's learnt about love and life - and bravely getting her 'big girl pants on'.

The singer told Graham about her book You've Got This: “It isn't an autobiography, it's not a big tell-all or anything like that. The book very much draws on experiences of mine from start to finish - not just the last few years.

"When the publishers asked if I'd be interested in doing a book, straightaway I was like, absolutely not a big expose type of book, but I love reading and I love books that I can open up on a morning when I'm not feeling great and there's something there that just gives me a little bit of a lift, and I did say that I would love to do something that I enjoy reading myself."

On igniting new nerves, she said: “I've been doing this for 28 years and when I'm talking about music or a new theatre show or something, I get nervous but this was the first time just before going live on anything where I really had butterflies and I was nervous to a different level to what I've ever been before.

"It wasn't like an excited nervous - I think it's because so many parts of the book get picked up and printed and taken out of context.

“When you read the book as a whole it's very much about things that I went through, this isn't about anybody else, this isn't blaming or placing blame and when I was writing the book I kept the more personal things in at the beginning just to get it all out.

"Then I thought 'these will come out, I'll definitely take these points out, it's not something I really wish for people to know about me' and it was only the people closest to me that actually said that this book works because of that honesty and if you're not going to be honest maybe don't bother doing it at all.

"They had a point, so at that stage I was so far in it I thought 'get your big girl pants on and don’t back out now'."

On not spilling the girlband beans on the end of Eternal, she explained: “Eternal was so long ago and of course things happened - there were four girls in a band! 

"I didn't want to write what was said, it would be a whole other book, but it's been so far on and I have such a huge amount of respect for the girls. I experienced things in life with them that you could only ever dream of.

"We were young, we were learning so much and ultimately the experience was amazing. Any issues and struggles I had come very much from my own mind and dealing with different issues.

“I’m not one to go in and be unkind about anybody - that's the one thing I talk about in the book a lot is kindness so I wouldn't have really been following my own advice if I had gone in on everyone.”

Being plagued by self doubt over the years, she said: “I had massively low self-esteem issues and it's strange actually, in recent years coming back into the music industry and being on stage is what gives me my confidence.

“For so many years where my confidence was low, I think so much of it came from not doing the one thing that gave me confidence.

“I gave all of that up and that's the one thing that I think was what I was sure about and I don't think that was because I thought I was amazing at it, I just loved it. 

“When you love something and you get the opportunity to do it, it's a great feeling which therefore makes your self-esteem feel great. 

“I did go through some rough patches and some things that I know people most probably wouldn't want to talk about, but I think what you see isn't always what you get and I think that goes for everybody in life no matter who you are, what you have. We can't believe everything we see or read, especially on social media."

On craving more than being a stay-at-home mum, she said: “That's always something that, especially as a woman, you never want to admit because it's something that you worry can be frowned upon.

"We live in such a judgmental world where I feel that I have to take every word out of my mouth and look at it without offending everybody or saying something I shouldn't.

“It wasn't enough to me and believe me, my children are my world and I adore them and I admire any woman or dad that loves being at home with their family constantly, but I went to stage school from the age of 11, it was what I love to do, and I got given the opportunity to do it which was even more lucky. And then sort of stopped.

“For a short while it was great. I loved having the normality of knowing what my day bought but as I got older, as the kids got older, as Jamie got busier I started to feel really left behind and my mind just ran away with me. I speak a lot in the book about feeling lonely and that was nobody's fault - it was just how my life sort of turned out.

“I was very lucky. I don't think I was hard done by, I just struggled a little bit with not doing anything and especially as the kids got older, it was just not the way I wanted my life to be and it wasn't what made me happy.

“I like to be my own person and I always have been. Even when I met Jamie, I was very much my own person, I had my own career and somewhere along those lines I felt like I'd just become a bit nothing-y, and that embedded itself quite badly in my mind.

“Maybe I overthought things, but I got it all down on paper and you live and learn. Part of this book is about the lessons I learned and what I should have done differently and maybe things would have been different now.”

Louise admitted being labelled the divorced, regretful woman isn't a badge she wants or needs to wear. She said: “I read every day how regretful I am and it can be upsetting because when I used the word 'regretful' in an interview, I was regretful of how I did it, how I didn't take my time, how I was this very quiet, well-behaved person for 20 years and then I just went crazy for a year. 

“It just all went wrong so I was regretful of that behaviour. I wish that I had just slowed down a little bit and really looked at what was wrong rather than just running, but it is hard because people want me to move on but I feel that people will only be happy when I've met somebody and I'm with somebody.

"It'll be like, okay she can be happy now, but I'd like to portray that I think I could be happy with or without a partner. 

“I think that's my aim here. It shouldn't just be about having to be with a new boyfriend or putting it out there - I just want to be happy and work hard, be with my kids and if that happens, fabulous, but if it doesn't I can still be happy.”

On the split from her 'supercouple' cocoon, she explained: “You never know what someone is going through at home and you never can know their life unless you're walking in their shoes.

"Our life was pretty private but I did feel for some time and even now that if there's something nasty to say it's more likely to be nasty towards me than anybody else, which I've had to learn.

“It was really damaging to read such nasty things especially when your kids were involved and sometimes you want to just scream as loud as you can and tell everybody as much as you can, but you know that it's not going to work either. 

“So, I just tried to hold my head up and I hope in time the love I have for what I do, wanting to get back into the theatre, the music that I love doing... I’ve just got to plough forward and hopefully people can see that I'm me on my own and I'm okay with that.”