Amanda Holden

There She Glows…

31st July 2015

From girl next door to international style icon, Amanda Holden’s star just keeps getting bigger and brighter. Al Gordon discovers her top health and beauty secrets…

Back in 2007 when Britain’s Got Talent first hit TV screens, few could have predicted that, nine series later, it would still be a Saturday night staple and that it would give us one of Britain’s biggest stars. No, not Pudsey the performing dog, or street dancers Diversity, but one of the judges: Amanda Holden, who has become a British sweetheart. Proving that age is irrelevant, at 44 she is more lovely and luminous than ever, although she’s quick not to take credit for it. “Well… that’s down to one man and one man only, and that’s my make-up artist Christian Vermaak. He also does Kylie’s make-up. He’s incredible,” she smiles, and adds, “I also think that other women being incredibly supportive and positive has boosted my confidence.”

Part of Amanda’s success lies in the way in which almost every woman can relate to her. The public have watched her flourish as she overcame heartbreak from a very public marriage breakdown to comedian Les Dennis, for example, and been party to her devastation at the stillbirth of a son, her second child with husband record producer Chris Hughes. The couple now have two daughters: Hollie, who’s nine, and Alexa, three. It is Chris’s love and devotion that Amanda credits with boosting her body confidence – albeit in an unusual way; “I’ve got a fantastic husband who does things like make up songs about my bum! He makes them up on his guitar. I’m in a really good position where I’ve got lots of support so if you have that, you feel good on the inside.”

Recently announced as the new face of Alpen, she is keen to champion their 21 day challenge: have Alpen for breakfast for three weeks, and see how it changes your life. “I’ve been eating Alpen for years and in my head I always think that if I have a bowl of it (I always have the no-added sugar one) I’ve done something good for myself.” She’s very ‘on message’ about this, keen to tell me how she eats hers (with bananas or raspberries and mostly with yoghurt and no milk at all), and to push the idea that “we’re helping people to create brighter mornings and start your day with a bowl of sunshine”.

It is at least refreshing to see a celebrity endorsing something that’s not merely a product that makes you look better but something that perpetuates a healthy lifestyle choice to make busy days easier. “I don’t want to preach to people. I’m a busy working mummy like half the people who are going to be reading this, and I hate hearing about those celebrities who are skinny but they eat Big Macs. We all have to work at it. But this is the way forward – have a little bit of something you love but if you start your day like this then you’re on your way.”

A woman is not made on muesli alone though, surely when a new season of BGT is around the corner she must ramp up her exercise regime to fit into those breath-taking dresses every week?

“I do Kundalini yoga, which I absolutely love. It involves a lot of breath work and stretching and I have a lady who comes to my house for that. That in itself is even lazy because I don’t have to go anywhere to do it; she comes to me.” She confesses that since she began presenting This Morning, as maternity cover for Holly Willoughby, her exercise regime has “gone to pot” and credits a good attitude to food as the real secret to her success. “I don’t believe in diets. I just believe in a good, balanced diet and a little bit of everything is a good thing. I indulge one day and then I don’t the next, but on the days I indulge I eat everything! Chocolate, sweets, butter, cheese. But the next day I’ll just have my muesli and my soup or a wrap.”

Even the most body confident person must surely have off-days, but Holden insists that she doesn’t let superficial pressures get to her. “I never get upset about the way I look,” she says. “I’m more likely to if there’s something going on with the children or if a person has disappointed me. That’s what gets me upset. I just do my ‘breath of fire’ and lots of breathing exercises that I’ve learnt from yoga. Oh, and a big glass of red wine always helps!”

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