By Amy Hunt
Ever since her successful stint on Strictly came to an end in December last year, the rumour mill has been rife with speculation that Louise Redknapp had split from her husband of almost 20 years, Jamie.
The pair have refrained from commenting on the speculation for months, but have regularly spotted out and about still sporting their wedding rings.
But now, for the first time, Louise has spoken honestly about the pair's split rumours.
In a heartfelt interview with The Telegraph, the singer opened up about the speculation, and honestly addressed the rumours that she and Jamie had gone their separate ways.
In the surprisingly candid interview, she confirmed that the pair are in fact living separately. So why, and how, did it all fall apart?
Appearing to confirm that their separation came about because of her time on Strictly, Louise spoke about how her return to performing left her feeling like the person she used to be - before getting married and having children.
While on the show, she admitted that, "I could feel myself changing week by week.
"Sometimes I felt like crying because deep down inside me this voice was screaming 'This is what I have been missing!'"
She also credited her Strictly co-star - and now close friend - Daisy Lowe - with helping her to regain some much-needed confidence.
Speaking about the famously skimpy Strictly outfits, Louise also revealed that she needed a bit of encouragement to try them out - but that one she did, she discovered a new-found confidence.
She explained how, one day, Daisy marched into her dressing room, and said, "Oh, my God look at your gorgeous body. You have to wear a sexy dress."
Louise continued, "She kept on at me to wear something sexy and by week three, I was in a leotard and tights not feeling self-conscious at all."
During the honest interview, Louise also reveals how the Strictly experience helped her realise she didn't want to be a ‘Stepford wife' any longer, after quitting her career in the entertainment industry in order to have her children, Charley, 13 and Beau, 8, and to care for her husband, home, and family.
She said, "I have spent most of my life pleasing everyone else, worrying about being judged and thinking I should always do the right thing by staying at home, looking after my kids and my husband. I lost myself.
"I became a sort of Stepford Wife, wanting to be perfect at it."
But she admitted that tensions first started to brew when husband Jamie ended his football career, and found himself presenting TV shows.
Louise has revealed that the transition stung, as it seemed he was now living the life she used to have. She confessed, "I was proud of him, but there was part of me thinking 'that's my world'.
"I could see the excitement he got out of it and I knew how that felt. But it wasn't me feeling it anymore."
Continuing, she admitted that Strictly prompted her to realise that she was tired of life as it was before.
"It was only when I agreed to do Strictly Come Dancing that I realised I couldn't just go back to that.
"I wanted to sing, I wanted to perform. I wanted to go back to work on a stage in front of an audience.
"I actually felt physically sick at the idea that I'd never have that buzz again, that fulfilment I get from performing. And that is when the shit hit the fan. No one could understand why it was so desperately important to me."
However, Louise admitted that she still loves Jamie, and despite difficulty, the pair aren't yet pushing for a divorce.
"It's so hard because I love him.
"He's an amazing man and we've had 20 good years together. I know he's trying to understand that I do need to do this. "
Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.
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