In an exclusive interview and photoshoot for HELLO! magazine, Alexandra Burke revealed that she is too busy to plan her wedding. The X Factor winner got engaged to stage manager Joshua Ginnelly just over a year ago. But the couple have still not managed to book a date for their nuptials as their careers are so busy. "I always did say it wouldn’t happen in 2019 because I knew I wanted to work and there’s a lot more that I want to do before I get married," Alexandra, who began dating Josh in April 2016, told HELLO! in January 2019. "It's about enjoying this moment in life – we want to travel a little bit more before settling down. And there's no time to plan anything! I’m not handing over my life to a wedding planner as I want to be a part of it all and make sure that Josh and I are happy with everything."
Alexandra Burke and Joshua Ginnelly plan to travel before they get married
The couple spent Christmas working on The Bodyguard in Glasgow, but Alexandra said their different schedules meant it was harder for them to link up. "I never saw him," she said. "I didn't realise how stressful it was for people taking a set on tour and making sure it opens up on time. There's a lot of pressure for him. His hours were different to mine because he had to go in earlier so I never really saw him apart from weekends – which is better than nothing. It’s very strange; I see him more when I don't work with him."
It's hard to believe that it is ten years since Alexandra first found fame by winning The X Factor. In the past decade, the talented London-born performer has successfully fought to keep her name in lights. Along the way, she has fallen in love with health and fitness. Exercise is now a big part of her life, with gym visits six days a week. It is, she said, her addiction. "My drug is fitness and a healthy lifestyle, my drug is going on stage and performing and hopefully seeing the audience smile. I live off that and it makes me feel good. Living a healthy lifestyle keeps my anxiety under control. If I ever feel frustrated or down, I go to thegym and it allows me to release any tension I’ve built up – so that is my therapy, both physically and mentally."
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She's now a motivational coach for SlimFast, supporting its new #SmashItChallenge to champion the power of positive thinking. It’s not hard to see why the upbeat, hard-working Alexandra, who has worked with the brand as a celebrity weight-loss ambassador for four years, was a natural choice for this role, encouraging slimmers to stay on track. She initially used the plan to lose weight – shedding two stone following the SlimFast 3.2.1 Plan – but is now on a maintenance programme, drinking one of their shakes per day as a meal replacement. "My mum told me about SlimFast because she used to do it in the '90s," said the star, who sadly lost her mother, Soul II Soul singer Melissa Bell, in 2017. "I’ve kept to the diet and it has worked wonders for me. My new role is to inspire others to be positive about their journey because I see SlimFast as such a positive thing in my life. It has changed my life completely for the better. I want to tell people it can do the same for them." She said she was chosen as a motivational coach because of her sunny outlook. "Because I’m so positive, whenever I go through anything I try and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember when I wasn’t confident and that is not a nice place to be in – or what life should be about."
The couple started dating in April 2016
After fulfilling her commitment in The Bodyguard, which will take her up to 2020 and includes a tour of Japan later this year, Alexandra plans to scale back her performing roles. "If I'm honest, this will probably be my last one for a while," she says. "I want to concentrate on other things and, as much as I love theatre, you don’t have time for anything else. Theatre is a long commitment and my hat goes off to anyone who does it because it’s hard and you have to invest all your time. It’s time to maybe take a break from theatre and put my music first." She added: "I'm a firm believer in what’s meant to be will be and what isn’t will pass you by." Perhaps she will finally have time to plan her wedding...
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