More than five years after shooting to fame on The X Factor, Stacey Solomon is still the hilarious woman the country fell in love with. Despite all of her success, the Essex-born singer is more down-to-earth than most in her position and doesn't take anything for granted.
We caught up with 26-year-old at Champneys Spa Hotel, where she and boyfriend Joe Swash were supporting Nadiya Hussain at the launch of her afternoon tea collaboration – and, while star-studded events are part of normal life for them now, the loved-up couple were still as excited as ever.
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Despite the rain, Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash were in high spirits
"It's so lovely here!" Stacey laughs, during an exclusive chat with HELLO! Online. "Joe and I both have children so there's rarely a day when we're child-free. This is like a real treat for us!"
Stacey and former EastEnders actor Joe, 34, confirmed their relationship in January and, at the time, insisted they were taking it slow. But when we ask Stacey about their blossoming romance, beaming, she replies: "It's going really, really well. I'm so happy. Everyone says we're made for each other and it's been eight months of people saying, 'Why didn't we think of that?' and I'm like, 'I didn't even think of it, so why would you?'"
The loved-up couple had a fun day out at Champneys Spa Hotel
In 2008, Joe was crowned King of the I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here jungle and, just two years later, Stacey became Queen, so it seems only fitting that they've finally ended up together.
She continues: "We are like the same person, we come from really similar backgrounds and we've got so much in common. He's absolutely lovely, I'm so lucky."
Life for Stacey has been a whirlwind since making it to the semi-finals of The X Factor, but she's still got her feet firmly on the ground. "My life is still the same," she insists. "I have the same friends, the same family, I still live in the same area that I grew up in.
Although it's changed their lives, Stacey doesn't want her children to affected by her fame
"The only difference is now I can do things that I never would have dreamt of doing before. Mainly it's being able to take my children to amazing places in the world, and things like having a house that I would never have been able to buy otherwise! It's just created some amazing opportunities for me and for my children."
Stacey is mum to sons Zachary and Leighton and, unsurprisingly, they're as unfazed by fame as she is. "My youngest, Leighton, is four and my eldest, Zachary, is eight," she explains. Of course Zachary sees me on the TV but I don't think he associates that with being famous. He thinks some people are firemen, and some people are on the telly!
"I don't make a big deal out of it because you never know where life is going to take you. Who knows if tomorrow I'll get another job? So I don't want 'fame' to become a big deal to my children, and have them growing up thinking it's the be all and end all."