In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with Hello! magazine, presenter Ulrika Jonsson says she decided to become a stay-at-home mother to her four children after realising that the television landscape had totally changed.
Ahead of appearing on Celebrity Masterchef, Ulrika said: “I didn’t understand it any more and wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of it. I’m old school and had trained to be a presenter, but suddenly everyone on social media thought they could perform that role too. There were also so many commercial TV channels and more trashy shows. Although I love watching them, I didn’t want to be part of them. At a time when I was eager to make documentaries on travel, cooking and serious human interest issues, it felt like quality on every level was being watered down.”
Ulrika at home with her children
But she is now making a return to the world of television, taking part in the latest series of Celebrity Masterchef – a decision she made, she says, in part because she was about to turn 50. “As my 50th loomed, I had this feeling that if I didn’t go on MasterChef now, I probably never would,” explains Ulrika.
“After a break of many years from TV, it seemed like the right time and place to dip back into it. And it gave me the opportunity to introduce a Swedish flavour to the mix. I wanted to show there’s more to Swedish food than Ikea meatballs.”
And she also told Hello! that she is happy to age gracefully. “I don’t belong to the group of women who drink coconut water and do yoga and Pilates, or the ones who do a lot of things to their faces. If anything I’ve put weight on; my cheeks look like balloons. But I was too skinny before because I didn’t feel like eating when I was in agony over my back problem [Ulrika suffers from a degenerative disc condition]. Some people assumed I had an eating disorder but nothing can have been further from the truth. Now I manage the pain and love my food.”
To read more of the interview with Ulrika, pick up the latest copy of Hello! magazine.