Television presenter Carrie Grant and her vocal coach husband David have opened up about their extraordinary family life. The couple – who have been married for almost 30 years – have four children, all of whom have complex needs. Olivia, 23, an actress, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyspraxia. Talia, 16, has Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism) and dyscalculia (difficulty in learning arithmetic). Imogen, 12, is autistic and has ADHD. Nathan, whom David and Carrie adopted as a two-year-old, has attachment issues and ADHD.
Speaking in an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine at their London home, Carrie says: "When we’re together, it can be the most wonderful madness where we’re laughing and bouncing off each other. Or we’re having to deal with behavioural issues because one or more of the children are kicking off. Or one or more is in a really low place and you’re talking them round, giving them the will to live." "But the more people hear about our family, the more empathy they have for us. And if you hang around us for long enough, we’re the kind of family you want to be part of."
Carrie and David Grant are the proud parents of four children
Carrie and David, former Fame Academy and Pop Idol judges, say the issues they deal with put everything into perspective. "It makes it hard to relate to other parents sometimes," says Carrie. "For many, their ambition for their children is to get them through the SATs and some get really stressed. "I’m sure I’d be stressed, too, if that’s all I had to stress about, but when you’re thinking, ‘I don’t know if my child is going to make it through to adulthood,’ that’s a real problem." The family’s busy lifestyle was inspired by David’s upbringing. "He grew up in a traditional Jamaican home where there’s always food on the stove and people popping in. I walked into that culture and thought, ‘I want to embrace this!’"
To read more of the interview with Carrie and David, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday 26 February