Actress and former Strictly Come Dancing star Catherine Tyldesley is calling for a "huge pay rise" for teachers as well as NHS staff in an exclusive interview in HELLO! magazine with her husband Tom Pitfield and their five-year-old son Alfie.
"Like our NHS heroes, teachers deserve a huge pay rise. Alfie's teacher has been phenomenal, still there for us every day online and with lesson plans for the class. Alfie will happily do his work for his teacher, but when it comes to Mummy it’s a different thing. I was joking with her the other day, saying: 'You know Alfie will return to school illiterate but he will know the full vocal score to Annie and Les Misérables!'"
Catherine says son Alfie's favourite time of day is "kitchen disco"
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One of the highlights of their days in lockdown is kitchen disco. "It’s one of Alfie’s favourite times of the day," says Catherine, though she adds that his dad Tom’s attempts at ballroom are still not making the grade. "I tried teaching him the Charleston the other day. I wish I had filmed it because it was hysterical."
The exclusive family photographs in HELLO! have been taken by former personal trainer Tom, who is now a professional photographer. In the interview she credits 34-year-old Tom, whom she married in 2016, with keeping them fit. "I tell him he’s Wigan’s answer to Joe Wicks. He’s fantastic."
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The 36-year-old former Coronation Street and Scarborough actress also shares her tips for keeping sane during this difficult time which include keeping to a timetable each day. "Although it’s nice to have the odd lazy afternoon, I think that when you lose routine, mental health issues could start to creep in. To keep me sane every day I like to have a schedule. I find I function better as a person and as a mother if I have structure to my day."
Catherine should have been busy filming a new TV drama now but it is on hold while the country is in lockdown. She knows how tough it is for everyone in the industry. "It is a really scary time. I have so many friends with no work at all now."
To read the full interview with Catherine, see the latest issue of HELLO!, out on Monday