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Sam Bailey: The X Factor put a strain on my marriage

October 27, 2014
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When Sam Bailey was crowned winner of the X Factor in 2013, she instantly became a household name. But while the show completely changed her fortunes, it also put a big strain on her marriage to husband Craig. In extracts from her autobiography, Dare To Dream – serialised in the Mirror – Sam, 37, opens up about the toll of life in the spotlight.

Sam Bailey2 © Photo: Rex

"The hardest thing was not being able to see my family as and when I wanted," the singer writes. "Worst of all, even after I'd won the show, I wasn't even allowed to spend the night with Craig. He was the one person I wanted to celebrate with more than anyone. "He was absolutely livid because he hadn't had a chance to see me and was almost in tears.

 As soon as I left that stage I was whisked off to do interviews and Craig was left stranded.

"She adds, "Craig was really angry they (he and the children) hadn't got to see me properly. I phoned him and I kept saying to him, 'It's only a week and then I'll be home. Just hang in there.'"

Sam Bailey1 © Photo: Getty Images

The star says she doesn't want to criticise the show which had made her famous, but said it was "very hard" on all the finalists sometimes."

It was devastating saying goodbye to the kids after each live show. I missed them like mad. That became the routine, me saying goodbye and then getting really upset knowing it would be another week before I could hug them. "Sam also recalls one moment backstage when the pressure felt too much – until someone stepped in and showed her support. "It was Harry (Styles) from One Direction who stepped in and saved me," she says. "He saw me crying in the corridor and he pulled me into a dressing room, grabbed me by the shoulders and said, 'I think you're amazing. You're an amazing singer. My mum loves you."

Sam Bailey © Photo: Getty Images

Looking back on her 12 months of fame, Sam says the difficulties she and Craig first faced have only made them stronger. "Having that time apart made us appreciate each other more," writes Sam, who welcomed the couple's third child, Miley, in September. "We had become so busy that we'd almost forgotten how to have fun. We do more fun things together now.

 "We've just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and we're in a better place than ever."

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