Sally Wood welcomed HELLO! magazine into the new home she shares with her Rolling Stones husband Ronnie and their two-year-old twins Alice and Gracie. And in the exclusive interview, Sally revealed that the couple have never been happier. "Ronnie and I are so happy with life," Sally shared in September 2018. "We're very grateful for everything we have." The 40-year-old opened up about her girls personalities, saying: "Alice wants to draw all the time, whereas Gracie is musical. She's big on singing and will work her way through her favourite songs, from London Bridge is Falling Down to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In the car we listen to North Star from the Peppa Pig album on a loop."
Despite their tender age, the talented double act are already regular visitors at Daddy’s recording studio. "They love it there," shared the theatre producer, whose latest London musical recently Wasted opened, giving a rock'n'roll slant to the story of the Brontë sisters. "They wear their little ear defenders and he lets them press all the buttons on the sound desk." She added: "The girls definitely have him wrapped around their little fingers. A few nights ago, when Alice threw a toy out of her cot, I heard Gracie on the sleep monitor say, 'Don't worry, Alice, Daddy will come and get that.' He's so sweet with them and they know they can get what they want from him. 'I'll go and check on them,' he'll say at bedtime, and before we know it, he's lifted them out of their cots and they're running around in different directions."
Sally Wood spoke out about her two-year-old twins Alice and Gracie
The lively twins – who were born two days before Ronnie’s 69th birthday – certainly kept the first-time mum and the father-of-six on their toes. "They're amazing, so chatty, funny and full of energy," said Sally. "When we visited India for my 40th birthday, they were so excited that they stayed awake for the entire flight, dashing around and trying to push every button." She continued: "As they get older, the girls are beginning to look more alike than ever. People have been asking if we'd like more children and yes of course we would; children are wonderful. If it happened it would be a blessing, but until then our lovely girls are more than enough."
Sally and Ronnie, who have spent only three nights away from the twins since they were born, have juggled their busy schedules to look after the girls themselves, with the help of Sally's younger brother, 36-year-old writer Geraint Humphreys. However, their domestic happiness was shattered just before the twins' first birthday when Ronnie – who quit his 40-a-day smoking habit three years ago – was diagnosed with lung cancer. The former fast-living rocker had an operation to remove the tumour and, after a check-up in March, was given the all-clear.
"Ronnie's cancer was huge for us and showed you can't control what happens in your life," Sally explained. "We dealt with it over a short space of time, but many people aren't as fortunate as us; they go through it for years. Ronnie's very focused on his health, which compared to his past is a massive turnaround. He doesn’t smoke or drink and neither do I. To keep himself on this path he reads a lot of meditation books – they’re by the bed, in the car, at his studio, and on his Kindle – and are very important to him for motivation and spiritual inspiration. He reads a page a day and will often say: 'Sall, this is a good one; have a read of that.'"
The rocker, who recently performed with the Rolling Stones in their sell-out No Filter tour, is now back in his art studio, painting exotic animals and landscapes that have inspired him. His most recent creation is a painted rhino sculpture, which he made to raise awareness of the endangered species in support of the new Tusk Rhino Trail campaign. Ronnie and Sally were invited by the conservation charity to take tea at Kensington Palace with its royal patron the Duke of Cambridge. In fact, it's an exciting time all round for theatre producer Sally, having just raised the curtain at Southwark Playhouse on her latest labour of love, Wasted. Featuring a small but dynamic cast of four plus four musicians, it tells the story of 19th-century novelists the Brontës, with a vibrant modern twist.
"The show is a rock musical with songs that will make you want to laugh, dance and cry," she said. "Some people assume the Brontës were dusty, old-fashioned writers in corsets and bonnets, when in fact they were anything but that. They were extraordinarily talented, radical and visionary - feminist icons who were ahead of their time. In an age when they were being told they shouldn't write books but get married and have children, instead they defied convention and gave a voice to women who were being silenced. They spoke with an unfiltered, uncensored passion. When they published their novels under male pseudonyms, reviewers said that they were so intense, vivid and unchristian that women shouldn't read them."
One member of the audience is already impressed, and of course, it is her proud husband Ronnie. "He's very supportive," gushed Sally. "He came to rehearsals with the twins and has enjoyed listening to the songs and tracks. Since then he’s been telling everyone all about it." It was their love for theatre and art that first brought the couple together. Ronnie was staging an art exhibition at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane when he met Sally, who worked at the famous London landmark, 12 years ago. They became close friends before tying the knot in 2012 and last year celebrated a renewal of their wedding vows by attending the opening night of the West End and Broadway hit Hamilton.
A passion for the arts has always played a major role in Sally's life. She was brought up in Birmingham by musical parents - her father Edward played cello and her mother Alison the flute in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. After attending King Edward VI Handsworth School, where she was head girl, she went on to study drama at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. "It's important for me to work – I'd never give it up – and it's important for the twins to see me do it," continued Sally, who is also chairman of the charity gala for North London's Roundhouse Theatre.
"I would never have expected to marry someone as well-known as Ronnie, but I did, and despite that, I'm still the same person I was before. I haven’t got swept into a different lifestyle, or expected him to use his influence or money to bankroll my career. Everything I've achieved is my own work and it's true to me." Another passion of Sally's is creating treats for her theatrically inspired confectionery company Sweet Theatre, which makes chocolate bars named after characters from famous plays and novels.
Her latest additions to the range are Brontë bars named Anne, Charlotte, Emily and Branwell, which she will present to the cast of Wasted as gifts. "I try out all my chocolate on Ronnie," she said. "He can eat anything and still stay slim. I've always loved confectionery and baking. Ever since I was 14, I've been baking wedding and birthday cakes, and it's become a hobby that's out of control. Alice and Gracie enjoy baking cupcakes with me, too. It's a creative, messy, relaxed household."
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