Helen Flanagan may be a mum of three young children, but if rumours are to be believed, she’s made time in her schedule to take part in I’m A Celebrity All Stars, which will see some of our favourite celebrities from the past 20 years have another go at roughing it in the great outdoors.
The likes of Joe Swash, Myleene Klass, Georgia Toffolo, Carol Vorderman and Paul Burrell are thought to have already started filming the show in South Africa, although it won’t hit our screens until next year – and last week Helen was spotted arriving back at Heathrow Airport with Carol, Paul and Dean Gaffney.
While she remains tight-lipped about her return to the jungle when she speaks to new , the 32-year-old actress recalls her first stint in the show in 2012, when she famously had to do seven Bushtucker Trials in a row.
“There were parts of the show that I loved, but obviously I really, really struggled with all the trials and the challenges when I was younger,” Helen says.
“I didn’t have any idea what I was letting myself in for. Obviously the show was a massive show, but I was always working at Corrie, so I didn’t really watch it too much or I was revising or doing exams and stuff.
"I didn’t realise that the show would be such a challenge, so I was totally unprepared.”
On top of her potential involvement in the All Star series, Helen has had her hands full arranging her wedding to footballer Scott Sinclair, who she became engaged to in 2018.
She admits she has been “so picky” about choosing a venue, but she has found somewhere she likes. “I’ve changed my mind a lot on the venue, but I’ve managed to find one I’m really happy with now,” she says.
Helen and Scott, 33, have been together since 2009 and have three children – Matilda, seven, Delilah, four and 18-month-old Charlie – and it’s because of the children that Helen would like to tie the knot. “It would be a nice day for the kids,” she says.
“I’ve been with Scott ever since I was 19 and I’m 32 now. We’ve been engaged for ages, we’ve got children, so we already feel like we’re married.”
Scott proposed to Helen during a trip to Disneyland Paris in 2018, a few weeks before Delilah was born, and she proudly tells us they are happier than ever.
“I suppose it’s just with some couples you just click like that,” Helen says. “You’ve got to be quite similar – and we’ve got our children and they’re amazing.”
Now an ambassador for skincare brand Florena, the actress is acutely aware her children may be influenced by social media images in the future.
“I don’t edit or filter any of my pictures on social media,” she says. “I’m a mum, I’ve got two daughters, so I like to keep everything really real.
"I had Matilda when I was 24, so I’ve really grown together with her. You do want to be a good example to your daughters and watch what you say.”
While Helen clearly cherishes being a mum – “you’ve got to treasure every moment, they just grow so quick” – she is almost certain she won’t be having any more children in the future, as her previous pregnancies have been complicated by a medical condition that can cause severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss.
“I had hyperemesis gravidarum in all my pregnancies,” she says. “I was hospitalized with Charlie.
"The condition gets worse with every pregnancy. So it would be very, very unlikely that I would have a baby.
"If I was ever to have a baby again, it would not be for a very long time, just because you can’t do anything when you have hyperemesis.
"I had to move in with my mum and dad because Scott had training and someone had to take the girls, as I was literally bedbound for around four months. I had such guilt even though I couldn’t help it and it wasn’t my fault.”
Helen is happy to open up about the condition because she believes people need to be more aware of it.
“I was so poorly with it that I wasn’t able to be a normal mum,” she adds. “I couldn’t take them to school, I couldn’t drive.
"It’s tough mentally as well. It’s nice to talk about it because I do still get a lot of messages about it. Because a lot of women do struggle with this and there’s not enough awareness about it.”
So now that her pregnancy days are behind are, would Helen consider a return to Weatherfield?
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She first appeared in the soap as Rosie Webster in January 2000 and stayed at Coronation Street until 2012, during which time she was nominated for British Soap Awards for Best Dramatic Performance From A Young Actor and Villain Of The Year.
Helen then returned to the soap in 2017 before leaving in June 2018, just before Delilah was born.
“I’d love to go back to Coronation Street at some point,” she says.
“I think it’s obvious that everything I do work-wise just works around the kids. So yeah, probably when Charlie gets a little bit older, maybe.
"But I think while he’s young and Charlie’s like my last – unless I have another one when I’m a lot older. So I really want to enjoy that baby stage. I don’t want to miss out.”
Helen Flanagan is an ambassador for Florena Fermented Skincare. Florena is available in Boots stores and online at boots.com.
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