Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Could Marvin and Rochelle Humes become the new Eamonn and Ruth?

Ahead of his farewell gig in Belfast, JLS singer Marvin Humes tells Jack Brennan how he'd love to host a hit TV chat show

Marvin hosting This Morning with wife Rochelle

There are a few perks to this job. Sitting in a swanky London bar, sipping on a cocktail, chatting to JLS superstar Marvin Humes is certainly one of them. There are no doubt thousands of teenage girls who would have given anything to swop places with me.

When JLS announced that they were splitting up back in April, thousands of those same girls will have burst into tears and run into their bedrooms screaming that their lives were over. I know, I went through the same trauma when Crowded House broke up in the mid-90s

House frontman Neil Finn may no longer be cool. In fact I don't think there was ever a time when Neil Finn was cool, but one thing is for sure, Marvin Humes is the epitome of the word.

Suave, sophisticated and impeccably dressed ... and that was just me! Marvin on the other hand was on a whole different level of smooth. Wearing a tailor-made blazer, a crisp purple shirt, dark jeans and shoes that sparkled like the night sky.

Even the fact our meeting was primarily arranged so that Marvin could promote a new range of Smirnoff cocktails, the big PR sell didn't stop his naturally friendly personality coming across. JLS is one of the most successful bands to come from the X Factor, even if they were only runners-up in the competition in 2008, coming second to Alexandra Burke.

And Marvin Humes is one of the most popular members of the band, which also includes, Oritse Williams, JB Gill and Aston Merrygold whose mother Siobhan comes from Dunmurry outside Belfast. In fact, her parents still live there. Marvin has a certain charm which puts you at ease as soon as you meet him. I was slightly apprehensive about meeting him. However, I was immediately put at ease by his welcoming smile and hearty handshake.

Although life with JLS is ending, Marvin's career is far from over. For the London-born boy not only has his own radio show on Capital FM, but he will also be co-hosting The Voice on the BBC in January with current Big Brother host Emma Willis. He is also a successful DJ and will be releasing an album next year.

If that isn't enough to make you green with envy, he is married to the stunningly beautiful Rochelle Wiseman (now Humes) from the band The Saturdays, and the couple have a newborn baby daughter.

But the demise of the band and why they decided to call it quits is where we kicked off our remarkably candid interview.

He says: "We've had a fantastic seven years. I like to use the analogy of when Sir Alex Ferguson retired from Manchester United, the fans didn't want to see him go. He retired at the top, he'd just won the league and it was a good time for him to bow out and, for us, we feel like that.

"Our last ever day working as a band is performing at the 02 Arena in London and it doesn't get any better than that. We never wanted to outstay our welcome and ultimately all good things come to an end. We will all support each other moving forward, but we feel that now it's time to call it a day," he adds.

Northern Ireland has provided a backdrop for many fond memories for Marvin and the band throughout their career. And when they visit Belfast for the last time on December 1, as part of their farewell tour, one of Northern Ireland's most famous sons may just be getting a knock on his door from Marvin and the boys.

He explains: "It'll be interesting to see if Rory McIlroy is in town; we're friends with Rory and went to his house a couple of years ago after he had just won the US Open. We'll maybe get a bit of golf in if he is around."

And Rory McIlroy could well be one of the personalities that he and his wife could be interviewing on television if they secure a regular spot hosting This Morning. The couple received rave reviews when they hosted the popular show twice last month standing in for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. And Marvin says that it has been a privilege for him and Rochelle to host the show.

He says: "It's such a massive show, it's a British institution, so many iconic people have been on there, so for us to host it is a big deal for us. It's nice to go to work with my wife. We get to spend some time together and work together, so it's great to be a part of a team now."

And when I ask him if he and Rochelle were planning on being the next Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Marvin says nothing to rubbish the suggestion. Smiling he adds: "We really enjoy it. Obviously there is Eamonn and Ruth who are a husband and wife team too and they do a fantastic job, and we're big fans of theirs. It's not bad to follow in the footsteps of people like that, so who knows?"

The couple recently had their first child together when Rochelle gave birth to Alaia Mai six months ago. And it is when I bring up the topic of his daughter that a bright smile immediately sweeps across his face, and his dark brown eyes light up with pride.

"It's been absolutely incredible, even more than I imagined it would be. I've always loved the idea of children and I've always loved children, but when you have your own and you see that little face every morning, it's just the best thing ever," he says. "Never before have I been excited about getting out of bed at 7am. Now when you're a dad you just can't wait to see your child -- you miss her through the night when you're both asleep."

Back in 2008, long before he and his wife had met, the X Factor was the most popular programme on television. But in recent times the show has lost ground in the battle to win viewers against its rival Strictly Come Dancing. However, Marvin remains passionate about the show that acted as a springboard for the band's fame and fortune.

He says: "For me the X Factor is still one of the biggest shows on TV and it's still causing a lot of people to talk about it, and it's still creating international stars. I think it's a great show and I would never have a bad word to say about it. It's fantastic what it's done for our country."

Given that he is so passionate about the show, it comes as no surprise that he is also a fan of the man who masterminds one of the most popular TV programmes in history, Simon Cowell.

Marvin says: "Simon's a great guy. He gets a lot of stick and I think it's unfair. He's created many opportunities for many people, and many artists in the UK and Ireland have been very successful because of Simon.

"What people don't know about him is that he does a lot for charity and he never shouts and screams about it. He's a very kind man," he adds.

So the curtain is about to fall on the careers of JLS next month. But given that the likes of Take That have got back together in recent times, it only seemed right to ask if JLS might go down a similar path in the future.

Marvin is adamant: "It would be unfair to mislead our fans. At the minute there's no plans to do that. We haven't talked about it at all. For us it's the last time the public get to see us."

So as the band prepares to say goodbye, Marvin's final parting thought is a fitting life motto that will leave us all feeling a little inspired rather than sad as JLS bow out.

He says: "If you think you can't do something then you're not going to do it, and if you think you can then you'll make it happen."

It has certainly worked for him.

Marvin's cocktail for his wife

Rochelle's Sundae

Ingredients:

Smirnoff No21 (35ml)

Cherry juice (100ml can get this in any large supermarket)

Elderflower cordial ( 10ml)

Fresh strawberries -- x 2-3 Fresh Strawbs (or a squeeze of Strawberry Puree instead)

Lime

Pour the Smirnoff, Cherry Juice, Elderflower cordial and the fresh strawberries into a cocktail shaker (or Jam Jar if you don't have a shaker) and lightly shake up and pour over cubed ice into a tall sundae glass. Finish by squeezing a splash of fresh lime on top and a slice of strawberry for garnish.

Inspiration?

Rochelle! The cocktail combines all ingredients that Rochelle loves and is inspired by Marvin's love for her. The sundae glass reminds Marvin of when they first met and enjoyed a drink together -- so the Rochelle Sundae cocktail would be perfect for sharing

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