Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Weekend

'Everyone thinks that they're like supermum ... they're not'

Tears, tantrums and holidays ... Georgia Humphreys meets the stars of The Mummy Diaries, sisters Sam and Billie Faiers, of Towie fame

Sam and Billie Faiers' latest TV venture, The Mummy Diaries, is a long way from their The Only Way Is Essex (Towie) roots. These days, the blonde duo, who became household names on the long-running reality show, are more likely to be changing nappies and organising play dates than partying in the famed Sugar Hut.

The glamorous siblings are getting used to their new roles. Sam, who is mum to two-year-old Paul and three-month-old Rosie, has been the star of The Mummy Diaries for two successful series.

But this, the third run, is the first time Billie, mum to Nelly (3) and Arthur (12 months), will take a leading role.

In the first episode of the new series, viewers will see Sam talk openly about her nerves ahead of her new baby arriving. How did she find the adjustment in the end?

"I mean, it did throw me," admits the 27-year-old, who met her partner, property developer Paul Knightley, three years ago.

"The first month was hard. I didn't really leave the house at all. You think, 'How am I ever going to get through it?' But you do.

"I'm getting the hang of it now, and I think in another three months, it will be even easier."

The sisters have a huge fanbase - Sam describes the experience of how excited people were to find out Rosie's name (they revealed it a month after she was born) as "overwhelming".

But even though they're in the spotlight, the down-to-earth mums want their fans to find The Mummy Diaries relatable.

"We want people to see that we don't have nannies and extra help - we're just doing it ourselves," says 28-year-old Billie, who is no stranger to the show, having made guest appearances in previous series.

"Okay, we might do photoshoots instead of going to a normal office job, but you're still juggling having family and life at home and working."

From big decisions about their business ventures to home water births and Billie's wedding plans (she's engaged to businessman Greg Shepherd), there's no holding back when it comes to what the Faiers discuss and show on-screen.

"People always ask, 'It must be stressful?'" says Sam of opening up her new Hertfordshire home to the cameras. "But it's allowing us to work, have an income, but then still be mums and spend time with our family. That's what's so attractive for me. And, at the end of it, it gives us an amazing home movie to have for ever."

With more a million followers each on Instagram, where the sisters regularly post adorable snaps and videos of their kids, the show isn't the only way fans have an insight into the world of the Faiers.

Sam, who rose to fame at 19 after joining Towie, insists she doesn't feel concerned about sharing so much of their lives on social media, even though she's been the target of online trolls before.

"I'm just really proud of my kids. You get such lovely pictures and you just want to share them - 99% of the time, people are really nice and positive and happy, and I feel 1% of people can be negative.

"I just block and delete their comments. I don't even let them have the satisfaction of having people arguing with them on my page."

Social media does annoy the pair, however, when people use it to share their opinions on how to parent.

"Everyone thinks that they're supermum and that what they're saying is right, but at the end of the day, it's not," declares Sam.

Looking at her older sister, she continues ardently: "Every mum has their individual way of doing things - we're not the same mum, are we?

"We do things differently, but it works for Billie and it works for me, so it's really annoying when people come in and they're judgemental."

When asked to name their favourite thing about doing The Mummy Diaries together, the savvy pair are refreshingly honest.

As well as the benefits they've already touched upon, they hope it will help them grow their businesses, which include their Essex store, Minnies Boutique, numerous other fashion and beauty collections and online fitness websites.

"We've entered a whole new market since having kids - the mum market," says Sam. "It's about growing our brand individually as families and together as sisters. It's going to open, hopefully, more doors to us."

Billie turns to Sam, whom she lovingly calls "Manth", with a smile as she adds: "And, obviously, everything we do, we always say to each other, 'it is for our kids'."

The Mummy Diaries is on ITVBe on Wednesday at 9pm

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