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It's so weird to be snapped as I go to buy milk, says Christine Bleakley

By Stephanie Bell

Christine Bleakley has revealed how she struggles to cope with the everyday attention from paparazzi.

The Co Down star flew into Dublin yesterday and was looking relaxed and radiant despite a tough week of nasty comments following her Dancing On Ice debut last Sunday.

In one of her frankest interviews yet, Christine also revealed her feelings on becoming a step-mum to Frank's two daughters and what it is like to be a household name.

Being stalked by photographers is one aspect of her new celebrity status that Christine is finding difficult to deal with.

Just this week she left the Dancing On Ice studios and found herself being followed by two men on a bike and a car.

She said: "I have had them sitting outside my flat and you just never know when they are going to appear.

"I will never find that terribly comfortable, there is no other way of describing it than odd.

"I understand it is a byproduct of what you do but it is a strange way to live, getting your picture taken when you nip out for a pint of milk and then reading headlines that you weren't looking your best. I mean, what's that about? Do you have to make yourself picture perfect every time you leave the house?"

She also confessed to being a bag of nerves last week as she joined Phillip Schofield to co-present one of TV's biggest-rated shows.

"I was so nervous about the whole thing as it's such a massive show. When you arrive at the studio it is a huge set-up, like nothing I've done before," she said.

"There is this great big ice rink, the audience starts filtering in and there are 100 cameras pointing at you and Phillip Schofield, a TV legend, standing beside you.

"I almost had to pinch myself. But even though I was a bundle of nerves, I really, really enjoyed it."

While Christine said she was overwhelmed by good wishes after the show, some viewers didn't hold back on their criticism of the local girl, slamming everything from her appearance and accent to her presenting style.

Labelling her "wooden", "rigid" and "dull", the faceless Twitter critics failed to upset the presenter who simply shrugged it off.

"There will always be people who want to be bitchy, but if you worry about it you will never get anywhere," said Christine.

"To be honest, I have had nothing but lovely messages sent to me. I got some fantastic comments after the show and I would prefer to focus on that.

"I also got a lot of support from people at home and that means more than anything."

Christine's wedding plans have been the subject of intense media speculation and she recently said she has not given any thought to the details of her big day.

With her Premier League boyfriend Frank Lampard playing in the Euro 2012 championships this summer and then starting pre-season training with Chelsea in America, setting a date is proving difficult.

And with the summer ruled out due to Frank's football commitments, Christine hinted: "It's to do with timing, and if we were to do it sooner rather than later then it will have to be a last-minute thing.

"I'd prefer to do it sooner, but at the minute we just don't know."

Asked if she will marry at home, she said she would love to but again couldn't say for sure - but did finally quash rumours that she and Frank had been looking at the Galgorm Manor as a venue.

"I haven't set foot in the Galgorm for nine years, and as for the rumour that I have paid someone to move their wedding date so that we could have the venue, there is not a shred of truth in any of that. It's hard to believe that anyone would think I would be cheeky enough to push some poor girl into changing her wedding date."

Christine and Frank were recently photographed for the first time together with Frank's two girls, Luna (6) and Isla (4).

To protect the girls from getting hurt, Christine dated Frank for nearly a year before she agreed to meet them.

Now she adores the little girls who will soon be her step-daughters.

She said: "I was very, very conscious about them getting hurt and I didn't want to step into their lives and suddenly Frank and I break up. When I did meet them we just took little baby steps in getting to know each other.

"Now they spend most of their time with us and we had them for a whole month over Christmas.

"They are great little girls and it all feels so normal now, and so being their step-mum will be no different."

It is her reputation for being down to earth rather than a diva which has helped make Christine so popular with national TV audiences.

The term 'celebrity' is something which doesn't sit comfortably with this very grounded star.

She said: "The second you start to think too much about those things you're in danger of getting caught up in your own hype and that's the road to nowhere.

"I just see myself as having a brilliant job which I love so much. My life is pretty normal, I do my own ironing and things - I think it's all about perspective. Frank is the same, and even though he has been in London for years he still gets excited about being here. Both of us have moments when we can't quite believe we are here, and neither of us ever want to lose that."

Belfast Telegraph


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