Inside Rebecca Loos’ very different life as she puts wild party days behind her and is now COVID tester living in Norway

If you haven’t heard the name Rebecca Loos in a while, you’re not alone. Once a gossip-column regular, she found infamy as a tabloid darling and lad-mag favourite in the mid-noughties.

But fast-forward 12 years and Rebecca is as far removed from the limelight as you can get and is giving OK! VIP club members an exclusive insight into her new life. Now a devoted mum to sons Magnus, 11, and Liam, nine, she is married to Norwegian doctor Sven Christjar Skaiaa and has become a yoga teacher and trained medical assistant, working on the front line at home in Oslo as a Covid tester.

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You’re more likely to see her walking her beloved dogs than indulging in the trappings of celebrity life now. But that’s exactly the way Rebecca, 43, likes it. “Life evolves and changes and you just ride those waves”, she says as we enjoy a video chat after our at-home shoot with her boys. “I’m in a wonderful place right now.”

The former sports agent, who is now fluent in Norwegian (“When you move to a country you should integrate in their culture,” she says), is charming and stunning. Even on a Zoom call, she has an obvious glow – no doubt down to her yoga, vegetarian diet (“I love animals and simply cannot eat beings I love,” she insists) and “outdoorsy” lifestyle.

And she is surprisingly open about her history. Rebecca is perfectly happy to look back at the time she spent in the spotlight – including appearances on The Farm, Celebrity X Factor and Love Island – and tell us she’s honest with her sons about her past.

Here, she reveals how having children changed her life, why she should have sought advice from her cousin, Piers Morgan, and how serving on the pandemic’s front line is her most rewarding job yet.

Rebecca, your life seems so calm and peaceful!

It’s not always that peaceful! [Laughs] Married life, two kids and two dogs – mind you, it’s peaceful in a different way to how my life was before!

Well, indeed. You seem settled.

I am. I have a Norwegian husband and the boys are at really nice ages. I’m enjoying every moment before the teenage hormones kick in! We have a very active, outdoorsy life. Liam and Magnus are very sporty and there’s a lot of focus on nature, which is important to me. Norway really is a wonderful place to bring my children up and I think it’s the best thing for them, to appreciate the outdoors.

And tell us about Sven…

I met him on reality show 71 Degrees North in 2008. I almost didn’t go, as I figured I’d done enough reality TV, but I liked the idea of filming in Norway. It was like Survivor and he was the doctor on set. We met through reality TV, which seems mad now when you look at our lives together!

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Was it love at first sight?

I was blown away by how handsome he was. But I didn’t have the nerve to talk to him. And about a week into the shooting he left. My heart sank! But that same evening, I was voted off. So I left feeling down as I had a crush on this guy I was never going to see again. But the next morning at the airport, he was there! After check-in, the photographer I was travelling with invited me out for a cigarette. I said yes, as back then I smoked a bit, but changed my mind and went back in to the security queue. And who’s in front of me? Sven! We got talking and he asked me out. It was fate.

When did you decide you wanted to start a family?

I got pregnant quite early on, accidentally. I was 31 and I told Sven he didn’t need to be a part of it. I had a good life in London, I didn’t need him financially and I didn’t want him to feel trapped. I felt terrible about it! He had so many things planned that year and there I was, pregnant. He said he wanted to make it work, as long as he didn’t have to move to London. So I agreed to move here.

Was leaving London a wrench?

I loved being in London but I was happy to go for it. After 10 years there I figured I was meant to try something new. Some of my London friends were against it. They warned me not to move without a ring on my finger, one that was at least three carats. That is so not who I am and it wasn’t what was important.

Did you fall out with them as a result?

No, but I was the first of my friends to get pregnant. Some of us did eventually drift apart.

Were they showbiz pals?

My showbiz friends were not the people I would’ve called first in that situation [laughs]! I’m still in touch with a few people from reality shows on social media and I head back to London at least twice a year to catch up with my closest friends.

And now life is completely different!

Ha, it is! I’m a vegetarian,I teach yoga, I like to go to bed really early and wake up early. I used to leave the house at 9pm and come home at 6am. Now I’m in bed by 9pm and up at 6am! My life has literally turned around. We’re forever evolving and that was a nice phase in my late twenties. It had ups and downs but when motherhood came along, life changed. It was a gift to move here. I have different priorities.

Do you have any regrets about that time?

Oh, tons! I made a lot of bad decisions, I trusted a lot of people I shouldn’t have.


Do you have any examples?

There’s Celebrity X Factor. I met the producers and was told it was all for charity, so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t sing, it’s about having fun. So I was like, “Great! Sign me up!” And I get to rehearsals and there were bloody opera singers there! I was paired with [Princess Diana’s former lover] James Hewitt and we chose our song but the producers told us we had to sing Addicted To Love. I mean, come on. James Hewitt and Rebecca Loos singing Addicted To Love? They were obviously doing it for a reason. But by then, I’d signed the contract. And that was a small example of something I went through a lot. In The Farm, too, they picked me for that incident with the pig [Rebecca had to extract semen from the animal] because they knew the media would pick up on it. I feel like I was used for ratings and notoriety.

Doesn’t it make your blood boil in hindsight?

Not now. I don’t hold anything against anyone [in the industry] or feel anger. I believe the challenges in our life are what make us better people, they give our lives meaning. They help to bring out the best in us. So I can only be grateful for the lessons I learned and the person I became as a result.

Viewers were certainly fascinated by you. You were ratings gold!

And any positive attention is good attention but the bad came with it – the critics. I had good times and bad times. When you dare to stand out and be the tallest tree in the forest, you’re gonna get hit hardest when the storm strikes. But I was pretty good at being thick-skinned. People were always trying to sell stories to papers and I was often strong. But I’m only human. Of course there were times it would get to me.

How would you have coped in an age of social media? With Twitter trolls and such?

That didn’t exist when I was in the limelight. But I wish I’d set up my own website back then, where every time an article was written about me with incorrect information I could’ve corrected it. Now, the good thing about social media is that celebrities have a voice.

Speaking of celebs, Piers Morgan is your cousin, isn’t he?

Cousin, second removed, yes. I’ve met him a few times over the years, mostly at showbiz parties, where he’d be like, “Hi, cuz,” but I’ve not seen him for years. We’re friends on Facebook but that’s about it. I don’t get to watch him on TV, as I don’t have the means out here. I know he’s very vocal – and that’s a good thing but sometimes he can be a bit harsh!

Did he ever help or advise you on handling the media when he was a tabloid editor?

No, and that’s something I sometimes think about. Why didn’t I seek better advice from those around me? But you know, you learn from your mistakes.


Are you open about your past with your sons?

Yes. I’m very open about everything. They know Mummy’s been a naked model and been on the cover of Playboy. I try to teach them to be comfortable with their bodies. There’s nothing wrong with nakedness. They’re free to be who they are. They can love who they want, they can marry who they want and have children with who they want. They’ll make mistakes in life too, and that’s OK. They know their mummy has a naughty side!

And now you’re a medical assistant! How’s that all going?

I’ve been working as a Covid tester since May. I’ve always loved working with blood and needles, and I love having contact with patients, so it suits me. Plus, I love action. I’m considering taking a degree in nursing or paramedic science. Life is long – I’ve still got many years of work ahead, so why not try something new? I’ve always loved helping people and now, being on the Covid front line, it feels good.

But has it been scary?

With the new strains of the virus, it is getting frightening, yes. But we take good care. Unbelievably, we’re not even on the vaccine list as Covid testers, so that’s a bit disappointing. But at the same time we’re very well protected. I don’t expect to be a priority for the vaccine. But it’s hard. We test outdoors and it’s been -19°C. We have to sanitise our hands and change gloves between every patient – try that in the freezing cold. My skin is dry, that’s for sure! But it’s a lovely job, knowing I’m helping, and it’s something I’d love to carry on with throughout the next stage of my life.

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