Sam and Billie Faiers reveal the problems filming new series of The Mummy Diaries: ‘This hasn’t been the easiest one’
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Superstar sisters Sam Faiers and Billie Shepherd are back for another hugely anticipated installment of The Mummy Diaries . And it’s
fair to say the last six months have been a rollercoaster ride for both reality stars.
Billie began training for Dancing On Ice, but she got one go on the rink before crashing out of the competition after suffering concussion. And Sam’s dreams of having a huge 30th birthday celebration were left in tatters thanks to lockdown.
Billie, 31, and her husband Greg, 35, have got homeschooling and house renovations to contend with, too. And the couple are also coming to terms with the fact they’re officially out of the baby stage with kids Nelly, six, and Arthur, who turns four next month.
On the flip side, Sam reveals that she and her partner Paul Knightley, 31, have been forced to take drastic measures against screen time with their children. Here, the girls tell us what’s coming up on the show, how they’re keeping romance alive during lockdown and whether more kids are on the cards…
Hi, ladies! Tell us how it feels to be back for another series of The Mummy Diaries…
Sam: We just can’t believe we’re here again doing another one. This hasn’t been the easiest one either has it, Bill?
Billie: [Laughs.] No. It’s really exciting though. I’m so appreciative of everyone who tunes in and loves the show.
Why do you think viewers enjoy it so much?
Billie: I think mums enjoy it because it’s relatable. It has been a pretty tough series to film because we’ve been in lockdown. It’s been challenging and there are plenty of highs and lows as we always say.
Sam: The whole nation will be able to relate to this series. We’ve all been going through the same thing. It’s lovely to see a bit of glitz and glam, but what the viewers really enjoy watching is home life.
Billie: We face the challenges all mums face. We give everything to the show, so the viewers see it all. Even the mundane bits, like dinner time and bedtime, are interesting for people because they get to see how we do it and can relate to it. The kids aren’t always on best behaviour either!
Do you think it helps other parents?
Sam: Definitely. I don’t care who you are, there’s not one parent out there who’s perfect. When you’ve got little ones, sometimes you just want to see someone else going through it so you can think, “Ah! Thank God it’s not just me!”
What can viewers expect from the new series?
Billie: You see the start and very abrupt end of my ice-skating journey! The show also follows our house renovations. Then you’ve got life at home with the kids, homeschooling. Greg also takes on this role of being a stay-at-home dad. You see him helping out a lot more and the challenges he’s faced with that.
Sam: We got Rosie out of her cot this series.
Sam, we also see you trying to reduce your son Paul’s screen time. How did that work out?
Sam: I’m not anti-iPad at all, but Paul got really obsessed with this one game on his. I just thought I had to nip it in the bud before it became a real issue. I didn’t know the right or wrong thing to do about it so we just took it from him, hid it and went cold turkey. After a day or so he’d forgotten about it. Like the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind!
What other challenges do we see you face this series?
Billie: Not being able to spend occasions together. Christmas, Samantha’s 30th… There were so many birthdays missed. The whole country is going through that and I think it’s alright to be upset about it. We did get to do one celebration for Samantha’s birthday before lockdown which we filmed. That was great.
How does it feel to be 30, Sam?
Sam: I was actually really looking forward to it. You’re still figuring out who you are and what you want in your twenties. I’m in such a good place at the moment so I’m looking at it in a positive way. I’ll be celebrating with everyone as soon as we can.
Billie, how are the home renovations going?
Billie: It got off on a bit of a slow start and there have been a couple of issues. It should be underway soon. It feels like the longest project ever and it hasn’t even started properly yet, but hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the end.
You’re both so close. How’s it felt not being able to be together?
Billie: We speak literally every day and do a lot of three-way phone calls with our mum [Suzie Wells].
Sam: As much as we miss each other, it’s harder for the kids. They love being together and they’d usually see each other a couple of times a week, so it’s been difficult for them.
Any tips for staying happy and healthy at the moment?
Sam: I think it’s so important to have that morning routine. Also, exercise. Even if it’s just 30 minutes. There’s so much to do online.
Billie: I think it’s important to try and not be on your phone so much. I’ve seriously been trying to take myself away from social media.
How do you keep the kids entertained now they’re all at home?
Billie: We play board games and hide and seek. We also bake cakes, decorate biscuits, colour and use Aquabeads. But sometimes it gets to the point where even that’s boring. That’s when you feel like you’re pulling your hair out.
Sam: I’m lucky because I haven’t had to homeschool. Paul’s reception is open so he’s still able to have a bit of normality and see his friends. He’ll be breaking up soon though so I may have to start Googling some ideas!
Do you both manage to keep the romance alive with Greg and Paul?
Billie: Sometimes I say to Greg, “Let’s have dinner a bit later tonight.” Usually we eat as a family, but if we wait we can have a glass of wine, chat and actually eat what we want!
Sam: Whenever we have a date night I’ll get a little set up and make it look quite romantic. I get dressed up as well. Not heels, but make a bit more of an effort because I’m literally always in my loungewear.
Any tips for couples arguing in lockdown?
Billie: I can be quite an argumentative person. I’ve always got an answer. I’ve actually taught myself to just bite my tongue sometimes. I think we’ve all got to be a bit more chilled out and remember it’s hard to be at home with one person all the time. It’s not normal.
Sam: Paul and I have always worked from home together so it hasn’t really made much of a difference to us. But I totally understand how you can rub each other up the wrong way if you’re not used to it. That’s just life. I’m no agony aunt, but I suppose the best thing to do is be honest about what you’re feeling and talk about it with your partner.
What have you learnt in lockdown?
Billie: Live life to the full and take all the opportunities that come your way.
Any hopes for this year?
Sam: I want to stop dwelling on the negatives and focus more on the businesses and the kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to actually celebrate my 30th in the summer, too.
Billie: I hope we have the house done by the end of this year. That’s my biggest goal.
Finally, do either of you plan to extend your families in the near future?
Sam: I definitely want more kids. I think I want two more. I’ve always said I didn’t want big gaps in between them, but I’m really enjoying Paul and Rosie’s ages at the moment. I’m not quite ready to have another baby in the mix yet. Maybe in a couple of years.
Billie: I’m the same. Although, there have been times recently where Greg’s like, “Are you sure you want more kids?” [Laughs]. Maybe next year.
Sam & Billie: The Mummy Diaries returns 24 February, 9pm, ITVBe.
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