Heart Radio’s Kelly Brook has never been so content as she plans Valentine’s Day with her long-term beau.
Ten years ago, Kent’s Kelly Brook was one of the most instantly recognisable people in showbusiness, and she graced the debut cover of MMM Magazine.
So on the 10th anniversary of our first issue we are thrilled to catch up with the star and learn her life has progressed as well as ours!
A decade ago, with a successful modelling career used as a springboard into TV, Kelly adorned the front covers of magazines and tabloid newspapers with a steady regularity.
She dated a string of Hollywood’s leading men – including the likes of Jason Statham and Billy Zane – and even England rugby star Danny Cipriani as well as Scottish International Thom Evans.
But over recent years she has mellowed, found true love, and is just as happy pottering about her farm near Lenham as she is hitting the red carpet.
For the last seven years she has been with Italian-born, French-raised actor and model Jeremy Parisi – and while the pair have often batted off suggestions they are set to tie the knot or have children, the duo have clearly got an all-important chemistry.
“He’s a lovely guy,” she says of the man she shares her Kent home and London pad with.
“He’s very chilled and laid back. We get on so well and he makes me happy. It works, and he’s not bad to look at either. No drama.”
Which is, of course, a far cry from some of those other high-profile relationships she has had over the years.
Kelly’s A-list list of ex-boyfriends fuelled her popularity among the tabloids. Looking back now, she realises there was a reason for the relationships she had in the past.
She explains: “It dawned on me that I was going for people I didn’t want to settle down with. Maybe it was the good sex, maybe it was because they were in another country and I loved to go and visit them – but it wasn’t because I wanted them to be the father of my children or marry them.
“They were giving me what I needed and wanted in that moment.”
But she says the way the media treats women differently to men riles her.
She comments: “It’s OK for a young woman to run around getting kicks as and when she wants. But for some reason we’re judged if we do. Men do it all the time.
“I’ve been with Jeremy for many years, but before that I wasn’t ready to chill and settle down.”
So are wedding bells and the patter of tiny feet just around the corner?
“I feel like marriage and children are not things I’ve wanted,” she says.
“I like travelling and being with my partner, I like animals, working and being independent and I like my freedom. I like being spontaneous. There are so many things I love, and I think marriage and children would stop me doing those things.
“Having children is a huge commitment – it’s very hard to change your ways when you reach your 40s. I’m not saying ‘never’, but I have no plans to change that.”
And the woman whose body helped propel her to stardom is more than happy with her current high-profile role as a presenter on radio station Heart – primarily because she’s not on camera.
“When you’re on radio,” she explains, “the audience is just listening to you and absorbing what it is you’re saying. They’re not visualising what you look like.
“People can’t see me and the feedback I get is so much more positive than when I’ve been on television.”
Born and raised in Rochester, the 42 year old has certainly enjoyed a successful career.
From British TV shows such as Big Breakfast, Celebrity Juice, Loose Women, Strictly Come Dancing (albeit she had to quit the show early following the death of her father at the age of 57) and the Masked Singer, she’s also had a crack at America.
She appeared in the movie Piranha, which was given a global release, and took the lead role in the NBC sitcom One Big Happy – although it only lasted one season.
Kelly’s modelling work has seen her in high demand for endorsements over recent years, too. Clients have included fashion brands Simply Be, Skechers and New Look.
And she is a brand ambassador for the likes of LG and Slimfast. She admits to having shed the pounds by using the latter’s products.
“During the lockdown I ate too much. I bought a pizza oven and ice cream machine because we weren’t able to go out. It resulted in me going to the fridge far more than I should have done!
“But I embrace my bigger size. I don’t want to be like I was in my 20s. I couldn’t if I tried, my metabolism has slowed right down – but I’m also aware things can get out of hand and I do have that body type where I can gain weight quickly.
“If I don’t watch it then I creep up to a size 14 or 16, but a size 10 to 12 is where I feel my happiest.
“I look back at pictures of myself when I was in my 20s and I had a completely different body, a completely different lifestyle.
“I was in a bikini on a beach doing photoshoots, flying around the world; I was skinny but I certainly wasn’t healthy.
“I think now I’m a lot calmer and I’m a lot more grounded. I have a much better routine, I have much better relationships with people, a great relationship with my boyfriend and my family, and I’ve got a lovely little dog that I walk every day.”
With the passing of the years, Kelly Brook has, it seems, found herself, and is at one with the world: “I’m in a good relationship with a nice job and a nice house. I’m happy with my life.
“There’s been a lot of heartbreak along the way. But I made it to my 40s and I’m
still working and doing what I love – what a privilege.”