Kirstie Allsopp Spills Her Family Secrets

Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie Allsopp opens up about her family.

YOU'RE INVOLVED IN A CAMPAIGN THAT ENCOURAGES FAMILIES TO EAT TOGETHER. ARE MEAL TIMES MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU NOW THAT YOU HAVE CHILDREN?

I've had children as it were for six years because I have my stepsons, who are seven and 10, so since I've known my father, they've been in my life. Before that, I had a dog and 10 godchildren. So I was very lucky I think, the whole thing of having my own kids and cooking for my own kids just kind of happened organically. I was there already, and there are a
few more faces at the table now.

ARE YOUR CHILDREN BECOMING AWARE OF YOUR FAME?

No, not the little ones. My stepsons, who live with us half the time, they know perfectly well, and they're quite funny about it. I worry terribly that they might be embarrassed, but they're really sweet about it. They say 'No, we think it's cool.' I think that when you're in the public eye your number one responsibility for your children is to ensure that they are not in the public eye, and have a completely private life. If they want to make a decision when they are bigger to be in the public eye, that's fine. For example, the older Beckham boys, I don't know what they look like anymore. I wouldn't know one of them if I bumped into them in the street whereas I'm sorry but I know exactly what Katie Price's children look like. I think that is very important, just remembering who you are, that you're really just a mum and a girlfriend.

DO YOU THINK IT HELPS YOU TO HAVE A CLEAR DISTINCTION BETWEEN YOUR PRIVATE LIFE AND YOUR PUBLIC LIFE?

I think it's hugely helpful. I think it's very important not to be too pedantic about it - when I'm doing a day like today, of course I'm talking about the family because I'm talking about what we eat, but I'm talking about it in a very general respect because I feel very passionately that this is an important campaign. I think it's incredibly important to have a dividing line. None of my friends have changed - I have some new friends, and I do have the odd friend who is on television, but basically I don't have a life which is related to my work in the public eye. I think when you blur those lines it becomes very difficult.

ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH YOUR LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION CO-PRESENTER PHIL SPENCER OFF-SCREEN?

Phil and I are very, very close - we were always from the beginning. We travel a great deal, we're away from our families a great deal, so often it's just him and I sitting in a hotel, and we couldn't make the show we make if we didn't get on. I'm not an actress, and I couldn't fake that.

DO YOU THINK THE FACT THAT YOU'RE NOT AN ACTRESS HAS ADDED TO THE POPULARITY OF LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION? SOMETIMES WE CAN TELL WHEN
YOU'RE LOSING PATIENCE WITH THE HOUSEHUNTERS?

I think sometimes you can really tell! It's very funny, because I Twitter a lot, and when the show is on people send me Tweets saying Aaargh, why didn't you kill her?', and then they'll send me Tweets saying 'Oh yes, I see you were about to kill her'.

ARE THE HOUSEHUNTERS' EXPECTATIONS TOO HIGH?

Yes, but that's why they haven't found a house, and that's why they need our help. What you always have to remember about the show is that if they were being reasonable, they wouldn't need our help.

WHY DO YOU THINK PROPERTY PROGRAMMES SURVIVED THE CREDIT CRUNCH?

Last January, which was at the height of the so-called crash, Relocation was at its most popular ever, because the show is not about prices. It's about people, their circumstances, relationships, hopes and dreams and desires for their family - so much is wrapped up in the home. All this Dolmio research shows that people are much more interested in cooking, because they're interested in inviting people into their homes and showing off their homes. The focus is really coming back to the home.

YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO EXPLORE THAT IN KIRSTIE'S HOMEMADE HOME, WHICH LOOKS LIKE IT WAS A FUN SERIES TO FILM.

It was amazing. It's just fascinating - I learned a new skill set every filming day, and it's informed so much of what I buy now because I know how things are made. We're filming series two, and I'm also working on Location, Location, Location and more Relocation, Relocation. My diary at the moment looks like a car crash!

Kirstie is supporting Dolmio's Homemade Lasagne Campaign, which is encouraging the nation to cook lasagne and enjoy the benefits of great tasting family meals together. For more information on the campaign visit www.dolmio.co.uk.

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