Dad-to-be Aston Merrygold talks fatherhood, Strictly and making a difference this Christmas…

Aston Merrygold

by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Former JLS singer and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Aston Merrygold spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Closer Online about who he thinks will win the show, the importance of family, and becoming a first-time father...

If you've been watching Strictly this year, chances are you were absolutely STUNNED when bookies favourite Aston was voted off the show in week six.

After scoring the first perfect score of 40 in the competition, everyone was sure he was on track to take home the Glitterball Trophy, but sadly, it wasn't to be.

But Aston isn't complaining. After all, he's got much bigger things to think about... like becoming a DAD!

WATCH: Aston Merrygold opens up about the importance of Mission Christmas at Winter Wonderland

Aston, 29 - who has been with his girlfriend Sarah Lou Richards for five years - is the last of his JLS bandmates to become a dad.

So does that mean Marvin, Oritsé and JB have been passing on their daddy tips and tricks?

"They’ll be here for me all the way, for sure," Aston explained. "But in terms of parenting tips, I think you should take everything with a pinch of salt as you have to find your own way in the end.

"You have to get into your own routine, it’s about seeing what works for each parent and each child. I was speaking to Simon Rimmer last night and he said his daughter was 21 and he still didn’t know what he was doing! He said that he’s still learning every day… I was like, flipping hell! You kind of just make it up as you go along I think!"

©Getty Images

Despite the fact that he's clearly excited to meet his little one - who's due in January - Aston revealed that becoming a father wasn't always in his plans.

"At one stage, I didn’t think kids were on the cards," he told us.

"I’ve changed a lot over the past few years - a lot of my friends have kids and you start to realise that the idea is not as scary or as daunting as you originally thought."

But now it's happened, Aston couldn't be more excited.

"It’s all just going to be brand new. The whole process of watching the bump grow, going to scans and seeing the baby getting bigger and listening to the heartbeat was just amazing," he gushed.

"I can’t yet imagine that I’m going to be holding this little person in my arms. I mean, this is our last Christmas just the two of us! I say that, touch wood everything goes to plan and there's no early arrival.

"But there’s so much to look forward to, and then before you know it you’ve got to be thinking about schools and wow, everything’s changing!"

Steady on, Aston - get through the birth before you start thinking about schools!

Like many first time parents, Aston explained that he and Sarah are really feeling the pressure when it comes to choosing a name.

"It’s quite scary, I was just thinking this the other night – names are hard. You are literally naming a person. It’s not like naming a dog! You are making a person from scratch!" he exclaimed.

"We’ve got a few names picked out but we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet, so as soon as we see the baby, I think we’ll know."

And now they've got a baby on the way, are the couple thinking about marriage?

"Well, as Sarah knows, I’ve never really been a planner," he sighed.

"She’ll be the first to tell you I’m probably the most stubborn person in the world, and I do tend to everything in my own time!

"I never used to be up for kids and marriage but things change. So we’ll see, first we’ve got to try and get through raising a baby together."

Aston Merrygold

Obviously, we couldn't talk to Aston without bringing up the thorny issue of Strictly Come Dancing.

Despite the fact he was tipped to win the series, Aston's not feeling bitter about being booted out so early on.

"I was definitely gutted at the time, but I just had to take it on the chin," he admitted.

"At the end of the day, the judges didn’t rate me highly enough that night, and that’s what it is. The show is as fair as it could be."

aston merrygold strictly
Aston had moves we could only imagine! ©BBC

And while he didn't leave with the glitterball trophy, Aston revealed he has made some new celeb friends.

"The other day I was with Brian Conley, we went to Winter Wonderland together with both our families - a little night out! And last night I was up in Liverpool with Simon Rimmer at his charity gig show," he told us.

"Regardless of the competition aspect, the cast were always friends and I feel like I’ve definitely made some friends for life."

X Factor

Unsurprisingly, Aston is backing his friend Alexandra Burke to win the show now that he's no longer a contestant (after all, they were on The X Factor together in 2008).

"I’ve known Alexandra a long time and I’m very close to her. I would love her to take it home! I’ve always been close to her but this has just brought us closer," he told us.


He added: "It’s so weird when I watch it now because I know exactly how they’re feeling on stage – but this time I’m just sitting at home chilling!"

Aston Merrygold
©Cash For Kids

This year, Aston will once again be supporting Cash For Kids Mission Christmas campaign, which distributes Christmas presents to children living in poverty in the UK.

Talking about why he supports the charity campaign, Aston explained: "For us, Christmas is about presents and spending it with loved ones and Christmas trees and love… But some kids in this country don’t get to experience any of that. I really found it heartbreaking to hear about, especially as I’m about to become a new dad, it really hit hard.

"I don’t think I could let my child ever not have a magical time at Christmas, so to think that kids don’t get that is madness. It’s horrible. Mission Christmas is such a great thing, to get people to donate a bit of money, or a present to a child, will really make such a difference, it’s a beautiful thing."

Aston Merrygold is asking everyone to donate an extra gift for Cash for Kids Mission Christmas.

Aston will be touring the UK throughout April 2018. You can get your tickets here.

**Have you been watching Strictly Come Dancing? Let us know over on **Facebook and Twitter.


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NOW READ: Peter Andre's most adorable daddy moments


Peter Andre's most adorable daddy moments STACKED

peter andre, katie price, harvey1 of 23

peter andre, katie price, harvey

  1. That time he hit the red carpet with Harvey in matching outfits!
peter andre, katie price, harvey2 of 23

peter andre, katie price, harvey

  1. That time he made a REALLY colourful red carpet appearance with Katie and their boys
katie price, peter andre, harvey, junio3 of 23

katie price, peter andre, harvey, junio

  1. When he and Katie picked Harvey up from school in sunny LA
peter andre, princess, junior4 of 23

peter andre, princess, junior

  1. When he gave Junior a smooch on the way to lunch
peter andre, junior5 of 23

peter andre, junior

  1. That time Peter was piggy-in-the-middle between Harvey and Junior
peter andre, junior, princes6 of 23

peter andre, junior, princes

  1. When Peter carried Princess and Junior to the car following a hard day shopping!
peter andre, junior, kiss7 of 23

peter andre, junior, kiss

  1. That time Junior landed a smacker on him at a fete ud83dude18
peter andre, school run8 of 23

peter andre, school run

  1. When Peter picked Junior up from school in a snazzy military jacket!
peter andre, harvey, junior9 of 23

peter andre, harvey, junior

  1. That time he took Junior and Princess for a twirl around the ice skating ⛄ufe0f
peter andre, princess, helter skelter10 of 23

peter andre, princess, helter skelter

  1. And later took Princess for a whiz down Winter Wonderland's helter skelter!
peter andre, princess, junior11 of 23

peter andre, princess, junior

  1. When Peter took his prince and princess to live out their Disney fantasies
peter andre, junior12 of 23

peter andre, junior

  1. Carrying Junior on his shoulders as they left a busy day of filming
peter andre, princess, junior, ice skating13 of 23

peter andre, princess, junior, ice skating

  1. That time he geeked-out with Princess and Junior at the MR Peabody & Sherman 3D screening
peter andre, emily macdonagh, amelia14 of 23

peter andre, emily macdonagh, amelia

  1. When he went into protective Peter mode to shelter Emily and baby Amelia from the rain
peter andre children walk15 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre children walk

  1. When he was #CoolDadGoals on a winter walk
peter andre birthday16 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre birthday

  1. Celebrating his birthday with his big girl
peter andre junior princess laughing17 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre junior princess laughing

  1. And it's clear he knows all the best dad jokes ud83eudd23
peter andre beach amelia18 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre beach amelia

  1. Building sandcastles with his little Amelia
peter andre and junior selfie19 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre and junior selfie

  1. And EVERY selfie with his mini-me Junior!
peter andre children cyprus20 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre children cyprus

  1. Giving his children a tour of his beloved Cyprus
peter andre junior dancing21 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre junior dancing

  1. When he and Junior showed off their dance moves ud83dudc6f‍♂ufe0f
peter andre, theo, cleaning22 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre, theo, cleaning

  1. That time he took 'multitasking to a new level' - his words!
peter andre, amelia, theo23 of 23
CREDIT: Instagram/ Peter Andre

peter andre, amelia, theo

  1. That time he carried baby Theo on the front and Amelia on the back ud83dudcaa
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