She spent most of 2020 single after splitting from boyfriend Albie Gibbs during lockdown last May. But Ferne McCann has found love again, with her new relationship emerging when she was pictured smooching new man Jack Padgett in South Africa last month.
And excited Ferne, 30, tells Closer that despite being unlucky in love over her years in the public eye, she’s never given up on the dream of a happy ever after.
She says, “I’m a sucker for love – I love it. And I’m a true romantic, I can’t wait to settle down. I’m definitely up for having more babies and running off into the sunset with my new husband.”
Despite Ferne and model Jack being pictured looking cosy on holiday, the former TOWIE star has kept her new relationship under wraps so far, with the pair yet to go Instagram official.
In stark contrast, her previous serious relationships have been lived out in the spotlight. First she was with Charlie Sims on TOWIE, ending in 2015 after five turbulent years, and then with ex Arthur Collins, the father of her daughter Sunday, who was jailed in 2017 for a horrific acid attack in a London nightclub.
And while Ferne wants to keep her relationship with Jack as private as possible, she now says she believes she’s “grown so much” in terms of how she enters into relationships.
She reflects, “I used to start dating someone and get the doom that he was going to leave me or not fancy me. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, surrender, do a little bit of self work and be like, ‘You know what, if that happens, it happens’. Just looking after yourself and not making it a priority – being a bit more easy-breezy about it.
“I believe it should be mandatory for everyone to be single for at least a year in their life. How can you be with someone or know what you want when you don’t know yourself? You have to love yourself before anyone else can. You need to learn your behaviour patterns, what makes you tick and what makes you laugh – and by getting to know your true unapologetic self, that person can fall in love and support you.”
Check out: 11 jaw-dropping TOWIE couples we completely forgot about
Mark Wright and Sam Faiers
Mark and Sam's on/off relationship goes all the way back to when she was 16 and they met on MySpace (aw, those were the days). They briefly dated during their time on TOWIE but were never able to give things a proper go before he quit the show in 2011.
Ferne is a single working mum, which means that lockdown – with most childcare facilities closed – has made it hard for her to keep fit, with Sunday, now three, running around. So she has been working on a “short but sharp” workout programme on her fitness website, Embodyment With Ferne, aimed at working parents.
“There are lots of ten-minute workouts in my new six-week programme. The main thing for me was being able to do the workouts around kids, and I guarantee you can – and you’ll be sweating.”
“Sunday does squats with me now,” she laughs.
“Sometimes when I’m doing an abs circuit, she gets involved. I think it’s important to encourage your children to exercise or to see you be active, even at a young age.”
Ferne has overhauled her body since having Sunday – slimming down from a size 12 to a svelte size 8. And since launching Embodyment with Ferne on her 30th birthday last August, she says her bum and her stomach have become more toned.
She adds, “My weight has fluctuated over the years, until recently where I’ve been able to sustain and maintain a healthy, happy weight. After having Sunday, I had a baby weight-loss goal, but of course your goals change all the time.”
Ferne reveals she does a 45-minute workout three times a week and a few ten-minute workouts on top of that, along with daily walks with Sunday.
“I want to get her involved with food and cooking, because it helps with engagement and she’s more likely to eat the food,” she reveals.
“For breakfast, I’ll have a slice of rye bread with smashed avocado, chilli flakes, a dollop of low-fat cottage cheese and scrambled eggs. Lunch is rocket and spinach loaf salad with watermelon, feta, tomatoes, artichokes and olives. Dinner is fish and fennel-and-carrot salad.”
While Ferne follows a healthy diet, she insists she doesn’t obsess over calorie intake.
She says, “I don’t know what I weigh. I don’t like to fixate on a number, because you can obsess and really beat yourself up – especially when you see stuff on Instagram and you’re like, ‘Oh, they’ve lost such amount’ and you feel deflated. It’s more about feeling energised, fit and healthy.”
WATCH: Ferne McCann opens up about how she stays motivated for the gym
My views on...
That chapter in my life has well and truly closed. I look back on it with fondness, because it’s what started my career and I’ve got some great memories from that show. I celebrated the TOWIE ten-year anniversary on my socials – I don’t really know many people on the show any more, so it would be weird for me to return.
BFF Danielle Armstrong
I saw her and [eight-month-old daughter] Orla, recently. We just dropped off presents at their door and waved, which was weird. And I saw her the other week to plan our 2021 Herbalife (dietary supplements) business. It’s always fun with me and Danielle, it’s never dull.
Sunday starting school
She starts school in September. I’m quite excited. I love seeing her grow, she’s my biggest achievement. It’s testing at times, but she’s a lot of fun. I love seeing her reach those milestones and get to the next chapter. And her chat is insane, we have full conversations.
Ferne’s new six-week programme, Shape It Up, from the Embodyment health and fitness platform, is available now. See more at Embodyment.co.uk.
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