Claire Richards: ‘My kids don’t care that I’m famous’

Claire Richards talks about her love of performing, what goes on in the Steps WhatsApp group and why her kids really aren’t bothered about fame

Claire Richards

by closer |
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Claire Richards, better known simply as “Claire from Steps”, has been in the public eye since the band formed in 1997. Nearly 30 years later, she still knows the routine for 5, 6, 7, 8 and has learnt to laugh it off when she forgets some of the lyrics.

It’s safe to say that Steps has built up an incredibly loyal fan base over the years, which has enabled its members – Claire, 46, Lisa Scott-Lee, 48, Lee Latchford-Evans, 49, Faye Tozer-Smith, 48 and Ian “H” Watkins, 48 – to go on to do their own exciting solo projects, too.

For Claire, that includes her Everybody Dance: The Greatest Disco Hits Of All Time tour starting this autumn – which will no doubt include a few Steps numbers.

Claire rose to fame in Steps in the late 90s ©Pb/Kmla/Shutterstock

“Back in the day, I would’ve been devastated about forgetting lyrics on stage,” Claire admits, “but now I just look at the audience in the front row. I think it just shows you’re human. I’m not going to die if I don’t do the routine to 5, 6, 7, 8 correctly.”

Claire’s approach to fame has changed over the years – and rightly so. Aside from musical highs and lows, reunions, solo projects and new albums, Claire and her husband of 16 years, Reece Hill, also became parents during that period.

“Obviously, becoming a mum changes you. It also changes your priorities. I am either Claire from Steps or Mrs Hill,” she jokes. “I find the transition from Claire from Steps back to Mrs Hill much easier.”

Claire Richards, her husband Reece Hill and their children Charlie and Daisy
Claire is mum to son Charlie and daughter Daisy, who she shares with husband Reece ©John Phillips/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

Her kids, Charlie, 17, and Daisy, 14, weren’t around during the peak of Steps’ success, so she says they aren’t that bothered about fame. “I don’t think they really care. I’ve always brought them to work with me, even when they were little they used to come to photo shoots and things like that,” she reveals.

“When Steps first got back together in 2012 and we did a tour, Charlie was five and Daisy would have been about three. So it’s kind of normal to them.”

Claire’s pop credentials still come in handy when they want tickets for a show, however. “They do still love coming to see shows and they watched me perform at Mighty Hoopla, which was nice.

“Daisy gets a bit of attention because of it at school,” Claire continues, “sometimes it’s awesome and sometimes it’s probably a bit of a hindrance. But especially at that age, they don’t really know Steps.”

Her kids and their friends might not know Steps, but there are certainly thousands of people who do. These fans, then, will be thrilled to hear that Claire and the rest of the group have several exciting projects on the horizon. For Claire, that includes her solo tour, which kicks off on 14 October.

Claire Richards
Claire recently performed at London's Mighty Hoopla festival ©Lorne Thomson/Redferns

“The experience I get when we’re all together is very different to when I’m on my own. When the five of us walk into a room, people notice. But I wouldn’t say when I walk into a room by myself that people notice, it’s a different thing. And that’s fine by me!”

The singer has also played a part in creating Here & Now, a new musical based on the group’s hit songs, which opens in November. Could it be the next Mamma Mia!? “I mean, obviously that’s always the hope,” Claire admits.

“We knew we didn’t want it to be a story about the band or anything like that. There’s this feeling of newness with the music, but also this nostalgia. It’s incredible. It makes you listen to the lyrics in a completely different way and you just think, ‘Oh my god’, because obviously it’s been written specifically. The writer, Shaun Kitchener, has been really clever with it.”

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In even more exciting news for fans, the band’s 30th anniversary is approaching.

“Our WhatsApp group with the five of us is called ‘Steps 27’ and H said, ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Because we’ve been together for 27 years, for god’s sake!’”

And Claire says three years is about how long it takes to plan a tour. “Bearing in mind we’d probably announce it a year before, so I think next year we’ll start planning what exactly we’re going to be doing. At the moment, we just want to put our attention into promoting the musical – so one at a time! But hopefully people are going to love the musical and then it will give us a chance to be able to go on tour.”

See Claire Richards in Everybody Dance UK tour this autumn, from 14 October. Tickets and more information from

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