Nadine Coyle opens up on why she’s living with ex Jason Bell as they co-parent their daughter Anaiya
Nadine Coyle has sat down with OK! to candidly open up on how she co-parents with her ex Jason Bell in an open interview.
The 35 year old former Girls Aloud singer has been faced with reports that she and her Strictly Come Dancing ex Jason, 42, have reunited. And now, in an honest chat – exclusively for OK! VIP Club members – and a stunning mother-daughter photoshoot with seven year old Anaíya, Nadine sets the record straight and discusses the couple's decision to move back in together to parent their beautiful daughter.
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With the new series of The Great Celebrity Bake Off For SU2C just around the corner (Nadine will be joining an all-star line up in the tent, including movie stars James McAvoy and Daisy Ridley, and Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall), we joined Nadine in her home country of Northern Ireland, where she relocated just before the first lockdown.
Although Nadine and Jason have not put a label on their relationship, and won’t confirm they’ve reunited romantically, she insists their living situation is working for them and Anaíya.
“What we are doing definitely works for us,” she says. “It’s all about being supportive and being there for each other.”
Here, Nadine, 35, opens up about her unconventional living arrangements, the special bond she shares with her daughter and her unwavering support for Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding…
Hey Nadine, how have you been this past year?
I’m just amazed it’s been a year since we first heard of lockdowns and social distancing. It seems like such
a different world now. Before lockdown I decided to leave my home in London and I’m back in Ireland, living with my parents.
There have been rumours that you moved back in with Jason…
Well, due to Covid-19, Jason has been here for a while. We share Anaíya so we have those rules there for people to be able to parent their children. It’s easy for us to be in the same place.
That’s understandable! So are you two back together?
We’re very close. I’ve known Jason for 14 years, which is a really long time. We get on great. We eat dinner together and have a lovely time. He’s a great father to Anaíya – he’s helping her with school work as we speak. Jason and I will always be in each other’s lives.
In a romantic way?
When you have a baby together and spend so much time together, there’s always that familiarity there. With so much going on in the world we’re just trying to be in the moment and be there for Anaíya.
It’s a difficult time for relationships that aren’t completely exclusive…
Yeah. It’s about whatever works! And whatever we are doing definitely works for us. It has worked, so we’re just sticking with that. It’s all about being supportive and being there for each other.
Absolutely. Can you see a future with Jason?
I’m trying to get through day to day and figuring out how we can get back to normal life. I’m not rushing any situations or putting pressure on anything. I think this works very well for me, so I’m just living in that.
Would you date other people?
You can’t even go outside your front door. I think I’d be petrified to see a new face!
What have you been doing as a family in lockdown?
Lots of walking and cooking. I’ve tried every takeaway available [laughs]!
Who does most of the cooking, you or Jason?
Definitely me! I do all the cooking. Though Jason did make some vegetables and salmon for Anaíya’s lunch. Jason will make a peanut butter sandwich and steam things, but that’s it.
It sounds like you have traditional roles…
I would say that, yeah. I definitely do the cooking. He goes and does all the shopping. I can’t even tell you the last time I did that! My dad and Jason will go to do all the outdoor shopping together. He doesn’t do any garden work, he’s more of a computer guy.
He’s obviously close with your dad. What do your parents think about your current situation?
They are quite happy with it. Everyone is just trying to make it work and support each other.
How is homeschooling Anaíya going?
It’s been really good. Anaíya is such a pleasure. She’s got lots of grass to play in, and a trampoline here, so she’s having a really good time. She seems to enjoy homeschooling. I’m finding it a lot easier this time around.
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How do you feel about her going back to school?
I’m not prepared at all! It’s scary handing your child over, especially at times like this. So I might cry again!
Do you often get emotional?
I do. I cry every time she starts a new year. Or when she went back after the last lockdown. It’s like the first day of school all over again.
What is she into?
Everything is My Little Pony and bunnies. She also loves to cook.
What did you do to celebrate her seventh birthday last month?
We had a little bunny-themed party – all of us at home dressed up as bunnies and making fools of ourselves. It was a real classic Irish kid’s party.
Do you find it hard to believe that you’re a mum to a seven-year-old sometimes?
The time is flying! The first three years can be really hard. In the blink of an eye she’s seven. I’m enjoying all of the phases, but as she reaches each one I just don’t want her to get any older!
How are you feeling about her going into her teenage phase?
I have big plans for us. We’re going to South Korea and Thailand as soon as the world opens up and she gets her holidays at school. Anaíya has travelled around far more than myself when I was young. We can all benefit from seeing other cultures.
What do you love most about being a mum?
I just love the relationship we have. We really love each other. She’s just like my little shadow that comes everywhere with me. Even if she’s just been doing school tasks by herself and I haven’t seen her for an hour, there’s such a happy reunion.
You seem like you have such a close relationship. Would you ever want Anaíya to have a sibling?
I don’t think about the future too much. This year has been crazy. My sister has a son who’s not too different in age from her and they would spend a lot of time together. It’s funny because Anaíya doesn’t have a sibling, she doesn’t understand when siblings are arguing. She looks at them like they’re crazy and says, “What are they doing?! I can’t believe people talk to each other like that!” [Laughs]
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Would you mind her following in your footsteps as a performer?
She’s really musical. It’s definitely something she’s really good at, so it will be interesting to see if that is something she wants to do when she grows up. I’d be happy for her to do that. I’ve had a good experience in the music industry.
Your life has been pretty amazing! You moved to London when you were 17 to be in Girls Aloud…
It was very exciting. I can’t believe I was that young at the time.
Did you have any low points?
When I first moved away, I really missed my family and friends. I struggled for the first year and wondered whether I’d made the right choice for happiness.
Do you think you made the right choice looking back now?
I think I did, yeah. It was hard but you have to sacrifice some things. In that case it was time.
Was fame easier back then?
Well, you didn’t have a voice. You couldn’t speak directly to anyone [on social media]. You were really shut off and sheltered.
Do you ever experience any trolling now?
Not much. Any time I do, I just block them.
Who out of Girls Aloud would you say you’re the closest with now?
I speak to Sarah a lot. There’s a nice harmony going on now with the girls.
And how is Sarah doing?
She’s doing good. She’s got her book coming out! There’s going to be some funny times about our mischief!
Will her autobiography be an emotional read for you?
I’m sure it will. Sarah has such an interesting life. She’s been through military school! She is just fascinating. We talk about the past like pre-us being in the band, which is nearly 20 years ago. It’s crazy. I’ve now had more life after Girls Aloud than before it. I love hearing about when Sarah used to work at a pizza place, and she had a car with eyelashes. It’s always good to hear those stories.
Do you think she’s made the right decision stepping away from social media?
Sarah has never been big into social media. She’s even worse than I am! She likes to be with who she’s with, so phones or social media aren’t her focus. She’s just trying to get through it and see what she can do each day to get better.
Has seeing Sarah go through cancer made you more aware of your health?
It definitely does make you think. You start thinking about everyone in your life. We all go along thinking it won’t happen to us, but it’s just a ticking time bomb. You just have to enjoy life as best as you can.
Have you, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl Tweedy and Kimberley Walsh rallied together for Sarah?
Yes, we really have. When we see each other, it’s like we’ve stepped back in time. As if we’ve only seen each other yesterday. It’s such a tough time, but all of us have pulled together.
What would you like to do for the Girls Aloud 20th anniversary next year?
We’re just trying to support Sarah. That’s the main focus of everything – to be there for her. There’s nothing we can do other than that. We’re just hoping for the best for her. Hopefully things start to look better.
Three of you are mums now…
It’s so nice! We’ve been friends for so long, having children was something we always discussed.
And you’re taking part in The Great Celebrity Bake Off For SU2C. Tell us about that…
Who knew baking would be so stressful?! I had a few not so good bakes! It was a bit disastrous, to be honest. I had a great group including John Bishop and Anneka Rice. We got on really well. It’s funny when you’re crammed together with someone doing something stressful, suddenly after a day you’re really close friends.
Is Stand Up To Cancer very close to your heart?
Yes. When you hear the statistics about it, it’s really scary. Cancer affects so many of us. It is a silent killer. So it’s really good for people to get awareness and for more people to go and get checked out. I’ve always got involved when I can.
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