Oops, we think we’ve triggered Amanda Holden. Our phone alarm has gone off accidentally mid-interview, and she’s covering her ears. “That’s sending shivers down my spine, it’s my wake-up call,” she laughs.
Like every weekday, Amanda’s been up since 4:30am for her Heart Radio breakfast show, but you’d never guess. Not only is she sparky and chatty, she’s literally rolled out of bed looking glamorous. “I sleep in a false lash, I sleep like I’m in a coffin,” she says, crossing her arms like Dracula. “I get up as late as I possibly can and turn it round in 20 minutes.”
Today, Amanda is lending her glamour to a new job, as the face of Charles Worthington London, marking the brand's 25th anniversary. It’s a result all round as she’s now got ‘boxes’ of the hair brand she, her two daughters and her husband have loved for years.
“I use the Volume & Bounce hairspray every day, because there are always paps waiting - it’s always a red carpet day for me,” she says. “So I have to maintain. But I’m a girl who maintains for her own dignity anyway.”
It’s not just her blowdry she’s holding onto with aplomb. At 50, she’s never looked better, felt happier or been in more demand. Here, she gives us the lowdown on everything from beauty, love and family life to Britain’s Got Talent.
Congratulations on landing your first-ever hair campaign!
Good things come to those who wait. It’s something I always wanted, I’ve watched my peers doing it, and thought “Gosh it’s never gonna happen to me. I’m 50, and it’s passed me by.” But this is the perfect marriage with Charles Worthington. They know what they’re doing. I know what I’m doing. And 50 doesn’t really mean anything anymore - I look at women like JLo, Kylie and Jennifer Aniston turning that age and being so amazing.
It’s the new 30! But was there any psychological wobble at the milestone?
No, I think I had more of a wobble when I turned 30. I got divorced and I was like “s***, I’m 30. I’m supposed to be having children and stuff at this point.” But at 50 I think I was just in such a good place. I just went “Yeah, I’m 50, I feel fabulous and I just don’t care.”
What makes you so happy right now?
My family, being in love, having good people in my life that look after me. My husband - god, we are different people but he is my biggest, proudest champion. He’s not a yes man, but he is ‘Go Mandy’ all the time. So it’s just wonderful.
Not many people use the phrase “in love” after 13 years of marriage..
Oh god I really fancy Chris. We’ll be eating dinner in a restaurant, he’ll go to the loo, then I’ll look up, catch a glimpse of a man and think “he’s fit” and then realise “f***, that’s my husband! I still fancy him!” He challenges me and I challenge him, and I think that’s the secret to a good marriage.
He must fancy you too! For starters, you seem to be ageing in reverse.
I have been called Mandy Button in the past, which is such a flattering thing! It’s brilliant. I do look after myself, I run, I do yoga, I’m a vegetarian. But I do love a drink. I don’t deny myself anything. After lockdown and us all being denied our freedoms, I just think “don’t deny yourself now, just enjoy life.” Everything in moderation, but if you want a glass of wine or a doughnut, have one. Life is too short. I’m not one of those “all or nothing” people, I can’t live like that.
What’s your skincare secret?
The biggest thing for me is not using the same product all the time so I try to change everything up at least every three to four months. I also have a treatment called Morpheus Eight, which is basically stamping your face to make the collagen rush to it and give everything a lift. It’s amazing. I’ve done it on my neck and chest too.
Did you really miss not being able to have clinic treatments last year?
It was massages I missed more than facials. I just missed going to a professional, rather than my husband doing it with strings. He’s really good at massage. But that always comes at a price... You work it out! [laughs uproariously]
It’s lucky you fancy him then!
[Laughs even more] He’s got very strong thumbs!
Would you ever consider cosmetic surgery?
I don’t know because my gene pool is a good gene pool. I’m really lucky. We’ve got big cheeks in our family and good jawlines. So I think as long as that’s all staying like that, I don’t mind. I don’t think I look 50 but I don’t think I look 30. I just like people saying I look good for my age and that’s how I’d like it to continue regardless if I’m 60, 70, 80 or whatever. I’d like to be going “I’m 95, you know!”
No plans to give up on the beauty maintenance then?
No, but Chris and I always say, “Shall we go to seed in our 70s and just eat and drink what we want?” I’m like, “I don’t know babe, we’ll make a decision then.” I keep thinking I’ll be retired by then but I probably won’t. I don’t want to retire, I enjoy it all too much. I’ll slow down a bit though, and hopefully have some grandchildren by then. I don’t want my children to wait until they’re nearly 40 because I will be dead!
Any beauty blunders you’d rather forget from over the years?
Back in the 80s, I did the hairstyle where it was straight at the back and permed on top. I’ve cut it short, instantly regretted it, then had bond extensions which ruined my hair. It’s been to hell and back but now it’s being looked after with lovely Charles Worthington hair masks and Ultraviolet shampoos.
Are you still really ambitious?
I think “ambition” has often been a word you would use to describe a female baddie in a novel, someone who’s conniving. But I think it’s a really positive word. I’m still striving for more, even though loads of my ambitions have been fulfilled. I’ve pitched something that’s hopefully going to be done by the BBC.
Do you have big plans for Christmas this year?
We’re going away for Christmas for the first time ever. We’re going to the Caribbean, just me, Chris and the kids. It’s something I’ve always said I wouldn’t do, but I got so cross with lockdown, I just don’t want to be here. I just want to be in the warm. My teenager will hate it, but it will probably be the last one where I get her. She’ll be off with her friends soon.
Your girls are growing up so fast, how are you feeling about that?
It’s horrible that it goes so quickly. I look back at gorgeous pictures on my phone and just think “Oh god I really didn’t appreciate them when they were young.” Lexi is taller than me now and a beautiful looking girl. She’s confident but quiet and studious, not got into any kind of mishaps yet! And my little Holly is a mini me. She’s a complete fairy, she dances and sings at every opportunity. We’re really lucky, we’ve got two really good, healthy, gorgeous girls, but time is our greatest enemy. That’s why I make everything second count.
We’re excited for the return of Britain’s Got Talent...
It’s always my January, and it’s so great to have it back - hopefully in the correct way. We’ve had enough. Let’s just get rid of the masks, let’s get the people in the audience. If people can go back to the theatre they can come back to Britain’s Got Talent.
Are you looking forward to outraging viewers with your outfits again?
I laugh at how a bit of side boob can cause such a furore. I’m like, well as long as they’re talking about my tits… [laughs] I find it funny. We should be able to dress how we want. There’s no interpretation. I’m not sexy, it’s everyone else sexualising. I think I was the top complaint until Piers Morgan overtook me. Damn!
Your side boob is officially less offensive than Piers storming off Good Morning Britain.
[laughs] I would much rather people be offended by how I look than by how I speak. One hundred percent!