REMEMBER nights with packed dance floors and mask-free Uber rides home? Kelly Brook sure does.
“Some of the best parties were at my bar Steam And Rye,” she says of the celebrity haunt she ran in London from 2013 to 2017. “We locked the door, had a free bar all night and girls danced on the tables.
“Then there was the 2001 Vanity Fair party in Hollywood. I’d just watched Julia Roberts picking up an Oscar and the next thing I know she’s eating a burger next to me, with the Oscar on the bar!”
Not that she misses it. Once a seasoned social butterfly, Kelly hung up her party pants long before the pandemic. Now 40, she and her French/Italian boyfriend of four years Jeremy Parisi, 35, live in London where Kelly has a regular job, co-hosting Heart FM’s Drivetime show.
“I always knew I’d calm down,” she says.“I just got bored and I was attracting the wrong people and the wrong vibes. I wouldn’t say I live a boring life, but I get joy out of different things now. I love my garden, going to the office, walking my cavapoo puppy Teddy, my boyfriend and cooking. It’s just a case of getting older!”
Looking effortlessly chic, Kelly settles down for our Zoom chat to talk fashion, her 40th birthday and drunken faux pas.
How will you remember lockdown?
It was a nice time to stop and reflect. I worked from home a lot, cooked and just existed rather than always chasing something. I was on a crazy treadmill for a long time and I felt sometimes it was just about making money and spending money.
Even the strongest relationships faced pressure – did you and Jeremy emerge unscathed?
We did. My boyfriend’s so laid-back. If he’s annoyed, I wouldn’t know. Mind you, my neighbour did find him on the bench at the end of the road one day. He [asked him]: “Why are you here, you have a garden?” and [Jeremy] said: “Oh, I’m just relaxing!” I think he wanted to leave the house for half an hour!
Did your radio job take on a new dimension because it provided much-needed normality for listeners?
When my boss said: “We’re key workers.” I said: “What do you mean, we’re not saving lives, we’re not on the front line delivering parcels and food?” and he replied: “No, but you’re delivering a service.” It made me feel like I was doing something good. It was a special time.
How did your body shape change while you were cooped up at home?
You had two types – those getting fit and people like me who got a pizza oven, a sandwich maker and an ice-cream maker. Obviously, when I’m making ice cream I’ve got to eat it so I put on a few pounds, but it’s all gone now. We got Teddy five months ago and since then the weight’s been dropping off because I’m out and about with him every day. He brings my running shoes to get me out of bed!
What weight and size are you at your happiest?
I’m a size 10 around my waist but a size 12 around my boobs and bum. That’s my healthy, happy size. Some of the skinniest times in my life have been my most miserable. When I lost my dad in 2007 I was 8 1/2st. I would not want to be in that place again.
Does physical acceptance come with age?
Yeah, you don’t care if your bum looks big – you just want to be comfortable and stylish. I want to look nice, feel good and be the best version of myself, but I don’t want to look like a 20 year old, I want to look like a good 40 year old.
How would you describe your style?
I have so much amazing feedback from women on my social media saying: “It’s so nice to see you embracing your curves.” For years, we’d look at Victoria Beckham as this fashion icon, but she was walking around with Harper on her hip in stiletto heels. That’s great if she can do that, but some of us are getting on the Tube and going into an office every day, so it’s not practical. I’m happy to wear a gorgeous cashmere jumper, a pair of jeans and a nice pair of trainers. Be cool, be chic but also be practical and comfortable.
Your F&F range is so Christmassy. Are you a fan of festivities?
I’m obsessed with Christmas! My birthday is November 23 and a few years ago I threw a Month Before Christmas party. We had a Christmas dinner, carol singers, trees and wore festive jumpers. My friends said I ruined Christmas as the real thing was such an anti-climax!
What will Christmas be like this year?
Since I met Jeremy we’ve gone to France every Christmas to be with his family. That’s the compromise because he spends all year in London.
Is it true that the radio station threw you a crazy 40th party last year?
Yes! My producer said: “What are you thinking of doing?” and I said: “I just want an office party, I’ve never had one!” I gave him the most ridiculous wish list – Magic Mike to perform, a mariachi band and a three-tier-cake – and he pulled it off. I got to work and every floor at Global station came and we had this huge party.
What’s your most embarrassing drunken story?
I met this lovely Russian lady when I was in St Tropez. She invited me out one night and had me try Russian vodka. I’d just sold my house and bought myself a black Hermès Kelly handbag. I puked in the bag in the back of the cab. If you’re going to puke, do not do it in your Hermès bag!
- Kelly is brand ambassador for F&F Clothing. Her Christmas edit is available now at selected Tesco Stores.
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