Singer and actress Stacey Solomon has overcome the breakup of her parents’ marriage, post-natal depression and even the perils of the Bushtucker Trial. Compared to that, making son Zachary proud by flying around Wembley Arena should be a walk in the park, as she reveals.
Stacey Solomon has effortless modesty. She admits that she quite likes fame and all its trappings, but at the heart of things, the 23-year-old is a doting mother to sons Zachary and Leighton, and is “gleefully loopy” with it.
“I don’t mind the ‘gleefully loopy’ tag,” she begins. “I’ve heard that a few times and I think it paints me in a nice light. If that’s a way of portraying someone who wants to do things with a smile on their face, or wants to try new experiences, looking to push the boundaries a bit, then yes, I’m happy with it!”
Certainly, the singer hasn’t held back from pursuing her dreams. An incredible four years in the spotlight began in 2009 when she finished third on The X Factor, and while fellow finalists Matt Cardle and Joe McElderry have both since been ditched by their record labels, Solomon has held onto her musical ambitions, and contract, whilst also branching out into other entertainment angles. Recently, she’s made appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The Love Machine, I’m A Celebrity (which she won) and Celebrity Mastermind (which she didn’t win!).
“I just want to keep myself moving forward,” she says. “I have a huge responsibility to my children, but to myself as well, and I believe I can give all of us a better life by working hard and being a success at what I do.
“Motherhood will always come first. My children, who are five and one, are everything to me and I want to make them proud.”
Certainly, Zachary is at the age now where he is becoming aware of his mother’s fame, and starting school in September will bring its own challenges for Stacey.
“It’s difficult when your son heads off to school, but you see him in his school uniform and it’s a really special feeling – like he’s growing and becoming more independent.
“I’m lucky that I’ve got such a great network around me – particularly my mum and my partner Aaron. So if there are ever any occasions where I can’t do the run because of work commitments, then no-one’s left waiting at the school gates!”
Although Stacey comes across as optimistic, bubbly and in control, she confides that life wasn’t always so straightforward. After the birth of Zachary in 2008, the Dagenham-born beauty fell into depression, and has recently made a documentary about other young mums suffering from the same condition.
“It was a tough time for me. My life was completely turned upside down and it was a terrible shock. I think, for many, it comes back to support – support for the daily tasks of looking after a baby, and support in the sense of knowing there are people out there you can talk to if you feel you want to. That’s what really came through for me.
“I overcame post-natal depression and I want to help others do the same thing. Yes, when I see Zachary heading off to school it makes all the tears worthwhile, but I needn’t have suffered for as long as I did, and nor should anyone else suffer.”
Now Stacey is happier and healthier, and this summer the singer will be joining the cast of Peter Pan for a large-scale UK theatre tour. The big-budget production takes in Wembley Arena, Manchester Arena, Capital FM Arena (Nottingham), NIA Academy (Birmingham) and Hydro (Glasgow).
“I’m so thrilled to be playing the role of Tinkerbell. Zachary thinks it’s amazing and I want to make him proud.”
Well, if a pop star mum wasn’t enough to brag about in the school playground, a flying pop star mum should definitely do the job!