When OK! catches up with Helen Flanagan and Scott Sinclair, they’re putting the finishing touches to their Christmas tree. This is a special time for them. Not only is it their nine-month-old son Charlie’s first Christmas, but it will be the family’s first in what former Coronation Street actress Helen, 31, calls their “forever home”.
The couple moved in a few months ago after the Preston North End footballer surprised his fiancée with the purchase. But Scott, 32, is no stranger to romantic gestures. He got down on one knee to propose during a family holiday to Disneyland Paris in 2018 and now he and Helen are planning their dream day with the aid of daughters Matilda, six, and three-year-old Delilah, who are to be bridesmaids.
Here, Helen and Scott talk about their Christmas and wedding plans, settling into a new home, and why Charlie will be their last baby…
Hi both! How was the photoshoot?
Helen: It went really well. Sometimes it can be a nightmare with the kids, but they loved it. It got them all excited for Christmas! Delilah is at the age now where she’s a lot easier. She really went through the terrible twos and was having a lot of tantrums, but now she listens and is great. Matilda is very sociable and confident and then Charlie is just so cute. Delilah is obsessed with Charlie, and she and Matilda are so close they even share a bedroom. This time last year I was going through a horrible pregnancy and was so ill, so I’m looking forward to this Christmas as it will be a little different.
What are your plans for Christmas?
Scott: I have to train on Christmas Day for a few hours, so I’ll get up with the kids and see them open their presents, then I’ll have to go off to training as we always have a game on Boxing Day. Then we’ll go to Helen’s mum’s.
Helen: Scott’s parents are coming down for New Year, which will be lovely. And I’ll be seeing my brother, too.
I haven’t seen him for years, as he’s been living in Thailand.
Scott: As a footballer, the one downside is that you do miss a bit of Christmas – unless you get a manager that lets you off training. But not many do! As long as I see the kids open their presents, I don’t mind. I’m always back in time for Christmas dinner. Luckily, this year it’s a home game. Sometimes, if it’s far away, you have to travel in the evening on Christmas Day and stay in a hotel. The girls are a little older now, so they’re so excited about Christmas. They’ve written their lists to Father Christmas and they’re counting down the days.
Do you spoil the kids?
Helen: We never go over the top, as we don’t want them to be spoilt. We often clear the playroom and give loads of toys to charity, as it’s important for the girls to realise they have to give some toys away sometimes to children less fortunate.
Are you looking forward to Christmas with Charlie?
Helen: Yes! It will be our first Christmas with Charlie and our first Christmas in our forever home. We recently moved in here and we love it.
Tell us about it…
Helen: It’s a house I’ve always really wanted and Scott surprised me with it.
Scott: She didn’t have anything to do with it and didn’t have a clue until I gave her the keys. It was amazing to see her reaction. We went to look at it three times.
Helen: It was really special. I really wanted the house. It’s my dream house. With Scott’s career, we’ve always moved
a lot and rented, so to now have our own house is amazing. We’re so happy.
Scott: We can decorate it and make it exactly how we want it, which we’ve never been able to do before.
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Is that the most romantic thing you’ve ever done, Scott?
Scott: I’d like to think so. That’s pretty hard to top! I thought it was a great surprise as Helen wanted it so much.
I actually told her the house was sold and we didn’t get it. She was not happy.
Helen: I was in tears saying, “Oh my God it’s been sold!” We drove by it and I could see moving vans. I was so sad – but it was actually the people moving out. The next day Scott surprised me with the keys and said it’s actually ours. Then I cried again.
That’s amazing. And you welcomed Charlie this year, too. Has having a little boy been different?
Helen: I honestly still can’t believe we have a boy. I sometimes call him “Boy!”
Scott: It was such a nice surprise. I was so excited and I’m loving having another boy in the house – and for him to arrive on my birthday made it extra-special. I’m already outnumbered, but I would have been totally outnumbered if it was another girl.
Helen: We feel like we’ve completed our family with our little boy. We’ve decided we’re done at three aren’t we, darling [to Scott]?
Scott: Yes! No more kids.
How do you feel about that decision?
Helen: It actually feels nice. We have our three and we feel that’s enough for us. Our family is complete. Me and Scott started having kids when I was 24 and he was 26, so we’ve had that lovely stage with the kids, but we think it will be nice to enjoy all their different stages now and enjoy some time just the two of us. I also want to focus on work projects.
Did your hyperemesis [extreme morning sickness] play a part in your decision?
Helen: It was definitely part of it. I think a lot of women are very broody and we always feel like we could have more, but because I was so unwell in my pregnancies the idea of having another has almost been taken out of my hands. I don’t think I could go through that again. It was so difficult with the other children and Scott and my mum had to do everything as I was bed bound for four months. The worst bit was the mum guilt because I couldn’t do normal things with the kids.
How was it for you Scott, when Helen was ill?
Scott: It was so hard. Seeing her being ill all the time was horrible, and then looking after Matilda and Delilah at the same time…
Helen: Scott is an amazing chef and he did all the cooking when I was pregnant. I couldn’t even open the fridge without being sick, so Scott was a lifesaver.
Scott: Well I do all the cooking anyway, so that was no different!
Helen: As soon as I gave birth to Charlie it was like, “I can clean my kitchen without being sick!” It actually made me feel very isolated and low. Even lights made me feel sick, so all I could do was lie down. I could hear the kids asking, “Where’s Mummy?” and that was so hard. I decided it would be too hard on the children to go through that again.
That’s understandable. So what’s next for your family in 2022?
Helen: Next year we will be concentrating on the house. We’re renovating it and we’ll also be planning our wedding. It’s going to be a busy and exciting year. I’m looking forward to Charlie’s first birthday. Because he’s my last one, I will do something really special for him. And because he and Scott share a birthday it will be lovely to do a party for the boys.
How’s the wedding planning going?
Helen: It’s going really well and it’s so exciting. I’ve found a venue in England I’ve fallen in love with. I’ve never been able to find a venue that feels right, but finally I have. It is perfect for us. We did consider Italy, but it is just so much easier to do it here without all the travelling. We’ve been together 12 years and already feel married, so maybe that’s why we’ve been lazy with it. But it’s all happening now and it will be amazing. It will be such a special day for the children. Matilda thinks she’s my wedding planner!
Scott: Because of the football season, it’s probably going to have to be the summer of 2023. We’ll have to do it during a time when I know I’m definitely off.
Will you let Matilda pick anything out?
Helen: Yeah, she’s going to pick out her bridesmaid dress, as she’s very into that all that. Matilda and Delilah will be bridesmaids and Charlie will be a pageboy. Scott has a niece and nephew and I have nieces and nephews on my side so we will have them involved, too. I’m really girly and I’ve always wanted to have a wedding dress. I’ve tried on a few, but I’m going to keep it a surprise.
Have you been hands-on with the planning, Scott?
Scott: Because of training, Helen has been doing most of it. But to be honest if I ever do have an input then it’ll just get shut down pretty quickly anyway. My suit is probably the only thing I can pick! Me and Charlie will definitely have matching suits.
Will you take Scott’s name, Helen?
Helen: I’ll definitely take Scott’s name and be Helen Sinclair. I want to have the same name as the kids. That will be lovely.
What’s coming up for you work-wise?
Helen: I would really love to do some theatre. I really want to focus back on my acting. I probably will go back to Coronation Street at some point, and I’d love to do a drama. The kids are always going to be my number one, though, so it will be what fits around them.
It was reported you’d quit as Corrie’s Rosie Webster for good. Is that not true then?
Helen: That’s a load of rubbish. I honestly don’t know where these stories come from. I’ve never said that. The door is left open. I wouldn’t go back at the moment, as Charlie isn’t even one yet. Your children are only young once, so I don’t want to miss out on anything.
Finally, how do you think your former on screen mum Sally Dynevor will do on Dancing On Ice?
Helen: I’m really excited to watch her. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go and see her live. Matilda is really into ice-skating and always goes with her grandma, so I’d love to take her to watch Sally. I know she’ll be amazing because she’s so professional and puts everything into what she does. On Corrie she always used to help me and Brooke [Vincent] with our lines and directions. She’s so lovely so I think everyone will love her.
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