Is Having A Baby A Career Boost For Celebs?

17/06/2011 18:02 | Updated 22 May 2015
Is having a baby a career boost for celebs?PA

Have you read Jools Oliver's baby book, Minus Nine to One? Or strained to keep up with Davina McCall's Post Natal Workout? Does your child wear anything from Myleene Klass's Baby K Mothercare range? Or perhaps you were tempted by a maternity dress from Denise Van Outen's DVO collection.

Yes, along with tummy pats from strangers and misleading advice from family, once you get pregnant you have to get used to celebrities trying to sell you stuff.

Denise Van Outen is the latest TV personality to release a - brace yourself - "mumoir." Previously we've been treated to Tess Daly's The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures, My Bump and Me by Myleene Klass, and the aforementioned Diary of an Honest Mum by Jools Oliver. Van Outen's book, Bumpalicious, is described as "a frank first-hand account of what to expect when you're expecting". Frankly, the first thing I expect when I read that a celebrity is expecting is an avalanche of baby-related product and promotional opportunities.

Because while research has found that women's careers are frequently derailed by motherhood, a new baby can be a goldmine for someone in the public eye.

Before writing her book, Van Outen "used her new-found pregnancy curves as inspiration for her maternity clothing range", as, presumably, did Holly Willoughby when she designed her own "sexy and feminine" maternity range for Littlewoods, despite the fact that, as far as I'm aware, neither had any previous design experience.

Branding machine Katie Price inexplicably skipped maternity wear and went straight for baby clothes with her KP Baby range, as did Myleene Klass, whose Baby K range for Mothercare deal is apparently worth £500,000. But then Myleene has turned parenthood into a bit of a cottage industry: she also writes a monthly column for Prima Baby and is launching an internet TV outlet with advice for young parents later this year.

Book, clothing and DVD deals aside, there's also an awful lot of money to be made from celebrity magazines like Hello and OK! You don't even need to wait for the line on the pregnancy test ("Geri tells all about shock pregnancy") - once you start thinking about a baby you can give a "my baby hopes" interview ("In this week's OK! we join Kerry Katona and the kids on holiday in Marbella as she talks about adoption"), but once you are in the family way, the sky's the limit. You can follow up the introducing the new baby feature, with a christening, baby's first birthday, baby's first holiday, and more. It all adds up.

A showbiz insider (I've always wanted to say that) has told me that when Geri Halliwell arranged a "celebrity-studded" Christening for her daughter Bluebell, the magazine's fee increased depending on which of Geri's famous friends confirmed attendance. Mel C, Victoria Beckham and Emma Bunton all made it, but Melanie Brown couldn't, which was a shame as a full set of Spice Girls would have made it an excellent payday for Geri.

And you don't have to be currently in the public eye to cash in either. Since Steps split in 2001, Lisa Scott Lee's career has been a series of rather unfortunate events, and yet she was still able to show off baby Star in Hello. No, Scott Lee's not going to command the six figures someone like Katie Price could expect, but it still beats statutory maternity pay, I bet.

I can't help but wonder just how much money it's possible to make if you're a fertile celeb. And, because I'm cynical, I also wonder if your career is on the skids, would it actually be a good career move to pop out a sprog or two? Yes it's a longer-term commitment than a few weeks on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, but at least you don't have to eat kangaroo testicles...

I was hoping to get some hard figures - I'd love to know if it's possible to make a living just from baby-related activities - but none of the agents or management companies I contacted were willing to talk about it. I honestly can't understand why. Do they think we think these stars do it for free? Perhaps they think "normal" parents will resent the amount of money that can be made.

I don't - I think it's odd that we're so celebrity obsessed that we'll take "essential medical information" from someone who used to be in Hear'say, but I don't blame the celebrities themselves for cashing in on it. Do you?

Tell us what you think.

Suggest a correction