For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from across the entertainment industry share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to Louise Redknapp.
Ahead of her ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ debut, we spoke to the former Eternal singer and TV personality about how she copes with negative comments from other people, and why she wants to encourage young people to grab life with both hands…
What do you to do switch off from the world?
I’m a big fan of a holiday. For me, it’s about getting out of the country - preferably with family - and going somewhere and actually having a break away. I find it a lot easier to switch off my phone and not reply to emails if I’m actually somewhere else.
How do you deal with negativity?
I hate negativity, I hate negative comments, I’m not somebody who brushes it off and doesn’t care, it kind of does stab me a little bit in the heart. But I think every day is a new day, and you’ve just got to try and stay positive in yourself really. Sometimes that’s easier than others, sometimes you’re able to brush it off but other days it does affect you more.
I think sometimes you have got to just say, ‘I’m human, and things are going to affect me at different stages in my life’, and you’ve got to just deal with it the best you can. You’ve got to just ride the storm a bit.
When and where are you happiest?
I think being at home, with my family. Dinner time, having all my dinner around me, chatting, catching up and just being with them. They make me everything I am nowadays. When I was younger, it was all about being out there with my music and being in the limelight… now, just being with them is my key priority.
What is the best advice that you’ve been given?
I’ve got two. One from my mum, which is ‘never judge, or you too will be judged’, which I think is a good comment about judging other people. Then there’s a business one, which is, ‘never be too busy to take a meeting, because you never know what might come out of it’.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
Not everybody’s kind. Not everybody’s thoughtful. I think I judge people by my own standards, and the hardest lesson is that everybody has their own standards too. You learn to suss it out quicker, but people can disappoint you, and that has been the hardest lesson for me in life.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Be brave! Go out there and grab the world with both hands and enjoy every minute of it. I think I could do with that right now, since I’m about to do ‘Strictly’! But when I was younger, I went into Eternal, I grabbed every opportunity, and I’m proud that I did that. I would advise any young people, and any older people, grab opportunities because they might not come along again.
What three things are left on your to-do list?
I would love to go back to Uganda. I love Uganda. I would love to be in a West End musical. That’s kind of where I started at school, so doing something like that would be amazing. And I’d love to do something like climbing Kilimanjaro, something that was a little bit different.
What do you think happens when we die?
Oh, I try not to think about that just yet - but hopefully I’ll go to a good place.
When do you feel like we’re in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
I am a bit of a believer in that what is meant to be will be, sometimes your path is already mapped out for you and you’ve kind of got to just take it as it comes. I think things happen for a reason and that something bigger might be in charge.
What do you try to bring to your relationships?
I think with all of my friendships and my relationship with my husband, the first thing I bring is loyalty. I am loyal to the core, it takes a long time for people to get close to me, but once they do, they’ve got me for life. And I’d like to think I bring kindness, I like to think I’m a kind friend. I’d do anything for my friends and my husband. I try and teach my kids that too, being kind in life should be a priority.
What keeps you grounded?
I think my family, actually. With ‘Strictly’, my son’s got a rugby tournament coming up and I said, ‘oh no, I have to miss it’, and he just said, ‘yeah well, you might be out by then’. So there’s no getting big-headed in my household, two boys.
What’s the last good deed or act of kindness that you received?
You know what, it’s something simple and it is ‘Strictly’-related, but so many of my friends messaged me on day one, just to say ‘good luck’ and to enjoy the experience. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but actually people have busy lives, so to take the time out to give somebody else a confidence boost goes a really long way.
Louise Redknapp is fronting a new campaign with Dolmio, encouraging families across the UK to disconnect the tech and reconnect over the dinner table.
Brand new research highlights how tech is taking over the dinner table and family mealtimes. A survey of 2,000 British parents found that:
- 67% of parents say family arguments at the table stem from technology
- One in three households has tried unsuccessfully to ban tech when eating
- Whilst 82% say that tech-free mealtimes are happier