‘My kids make me belly-laugh’

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  • We caught up with

    celebrity actress mum, Angela Griffin, 36, for a natter about how she finds time to bake delicious birthday cakes for her daughters, copes with their rather ‘difficult’ questions and 

    keeps the spark alive with

    her husband,

    Jason Milligan.

    Tell us a bit about your daughters, Tallulah, 8, and Melissa, 5. Are they similar little girls?
    They’re not as different as some kids that I’ve met – some you’ll meet and think you’d never know they were related. Tallulah loves going to school and working hard and Missy is a bit more laid back about it all. She’ll go to school happily, but she’s more interested in playing with her mates there. At the same time though, they do have similarities and are both very confident young girls and a bit showy.

    We saw you tweeted about Tallulah finding ‘sexual intercourse’ in the dictionary! How did you deal with that?
    Oh dear, well she’s a very bright and she likes to read. And, we’ve always said if they’re old enough to ask the question, then they’re old enough to know an age appropriate answer. So, yes, she found ‘sexual intercourse’ in the dictionary and then she found a human body book and it gave her the very medical explanation of how you make babies. Now she keeps talking about sexual intercourse and we just say ‘yes, that’s something that happens between mummies and daddies to make babies’. The most priceless moment was when we were on the tube home and, in front of a reasonably busy tube carriage, she asked: ‘Mummy when a man and woman are having sexual intercourse and a man puts the penis into the vagina, what happens if he needs a wee?’ I just thought it was a really good question, but I explained to her that she’s asking really grown up questions so if she wants to talk about it, she can ask away from Missy, and she musn’t go to school and talk about it!

    Well it sounds like you dealt with it quite well! They’re at the stage where they understand things now, what do they think about their mummy being on TV?
    Tallulah loves it, she’s very proud and a little bit of a show off about it. We always say don’t show off about it too much – your friends might like it now but it might not be like that forever. Missy knows what I do and understands it all, but she can’t get her head around people asking me for autographs – she just doesn’t understand why someone would want me to write my name down for them.

    We also saw the Barbie cake you made for Missy’s birthday. How long did that take?
    I came home and started making the cake at 7pm, got it in the oven at 8.30pm, then popped round to my neighbour’s birthday party while my mum watched over it. I came back home about 2 hours later and took it out of the oven but as it was such a big cake, I realised that it needed to be in for 4 hours. So I had to go back to the beginning, re-make the cake and bake it all again. I had to stay up into the middle of the night until it was cooked.

    Wow, it did look amazing, so it was worth it in the end! Was it a Barbie themed party?
    Oh yes, she absolutely loved the cake and the party was Barbie themed. We even hired Barbie from the dress-up shop to come along and entertain them all. I also had to make a cake for my eldest daughter’s birthday, who loves Matilda, so I was racking my brains about what to make and then I found the original chocolate cake recipe from Roald Dahl’s story, Matilda, and I made that!

    Have you always liked baking

    and cake-decorating

    Well it’s just to please the girls really. I did the Great British Bake Off for charity and loved it so much and I realised that if you put your mind to it, you can make anything.

    What was your favourite thing you made on

    the GBBO?
    For me, it has to be the sausage rolls. It was a blind bake, so we had absolutely no idea what we were going to be making at the start of the bake off and I was really chuffed that they turned out to be a success. I learnt so much there. The main thing was to always follow the recipe!

    Do you cook with the girls?
    Yeah they love cooking and getting their hands dirty. If I ever have to bake anything that has to go well, I usually let them make their own dough on the side. I’ll give them some food colouring and let them roll it out – they love it.

    What’s your signature dish in the kitchen?
    It’s more Jason that cooks as I’m away working so much. His favourite is a dish he calls ‘Daddy’s soup’ – it’s absolutely delicious. In it there’s every kind of vegetable imaginable; carrots, leeks, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, everything, it’s so good for us all.

    So they’re good at eating their vegetables, then. Do you have any more tricks for other parents?
    Well they can be difficult. As much as they love Daddy’s soup, sometimes they aren’t keen so we pretend that eating veg will give them big muscles. If they eat a big piece of veg then we’ll feel their ‘big’ muscles and let them beat us at an arm wrestle.

    When you’re not being so healthy, what’s your favourite naughty treat?
    For me, it’s penny sweets, I’ve got some in my handbag right now!

    It doesn’t look like they’ve done much harm, you’re in great shape. How do you find the time to exercise around your schedule?
    I run, so as long as I have my trainers with me, I can exercise out on the road or in the gym. It’s a great way to keep fit, relieve stress and clear your mind. One thing I don’t enjoy is Spinning, it’s not for me.

    How do you juggle your work and spending time with your family when you’re so busy?
    It’s really difficult, especially as I work quite a lot of evenings. We
    just make sure that when we’re together, we get out of the house and do
    something. So if the sun is shining, we’ll go down to the beach or up to
    Norfolk and have a weekend away together.

    You and Jason have been married for 6 years now. How do you keep your relationship strong when you’re apart so much?
    We make sure that we’re always talking to each other and having ‘date nights’ when we can. Being apart actually works quite nicely as it means we look forward to seeing each other. The kids go to bed between 7pm and 8pm and after that it’s our time together and we can be grown-ups.

    What’s your favourite thing about being a mum?
    It has to be watching them grow into little people. You always hear people say their children make them laugh and I never really understood that until I had my own. They really do make me belly-laugh. They’re such good company. I really enjoy spending time with them and seeing them grow up and develop their own opinions and thoughts, it’s just spectacular.

    What made you want to be involved in Butlin’s new developments?
    Well my childhood holidays were spent at Butlin’s in Skegness, so when I heard about the new £25million hotel in Bognor Regis, I thought it sounded nice so the four of us went, but nothing prepared me for how amazing it was. Butlin’s had put alot of thought into creating a real family holiday and the facilities, computers and rooms were just brilliant. We’re going to be taking my parents there soon for a 3-generations holiday!

    That sounds like fun! And finally, it was our 5th birthday recently and we were wondering if you had a ‘good to know’ fact?
    Did you know Bognor Regis officially has the most sunshine each year, compared to any place in the UK?

    To book a break at Butlins Wave Hotel & Apartments, visit butlins.com

    Do your kids make you belly-laugh? Tell us about the funny things they say in our comments section below or tell us on Facebook.

    Where to next?

    Tamzin Outhwaite: ‘My family are my support network’
    A-Z of celeb mums
    – Try some of our fun kids’ recipes

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