OK! - Bryan & Kerry's New Baby
When Bryan Mcfadden and Kerry Katona became a couple, people were quick to denounce their relationship, claiming that due to their blossoming careers and youth - both were in their teens at the time - it wouldn't last 5 minutes. But in the fickle world of celebrity dating, the pairing of a member of Europe's biggest boy band with a TV star has been an unlikely success.
Not only have Bryan and Kerry, both only just 22 years old, made the commitment of marriage in a glamorous ceremony in Ireland in January 2002 - but they are also the proud parents of 15 month old Molly and just 3 weeks ago they welcomed the latest addition to their family, in the form of their new adorable baby daughter Lilly Sue.
However, the couple has been victims of tabloid rumours, most notably involving one alleged incident of infidelity during Bryan's stag weekend, which caused a rift in their marriage. The incident threatened to wreck the couple's happiness but instead the opposite was the case.
Bryan and Kerry are understandably unwilling to speak about this matter but it was clear from the couple's closeness during OK!'s exclusive photo shoot that their marriage is as strong as ever.
As they relaxed in Paris, Bryan and Kerry proved to be devoted parents by cooing over their newborn, while making sure Molly got her fair share of the attention.
They obviously relish each other's company with Bryan making his stunning wife laugh throughout the interview, while she in turn affectionately cuddled her husband. After Bryan had dashed off to get his wife a coca-cola, the pair relaxed and talked honestly to Ok! about how they've come through the darker periods in their marriage, why they got bored on honeymoon and the joys of the latest arrival to their family.
Firstly congratulations on the birth of you're second daughter, Lilly Sue. You both seem to be absolutely besotted with her.
Kerry: She's brilliant and I feel like she's been around forever. When I was in hospital I felt anxious about going home with two kids. But now I think it's just perfect. People always say you never notice you're second one and she's so good - it's like she's not even here. I'm more relaxed with Lilly because Molly's at the age where I'm running around after her. I'm absolutely in love with the 2 girls but it's dead weird to think that we're only 22 and we've got 2 children. I think that's mad. I sound like Sally Webster off Coronation Street always saying 'the girls'.
Bryan: It doesn’t feel as if she's only been in our lives for 3 weeks - her arrival has been so natural. But it's strange having 2 children. When I called the travel agent to confirm the flight to Paris, it sounded weird to book for 2 children.
Although you are only 22, you are both high profile celebrities. How does the glamorous professional lifestyle compare to parenthood?
Bryan: It's quite hard to juggle both because it's difficult keeping you're private and work life separate. When we go home it's just us and the 2 babies, whereas our public life is huge because we're both on television.
Kerry: That's part of the job though - it just goes with the territory. You never know Bryan, in three years time you may well be back at McDonalds!
Bryan, have you been given a break from Westlife to spend time getting to know your newborn baby?
Bryan: I was given a few weeks off but I'm going back straight in to a tour. It's going to be hard but hopefully the kids and Kerry will come over and visit me.
Kerry: We're both working hard for the future of our children. Bryan and I are so lucky to have our work opportunities, although it is hard because we don’t see as much each other as we would like to. But in the long run it will be worth it because we won't be doing this for the rest of our lives. I was brought up with no security or money so when I'm working I'm working for my kids so that their lives will be stable and they can go on holiday every year.
Kerry, you're pregnancy sounded very tough. You had a cyst removed when you're just 5 weeks pregnant and horrendous morning sickness...
Kerry: I'm rubbish at being pregnant because I'm always poor. I had a cyst before when Molly was 6 months old, so I knew it was happening again when I was pregnant with Lilly. At first the doctors thought it might be an entopic pregnancy and we were rushed to hospital and I was frantically worried. When the doctors were talking to me about possible problems with the operation I burst into tears and thought if I lost this baby I'd try for another immediately, despite the fact that I hadn't wanted to be pregnant at the time. When someone tells you might lose your baby it puts everything in perspective and all you care about is having a healthy child. But the pregnancy wasn't good - I was always tired and throwing up. I loved the birth but didn't like being pregnant.
So, by the time Lilly made her appearance you must have been extremely relieved...
Kerry: Definitely. I got induced with Lilly at a hospital in Dublin. They broke my water's at 7:25am and I had my first contraction at 5:30pm. Lilly was born at 10:31pm.
Bryan: Kerry's mum and I had to be dragged away from watching the Michael Jackson Documentary down the corridor to witness the birth!
Kerry: As soon as they put me in the delivery room Mum and Bryan said they were off to watch the documentary. I thought 'Fine, leave me on my own' They kept popping in and then I felt the pressure had started pushing. I had a natural birth with both my babies. When Lilly appeared, I felt very emotional and cried - I was just happy it was over. I saw the pictures and I looked about 12!
Bryan, how did it feel to hold Lilly for the first time?
Bryan: I filmed it all and I knew what to expect coz we had Molly. I filmed Lilly coming out, getting cleaned up, getting her first nappy and being weighed. It was a fantastic experience.
It's quite bizarre that both your children were conceived in the Conrad Hotel in London. Do you think there's some weird fertility drug in the water?
Kerry: There must be something in the water. I'm surprised the hotel hasn't asked for royalties!
Bryan: Our home is in Ireland but when we're in England we live in the Conrad, so it's not really that strange, as it's like a second apartment.
Kerry were you surprised to be pregnant again?
Kerry: Neither Lilly nor Molly were planned. While Bryan was away I did 7 pregnancy tests and couldn’t believe they were all positive. I just thought not again! I started crying because I couldn't believe it. Molly was not even one and I was just getting back in to work, Bryan was absolutely delighted.
Bryan: I was convinced the baby was going to be a boy. When Kerry became pregnant with Molly I was very nervous, but it was different with Lilly because we were married and we were doing what normal married couples do.
So are there going to be many more baby Mcfadden?
Kerry: No more babies - Bryan you're getting the snip! Seriously, we do want more but I'm going to leave it for about 4 years.
Bryan: "We've been talking about adopting a boy as it would be great to give something back. We have a loving family, money and security, so we've a lot to offer.
Kerry: I was fostered so I appreciate that there are kids out there who need a good home. But we are only 22, so there is plenty of time for more children.
With much of you're time revolving around caring for 2 small children and work, how do you find space for each other?
Kerry: We have lots of help from our families. Bryan's mum give up her job to look after Molly, so any time we wanted to go out, such as Valentine's Day, we could. It's important to have time for your relationship, otherwise you drift apart. We've got a nanny now as it wouldn’t be fair on Bryan's mum to look after 2 children - she's got her own life. I need a nanny because I travel so much and airlines won’t let you travel on your own with two kids under 2.
Bryan: When we're not working we like to go out for drinks and dinner, but our favourite thing is to stay in bed all day watching friends.
You can't escape the fact that there are many people who would love to see your relationship to fail because you're married with children at such a young age.
Kerry: If you go back 20 years when my mum was my age, people were getting married at 16 and no one said there was anything wrong with it. Now woman wait till they are 40 to get married and have kids but whose to say who is right and who is wrong? If we weren't famous and didn't have the money it would probably be the last thing on our mind, but we've been around the world and done so much at a young age. Plus I've always wanted a family and I want to grow up with my children rather than be old parents.
Bryan: When the girls are grown up we'll be in our forties. They'll be old enough to do their things and we'll be young enough to enjoy ours.
Kerry, despite being a busy mum you've proved to be a hit on the television screen. How far up until the birth did you work?
Kerry: All the way through. I presented a show in Ireland called ‘You're a Star’ on the Sunday night, then went to bed, got up the next day and we went straight to the hospital to have Lilly. I love working and I'm a very active person. I find it really hard to sit around. Bryan's worse, he comes home and annoys me as he's got such itchy feet and can't wind down. I'll just have to drug him with sleeping pills! [Laughs]
You were married in a spectacular ceremony in January 2002, what was the most memorable moment of the day?
Kerry: I have to say it was the week before when we were staying at Slane Castle. All our close friends and family were with us and we had a brilliant time. The actual day was fantastic but the build up was better. I didn't feel that emotional during the ceremony, just giddy. Sometimes it feels strange to think that I have a husband because most of my mates are either single or have boyfriends. I suppose the main difference is that if we had a bad row and we split up then we'd have to get divorced and that's really scary!
After such a fantastic wedding surrounded by family and friends, did you suffer from post wedding blues?
Kerry: Yes. It was so depressing. I remember sitting in the car on the way back to Dublin waiting for Bryan to get fish and chips and I had a face like thunder. I was thinking 'That's it, it's all over' We went back to our apartment and the heating wasn't working. Then we flew to South Africa for the first part of our honeymoon but we didn’t realise how famous Bryan is over there so we couldn't move out of our hotel. We later flew to Marritius where no one knew us - but everyone was over 50!
Bryan: We love each other's company but after having such a great pre-wedding party we were bored as it was a bit of an anti climax. So two of our friends flew out to Marrituias to join us. When we returned to Ireland we were told that the bill for our wedding was over budget by over ?00,000 can you believe it? There was a free bar but most of our family and friends are alcoholics so you can imagine 350 people drinking away!
Bryan, you proposed to Kerry after just 3 weeks, what made you decide that Kerry was the one?
Bryan: You just know and she knew as well and said yes. It wasn't a case at the time that we had loads of money because Kerry's career hadn't yet taken off.
Kerry: I felt exactly the same way. We were doing some gig in Brighton and I started talking to Bryan. That night he asked me out 5 times and gave me the password to his bedroom but I thought I'm not going to be another notch on your bedpost! He went off to Japan and when we got back in touch Bryan was really off with me on the phone because he had a girlfriend. We met up and flirted but I told him he was an idiot for seeing someone else when he could have had me. He declared his love but I still wasn’t interested until he was single.
Bryan: My ex was gone in about 5 minutes and we were engaged 3 weeks later.
Kerry, you have been through a lot of trauma in your childhood, including being fostered but you seem so focused on family life. Do you ever feel that your past could come back to haunt you or do you think you've entered a totally different chapter in your life?
Kerry: I find it really hard to let go of the past and I dwell on it a lot. People think I've got everything but they don't understand how hard I've had to work. I'm so happy I got married young and have 2 kids I love. My background’s made me stronger. You're given 2 paths in life, the wrong and right one, and which way you choose depends on what kind of person you are. I could be on drugs, an alcoholic and a thief but I decided against that. One of the reasons I pushed myself was because I was in care at school and was immediately perceived as trouble, through no fault of my own. I'm very proud of where I am now and I have everything I've ever wanted - a perfect family life.
You seem perfectly suited as a couple but there must be times behind closed doors when you drive each other round the bend...
Kerry: Oh god yes! Bryan is so scruffy and doesn't clean up, I have to do everything around the house - he can't even put things in the dishwasher, or the bin. But that's one of the only things that annoys me.
Bryan: But that's why I got married [Laughs] for you to do it!
Like most married couples you've had your ups and downs, do you think Bryan being part of Westlife has put a strain on your relationship?
Kerry: I did when I first left Atomic Kitten and was pregnant. I'd given up my job, left my friends and family and moved to Ireland where I didn't know anyone. I was so depressed. I would sit around the house doing nothing and it drove me insane! With the Atomic Kitten girls I was used to starting work at 4:30am and not finishing till 2:30am the next day. I was desperate to get back out there working but I couldn't because I was pregnant. Even now I do get lonely sometimes and I have a cry because I really really miss Bryan, its because we're so close.
Do you feel paranoid or insecure that one of you might be unfaithful?
Kerry: Not at all! Bryan's fans are only 14 anyway. I've been in the same job as Bryan and that's why we're good for each other because I understand what's going on.
Bryan: If she was worried about me I think she would have been gone by now. But she got jealous because I'm more famous than her!
Kerry: [Laughs] Yeh your break will come love!
Like any married couple you have gone through dark periods. How have you managed to put the bad times behind you?
Bryan: We absolutely love each other! And the love that made us get engaged within 3 weeks of meeting each other is still there.
Kerry: No matter what has happened in the past I'm never going to stop loving Bryan. I don't care what anyone says when there's a foundation there you can never stop loving someone, I'm a completely different person now than when I met Bryan. I had loads of baggage from being in care and having a difficult past, most men wouldn't be interested. But he's been my knight in shining amour.
So do you totally trust each other?
So you would forgive each other anything, apart from perhaps a full blown affair?
Kerry: Well we're still married.
Bryan: Though she does talk about Colin Farell quite a bit and now she tells me she fancies Declan Donally.
Kerry: I've been invited to Colin Farell's party but Bryan won't let me go.
Kerry, do you ever miss your days in Atomic Kitten?
Kerry:Sometimes when I go to Bryan's concerts and he's up on stage I find that I really miss being in the band. I won't deny it. I'd give anything to get on stage one last time with the girls. I'm known as the girl from Atomic Kitten or the one married to Bryan and it's frustrating. I'd like to be known in my own right as Kerry Mcfadden.
You're very close to the Atomic Kitten girls, have you been in touch with Natasha Hamilton since she split from her fiancé Fran Cosgrove?
Kerry: Yes. Natasha's one of my best mates and we're always on the phone saying 'Love you, miss you' She and Josh [Natasha's baby] are on great form.
Bryan: It's quite strange because Kerry's best friends with Tash and I'm very close to Fran. The other day I was talking to Fran on the phone and Kerry was talking to Natasha and they must have known we'd be having these conversations.
Bryan how do the Westlife lads help to support one another when the band is abroad and missing loved ones?
Bryan: The one thing that keeps us alive is golf! You don't miss anyone or anything when you're working because you're head's focused, but it's when you arrive in somewhere like Malaysia and you have a whole day of waiting around ahead of you that you feel like cracking up because you'd rather be at home with you're family. But golf takes our minds off it.
Tell us about your beautiful new family home in Dublin.
Bryan: It's our dream house and it's like Southfork! We have a home cinema, snooker room and golf area, but it was expensive because Dublin is really pricey.
The press always come up with stories about Westlife saying you're on the verge of splitting up. What's the truth?
Bryan: It's totally rubbish! One of our tour guys, Anto Byrne, left because he wanted to go to something new and we'd get younger people on the road with us. There was no dispute. We're signing another album deal with BMG so we're hardly on the verge of splitting.
Are you concerned that when you do eventually split up that there will be animosity between the lads like there is with Boyzone? It's almost inevitable that some of you will end up being more successful than others.
Bryan: We've always agreed that none of us will leave the band for our own interests. There have been solo deals offered and TV companies have already contacted the group about presenting work but at the moment we're concentrating on the band. We're very close. It was only 5 years ago that 3 of the guys worked in shops in Sligo, while I was in McDonald's and Nicky was a DJ. It was the 5 of us who made Westlife and we've still got lots to do. We want to conquer the world.
Are you keen to go solo?
Bryan: After the band I probably would. But even if the band broke up I would want a couple of years off because I want to be with my family. There's no split on the cards. We're writing, recording and touring so there's another 4 or 5 years before we'd even consider splitting up.
Bryan, you and the Westlife lads are notorious for your partying which has occasionally got you in to trouble. But you've recently said that you're controlling your drinking. Set the record straight have you really been laying off the booze?
Kerry: Can I just say that Bryan has got this image of being an alcoholic womaniser and it's wrong. I've only ever seen him drunk about three times and when we go out, he often doesn't drink because he doesn't need a drink to have a good time. Out of all the boys he goes out the least, and often he'll drink water. I'm the one who stays in the club when Bryan goes home. I'm the one who wants to go out for a pub lunch and Bryan says it's too early for a drink.
Bryan: I was very drunk at last year's Brits but that's about it. Once I left a club with a bottle of beer and I'd only had 2 or 3 drinks and it was all over the papers about me being disgracefully drunk.
Finally, Bryan, if you weren't in Westlife would you buy their music?
Bryan: Probably, because I like all kinds of music and listen to everything. I don't think I'd be a Westlife fan though!