If you needed further evidence that time flies, 2021 marks 20 years since Kym Marsh sprang to fame as one fifth of chart-topping group Hear’Say on ITV talent show Popstars.
“It feels like a million years ago, but at the same time, when I say 20 years, it makes me feel quite old!” Kym laughs as we catch up over Zoom.
And it seems there could be big plans in place to mark the milestone, as Kym, 44, exclusively reveals that she’s been in regular contact with her former bandmates Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Suzanne Shaw and Noel Sullivan.
“We all jump on the call and it’s like we’ve never been apart,” the former Coronation Street star, who is mum to David, 25, Emilie, 24, and Polly, nine, continues.
But as well as celebrating her pop career, OK! columnist Kym has got plenty more on her hands over the coming months. This week, she’s back on the box alongside TV hubby Gethin Jones as their BBC show Morning Live returns after smashing the ratings. Meanwhile, she’s flexing her documentary muscle, fronting the second series of her true crime series, Murder At My Door.
Here, the star, who’s in a relationship with Scott Ratcliff, opens up on adding strings to her bow, why she’s given up playing matchmaker for Gethin, and how a potential Hear’Say reunion could be on the horizon…
Hi Kym. We can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Popstars…
It’s a bit bonkers to think it was so long ago. It was the first show of its kind – there hasn’t been another one the same since. We were more like a documentary, in a way, before it got to public voting and all the rest of it.
Are you still in touch with your bandmates?
Yeah, I’ve been chatting with the guys. We haven’t spoken since Christmas, but we had a couple of Zoom calls during the Christmas period and all wished each other a happy New Year. We all jump on the call and it’s like we’ve never been apart.
Do you think you’ll always have that bond?
I think so. There were a lot of stories in the papers about all the bad things – the arguments and this, that and the other. But we also had some fantastic times. Of course we had arguments – that’s people – but we did some amazing things in such a short space of time and we’ll always remember that.
Are there any plans to mark the anniversary?
We’d like to give a little nod to the fact that it’s 20 years. What we’ll do, I have no idea. But we’d like to do something to mark the occasion – we’ll have to wait and see!
Are you cheering on Myleene Klass on Dancing On Ice? [Myleene has since been eliminated in the first week of the skating show]
I’m obviously watching Myleene and rooting for her, but I have to put most of my loyalties into Faye Brookes, who played my onscreen cousin in Coronation Street. I predicted she’ll win right from the start. I know what she’s capable of and how bloody strong she is. She trains hard and is a fantastic dancer and a wonderful performer.
Rather them on the ice than us…
Oh, I know! No thank you – especially when they get that headbanger out!
Since Hear’Say, you’ve gone from acting to presenting. Is it nice to be doing such a variety of work?
When I left Corrie I worked straight away doing bits and bobs. Then the work I was meant to do last year was all either cancelled or postponed. I was like, “I don’t know what I’m going to do now.” So to have been offered the jobs I’ve been offered, and be lucky enough to do them, has been wonderful. Obviously, I’ll always be an actress, but I’m really fortunate and pleased with the way things have gone.
What’s your dream acting role?
I’d like to play the baddie and to have to shave my head or do something bizarre to get into the role.
You’re back with a second series of Morning Live. You must have been thrilled with the response and high ratings…
They’re only watching for Gethin [laughs]. It’s great to be a part of something that’s brand new, and it’s been an absolute smash, so it’s obviously a very proud moment.
Last time we caught up, you mentioned you were trying to matchmake for Gethin. How’s it going?
He’s the fussiest man in the entire world! I don’t think I could do it. I would make a mistake and then it would be my fault. So no, I’m leaving the matchmaking alone. He and our co-star Dr X and can sort their own love lives out! [Laughs]
Your true crime documentary Murder At My Door is also returning. Is it hard to shake off the harrowing stories after filming?
Narrating the series isn’t as bad as going out and interviewing the relatives and friends of people who have passed. But when I read through all the cases, it’s such a horrible thing to think that these people suffered at the hands of someone they trusted. That’s something that makes you think a lot. So it is quite difficult to get it out of your head, but when I get home I’m confronted by a nine-year-old who wants her dinner.
How’s it been juggling a hectic work schedule with family life during lockdown?
It’s pretty tough at the moment. I feel Polly is a kid who needs to be in school. She doesn’t really have a great attention span and gets quite distracted by the fact she’s at home. It’s also quite tricky to be able to work and see to Polly, as there’s a real structure to homeschooling and we have to meet certain things that the school has asked for. But we also know what we’re doing a lot more now.
Are you still able to keep in contact with your grandson Teddy as part of your daughter Emilie’s support bubble?
Yes, I’ve been really lucky. Teddy’s just an absolute joy. He’s almost two years old now and he’s reaching that point where he’s testing the boundaries a little bit, and having the odd tantrum, and you need to tell him no.
Have there been any memorable moments?
The other day Emilie was working and Teddy was here with his little karaoke machine, singing into it. He went to put it into my mouth and accidentally smacked me in the face with it and bust my lip completely. I was properly injured by my grandson, my lip was huge. Obviously he didn’t mean to hurt me, but I had to try and tell him off, without telling him off, while not laughing about it, otherwise he’d think it was funny and do it again.
Has he inherited the family singing gene?
He loves music. He’s always dancing and Emilie’s very musical too, so I think it must be in his blood.
Murder at my Door with Kym Marsh returns to CRIME+INVESTIGATION, with the first episode airing on Monday 1 February at 9pm. Episodes will be available for 30 days on catch up and on-demand services