I’m A Celeb’s James Haskell & Chloe Madeley on dreams to turn into Kardashians
They've just launched their own racy podcast – and now Chloe Madeley and James Haskell want their own no-holds-barred reality show.
For the couple, who wed in December 2018, anything goes on their Couples Quarantine podcast, from sex confessions to annoying habits and the stresses of life in lockdown.
So letting cameras into their lives would be an obvious – and hilarious – next step.
Ex-England rugby star James, 35, says: “We would love to have our own reality show.
“I don’t think it would be quite the Kardashians though. If they’re the Harrods of reality, we’d be the Happy Shopper, but it would be funny. If the opportunity came we would probably do it.”
Although judging by the swearing and naughty chat on the podcast, any reality show would need a post-watershed slot. James agrees: “We’re a post-watershed couple anyway. My days of presenting CBeebies are long gone, unfortunately!”
But they admit their openness can leave them red-faced. Fitness guru Chloe says: “I’m really happy we decided to do the podcast even though it’s a bit embarrassing being that honest. And I’m sure a lot of people are laughing at us, not with us, but it’s great fun.”
James adds: “We have wrongly been labelled “couple goals” because people only believe what they see on social media. We want to dispel that, show everybody has got sh*t going on.”
The couple have just returned from the South of France, where Chloe’s parents Richard and Judy have a holiday home. And Chloe reveals her famous folks actually enjoyed the lockdown.
“When it first hit, they got stuck in Florida, all their flights got cancelled and they were scrambling to get home,” she says. “They ended up taking about eight flights to get back to the UK which my mum didn’t enjoy as she hates travel. But they can’t complain too much, as I’m pretty sure they managed to do it all in business!
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“They got back and pretty much just shut up shop in London. Mum is a homebody anyway so she was in her element.
“They would get up in the morning, have breakfast, read and write – they have their columns, they write books, they have the book club.
“Dad walked to the shops every day, he loves being active and going for long walks. If I’m honest I think they quite enjoyed it.”
Chloe and James had a less successful trip to Ibiza for her 33rd birthday last month when James invited his mates on their romantic break.
“It ended up being lads on tour and I was left to my own devices a lot,” laughs Chloe. “They took me along like a sad little puppy, but I could tell they didn’t really want me there.
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“In fact, I’m sure there were a few mentions about me going back to the hotel. James said: ‘I didn’t do that properly did I?’ when we got back so that’s why he booked us a couple of days in the South of France.”
As well as the podcast, personal trainer Chloe is busy with her online fitness business The EC Method and has a new healthy recipe book out soon.
Before lockdown, James was training to become a mixed martial arts fighter, with his debut fight in May. That was cancelled due to coronavirus and he says: “I’m not sure what’s going to happen – we’ll have to wait and see. I went into it because I wanted to challenge myself, not because I thought I was a particularly tough person.
“It turns out I don’t mind sparring and getting stuck in, but I don’t walk around thinking I’m Bruce Lee. I look like I should be quite handy but actually I’m just a big soft useless mess.”
The former Wasps and Northampton Saints player is also releasing his autobiography, What A Flanker, in October. And he says he won’t be holding back on that either.
“It’s not like any other autobiography,” explains James. “It’s almost a collection of short stories with the real truth behind lots of things – the teams I worked with, why they’ve been successful, why they haven’t, lots of funny stories about team-mates, my brushes with the media.
“In sport, you have to put the team first. I said nothing for a long period of time, to the detriment of myself sometimes, and now the gloves are off and I can say whatever I want. It’s going to be quite punchy.”
James also appeared on last year’s I’m A Celebrity, where he was fourth to booted off. This year the jungle reality series will be filmed in the UK rather than Australia thanks to coronavirus, but he reckons it could be a great move.
“I think it will be exciting,” says James. “There will probably be a slightly different format in this new setting and I think it will be as good as ever but spiced up.
“I wasn’t a fan of the show before I went on it so didn’t realise it had been going for 19 series. A change could be a kick on and a chance to do things differently. And I’m sure there will be some horrible British bugs involved.”
But the chilly November temperatures wouldn’t entice Chloe to sign up. She says: “I hate the idea of being cold for weeks on end. If they asked me to do it I’d probably say no just on that alone!”
*Couples Quarantine is available to listen to on all leading podcast platforms, with new episodes released every Tuesday. Listen now via your favourite podcast provider
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