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Emma Willis on building confidence and why women shouldn’t have to wear sexy underwear all the time


Emma Willis becomes Queen of Everything

The Voice UK presenter, 38, would extend paternity leave, deploy CCTV and improve the quality of hair dye if she ruled the world.

This queen is not a natural leader. I have to be, especially in my relationship and with two children, because Matt [Willis, her husband] definitely isn’t. Matt’s very good at the fun and spontaneity. I’m a real planner and I’m very good at adjusting, so I think I’d be OK. Apparently, being adaptable is a typical Piscean trait, as we have all 12 signs’ qualities in our one sign.

My coronation would be kid-friendly. The minute you have children, people stop inviting you out. Not one person asked me out for New Year! I always said that when I had enough friends with kids, I’d have a party and only invite the people who had children. So that’s what I did for New Year’s Eve. It was great. I made a massive curry, loaded potato skins and served Pimm’s in a bowl because I didn’t have a jug.

Tom Jones and McBusted would play at my coronation party. You never have more fun than when you’re around McBusted and everybody loves Sir Tom. Then I’d get Ellie Goulding to perform. She has amazing energy but she’s also incredibly calm. Taylor Swift would sing too. I go to bed singing Shake It Off.

As queen, I’d have more confidence. I never really think I’m good enough. Every time I get a job, I worry I won’t be asked back, because so many times I wasn’t. You can’t help thinking it’s because you’re doing something wrong. To be asked back for the second series of The Voice, it was like, “Yes! I’ve finally got it right!”

The art of Zen would be mandatory. I’m busy and get stressed quite easily so when I have time to stop, I sit there thinking, ‘Surely I should be doing something. What can I do next?’

Although since we moved from London to the countryside, I’ll find myself looking out the window into the back garden and it instantly makes me feel a bit calmer. Meditation always sounds great but I haven’t got the patience for it. I’d be sitting there going, “Come on Emma, get in the zone! But I’ve got the washing to do…”

Emma with husband Matt Willis

Emma with husband Matt Willis in January 2015

You shouldn’t have to wear sexy underwear all the time. Every woman should own a pair of Spanx. Even when you don’t need them, they change the lines of your clothes and how you stand. If you’re going to get lucky, they can be awkward. And if you’re not going to get lucky, or you’ve got a partner anyway, it doesn’t matter.

I’d have a Big Brother-style control room. I’m nosey and I’d never get anything done because I’d go to the hub where CCTV cameras are kept and just sit watching people. Although it’s actually quite frightening, the things people get up to. Perhaps ignorance is bliss.

I’d be given the gift of singing, because I really can’t. I think I’d make the best frontwoman in the world. I’d be like Gwen Stefani. She’s my heroine. She never lets her age play a part in her performance or how she dresses. She’s cool, without trying to be.

My government would ensure that men get enough paternity leave. The first two or three months are so important. Two weeks to bond with your baby? It’s not enough. And then mums are left alone with their baby! It’s so important for dads to be there at the beginning – both for the baby and the whole family.

New mothers would also get the right advice. When I had my first baby and found things tough, I’d ask for help from midwives and get so much conflicting advice, it confused me even more. Instead, I would ask my mum, who’s had three kids and works in a hospital. All new mums need a bit more support.

Hair dye that works forever would be compulsory. At the moment, I have to dye my hair every four weeks because of the grey. Men can have hair transplants. Why can’t we have something that makes our hair stay the colour it is for our whole lives? I will embrace the grey one day, though. I love Judi Dench and Helen Mirren – especially because they’ve got short hair. I’m a short hair girl, although there are days when I don’t wear make-up, haven’t done my hair, I’m in my jeans and Converse and I look at Matt and say, “You’re basically married to a boy.”

The Voice UK is on BBC1 on Saturdays at 7pm


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