Emma Willis is sitting on a giant sofa in the sort of fashionable London hotel suite where everything is grey, white and chrome, apart from the bags of Joe & Seph’s caramel popcorn (Emma’s favourite thing right now) and the subtly changing mood lighting, which, when Matt – her husband of seven years – pops his head around the door, dramatically turns bright pink. Emma is weeks away from having baby number three and they don’t yet know the sex – she is very much in the ‘Why would you ruin the only true surprise of your life? They already have a daughter (Isabelle, six) and son (Ace, four), ‘So there’s no pressure, but perhaps we ought to concentrate on some girl names,’ she jokes.
‘This one is going to be less traditional than Isabelle, but not quite as renegade as Ace – somewhere in-between.’She has also, as it happens, recently turned 40.
Not that this is something that need bother Emma for a second: she is at the peak of her career, having emerged in the past few years as one of the nation’s best-loved TV presenters, fronting shows such as ‘I haven’t planned a party – I have left it all to Matt.
Since then, Matt has embarked on a solo career in musical theatre and TV presenting, and Busted is back together – after a recent stint merging with the band Mc Fly to form Mc Busted (‘They coexist.
They can be Busted, Mc Fly or Mc Busted,’ Emma says, attempting to clear up my confusion).
‘Matt is in a great place right now and he feels sorted.
You can go through tough times and feel you have lost everything, but we understand better than ever that this is an industry where success comes and goes – you have to accept that.
‘I guess we could still do it but I’d be in bed by 10pm.’Emma doesn’t seem to be much of a party animal, even in less bump-influenced times – she rarely drinks and hates the taste of wine.
‘I’m a vodka-and-lemonade girl, but that’s really only because it tastes of lemonade,’ she says, admitting that she sounds like a teenager who only drinks to get drunk. Instead, she and Matt moved from London to Hertfordshire to live a ‘very normal life.We’re low key; we don’t get recognised, we just get on with our thing.’ Matt is sober after battling alcoholism in his early 20s – something he acknowledges was brought on by the demise of his band Busted, the turn-of-the-century chart-toppers who split in 2005.He and Emma met on MTV when she was an up-and-coming presenter.He’s got his fingers in so many pies and he knows that even if the band doesn’t continue for ever there will always be something.’ (and ‘is just as weepy,’ Emma warns).The show follows people whose lives are transformed by the miracle of medical science.‘It pulls on your heartstrings and features the most extraordinary people and stories – we see a paraplegic boy with cerebral palsy learning to walk again, and a former army survival specialist overcoming a tremor that was ruining his life. It’s phenomenal what science can do.’within a month or so of giving birth, ‘I would have liked the due date not to have fallen where it has. It’s not perfectly timed,’ she says, before correcting herself.