Sophie Ellis-Bextor has talked about having five children, admitting she never planned to have so many.
The popstar is mum to Sonny, 16, Kit, 12, Ray, eight, Jesse, five, and two-year-old Mickey with husband Richard Jones, and fans have got a peek at the domestic chaos in Casa Ellis-Bextor via her successful Kitchen Disco Instagram lives.
Sophie, 41, said that while she finds the arrival of a new baby in the family ‘pure and joyful’, she probably would have had just one child if she hadn’t had five.
The Groovejet singer appeared on Jay Rayner’s podcast Out To Lunch, with the critic asking whether she had planned to have such a large family ‘by modern standards’.
Sophie said: ‘I don’t think so. I sometimes think if I hadn’t had loads, I would have just had one, strangely. In my life, whenever’s there’s been a new baby in the family, it’s always been a symbol of a really good thing. Quite a pure, joyful thing.’
The star – who was the first celeb to be unveiled on this year’s The Masked Singer UK – explained that she was an only child until she was eight, and saw the birth of her brother Jackson as a ‘positive thing’.
Sophie continued: ‘When Richard and I got together, we didn’t plan on having a child so quickly. We’d only been going out for six weeks when we found out we were having a baby, so it was very early on into our dating. But I think family made us the couple we were. We’ve always been three, right from the beginning, almost… I think I’ve always felt, I just want to see who else is out there.’
However, she added that lockdown had been a bit of a struggle.
‘I have to say now that I’ve had five and I’ve had lockdown, it has made me think that was quite a lot to take on,’ Sophie said.
‘When they’re all of doing their own things, there’s a bit more of a rhythm to the week, but suddenly finding ourselves two and and a half months, just us lot, in each other’s faces all the time, it’s been quite intense. I didn’t always feel like I’d been that clever.’
Jay asked: ‘Is that you saying, enough already, you’re done?’, with Sophie replying: ‘I’m not one of those people that talks in definites about it… Probably not. I dunno.
‘But then Mickey’s really cute, so it’s hard. I like who they all are. Even though it’s relentless and overwhelming, I still really enjoy family life.
‘I’m 41 now, I’ve got five kids. I think I’ve got my hands full.’
The Murder on the Dancefloor also discussed being a working mum in the music industry, saying that she felt ‘frumpy’ having young children in the ‘youth-centric’ world of pop.
She said: ‘Being a mum in the pop world just felt very awkward bedfellows. I felt like a lot of doors that’d been opened were starting to close.
‘On Radio 1, they probably don’t play many women in their twenties who’ve also got a couple of kids. That might be to do with a lot of other factors, but I just felt like that.’
Despite obstacles in the industry, Sophie went on to expand her family and maintain a successful career, and is set to go on tour this year with her Kitchen Disco Tour, having released an album to accompany her lockdown shows.
Sophie has previously called her family ‘quirky’, having welcomed her first son with The Feeling bassist Richard just eight months into their relationship.
Just six weeks after they began dating, Sophie discovered she was pregnant, with Sonny being born two months early when Ellis-Bextor fell ill with the potentially fatal condition preeclampsia.
She previously told the Guardian: ‘We found out we were having a baby when we’d only been dating for six weeks. Then I gave birth two months early. So, comically, our baby was born when we’d only been going out for eight months.
‘Richard was quite selfless – some 24-year-old men would have run a mile. My mum said: “It might not be the right time, but it’s the right baby.” Richard and I both clung to that. We tried to continue dating as though I didn’t have a massive bump. We wanted our relationship to develop in as normal a fashion as possible.’
The couple got married in 2005, and last year they celebrated their 15th anniversary with a picnic in the park.
Out To Lunch is available on Acast or wherever you get your podcasts.