HEARTBROKEN Amanda Holden has revealed she turned to hypnotherapy after the loss of her baby son.
The star and husband Chris also had a session of couple’s therapy as they tried to deal with the tragic death of Theo, who was stillborn in 2011.
The 49-year-old actress tried hypnotherapy — which uses the power of suggestion to encourage positive change on the subconscious mind — to help her conceive and carry her youngest daughter, Hollie, the following year.
She says: “There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about Theo, especially when a new school year begins.
“But after we first lost him, Chris and I were diagnosed with PTSD so we went and had some therapy about that, as anyone would.
“Chris was terribly British about it, went once and was like, ‘Right, I’m cured’, whereas I continued, and then saw this amazing pregnancy woman called Zita West for hypnotherapy.
“It was to help me believe in my body again, to give me the confidence I could have another baby, and do it all again.
“I just felt like everything was my fault, and I felt so responsible — what did I do wrong?
“I’d had a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s the day before, and I panicked it was that or all kinds of things. I felt pretty neurotic. You really blame yourself.
“The sessions were about trying to make me have positive images about seeing a baby, and that it was going to happen. It really helped.”
While the popular star did successfully give birth to Hollie, she nearly died during the “traumatic” experience after going into a coma following her arrival.
In February 2012 Amanda featured on the front page of HOAR on Sunday’s launch edition.
In our exclusive interview, she revealed how her heart stopped for 40 seconds during Holly’s birth.
Amanda was back on our screens for the first of the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals tonight — as head judge in the absence of the injured Simon Cowell.
Off-screen she is also one of showbiz’s most likeable stars, with an infectious cackle and a shared love of celebrity gossip.
With a legion of celeb pals including Piers Morgan, Tamzin Outhwaite, Simon and former Corrie actress Angela Griffin, she is also notoriously loyal when it comes to those she loves.
In addition to her own recent BGT promotion – “Am I getting a pay rise? Actually, no — maybe that’s something I will take up with the producers . . . ” – this week she released her debut album which is already at No1 in the official pre-orders chart.
Called Songs From My Heart, it is a collection of tracks chosen and performed by the classically trained singer.
Each track has significant meaning to the mum of two — including With You, about the death of Theo.
Amanda is full of beans and happily downs a glass of rosé over lunch at a West London restaurant.
Indeed, she enjoys a daily tipple of the pale pink stuff — counteracted by a gruelling four-mile run every morning.
Amanda is annoyingly age- defying in the flesh — which she reckons she has more of thanks to lockdown.
“I have put on half a stone,” she laughs. “It’s gone to my boobs and bum mainly — let’s just say Chris is not complaining in the slightest.
“We have affectionately called them my ‘lockdown boobs’. I am still running every day — I do a four-mile loop — but I think lockdown has made everyone realise what is, and isn’t, important.
“Lockdown has been a challenging experience for everyone. Personally I’ve managed to enjoy it because of my wonderful family.
“With more time to spend at home, I’ve cherished seeing my two girls that much more.
“Chris and I have had date nights, and we had a hot tub installed outside so it’s been like a honeymoon in the evenings!
“Chris loves the hot tub; it’s not one of those natural water ones, it’s got all these posh special effects, and lots of bubbles which go up your jacksie if you’re lucky.
“We’ve watched sunsets with a glass of wine, decorated the camper van in our driveway and turned it into an Indian restaurant, and been watching Netflix as a family. It’s been great.”
Incredibly, in February the award-winning West End actress — who starred in ITV drama Wild At Heart — turns 50.
While she originally planned on celebrating the big day in Morocco, Covid-19 — and the threat of cancelled flights — has put those plans on hold.
She adds: “I’d maybe like to hire a castle in Scotland, and have a huge celebration.
“I definitely am not going to perform myself and the budget probably won’t stretch to hiring Adele to perform for the night . . . perhaps I could get an Adele lookalike . . . ”
Unlike most media-trained celebs today, Amanda isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. Not surprisingly, then, she isn’t a fan of political correctness — but is supportive of the current diversity drive in TV and film.
She is also a big fan of Alison Hammond, and is thrilled with her recent appointment as a full-time presenter on This Morning.
She says: “Alison is one of my favourite TV personalities. I think the issue of diversity is a very important one, and everyone with talent should be given the chance to shine.”
GOT a story? RING HOAR on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]