Billie and Greg Shepherd admit ‘stressful’ house renovations caused rows between them
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Forget keeping up with the Kardashians – now it’s all about the Shepherds. After Billie Shepherd’s sister Sam Faiers quit their long-running series The Mummy Diaries, she and husband Greg decided to go it alone with a brand-new reality show, Billie & Greg: The Family Diaries.
“It’s been great fun but I feel like when it actually airs, I’m going to be really nervous because the pressure’s on just us now!” Billie, tells OK! as she and Greg join us for a chat.
From tonight (Wednesday 6 October), viewers will once again become flies on the wall as Billie, 31, and Greg, 35, juggle work with their hectic family life alongside kids – and total scene stealers – Nelly, seven, and Arthur, four.
But it’s not all happy families, as Billie and Greg have to deal with the mounting stress of their busy work schedules, parenting and renovating their dream home.
Here, the couple, who recently celebrated a decade together, tell us all about the exciting new chapter in their lives and reveal that Nelly and Arthur are constantly egging them on to have baby number three…
Hi, Billie and Greg. When Sam announced she was quitting The Mummy Diaries, was it a tough decision to do your own series?
Billie: Obviously, we spoke about it and said, “Oh God, can we do this, just us two and the kids?” because it’s a big decision to make. But then we thought, “Why not? We enjoy filming the show.” And we knew we had loads going on in the year ahead of us.
Greg: It was a no-brainer for me. Why not?
So what’s in store?
Billie: We’re so excited. It’s been a really good series to film. We’ve got holidays, Arthur’s first day at school, renovating our house, our 10-year anniversary, and my mum and dad are in it a lot.
You’ve got a lot going on. Has having the cameras there made it more stressful?
Billie: There are lots of ups and downs, pros and cons. But what viewers like is the reality of our normal life. We get so many people saying to us, “Thank you for putting that out there and being yourself. It makes me feel like a normal parent.” This series is really raw and you get to see so much of our home life because we’re filming on our own. Because it’s reality, we can’t hold back the emotions with each other either.
What disagreements will we see?
Billie: The house renovation caused a few rifts between us.
Greg: Decisions have to be made and if you’re not making them there’s going to be a backlog with the builder – and this has a knock-on effect. Hence, it causes a row.
Billie: It’s a lot of stress. Doing the house renovation is literally a full-time job in itself. It’s another workload and it does cause a lot of tension and pressure.
Do you ever regret having an argument on camera?
Billie: Sometimes, when I watch it back, I think, “Did I say that?!” But it is what it is. If we self-edited, people wouldn’t enjoy the show as much because it wouldn’t be real.
Do you have rules about making up after a row?
Greg: Until Billie apologises, I don’t talk to her. (Laughs)
Billie: Greg’s very stubborn and he’s also a bit of a sulker.
Greg: When Billie goes in, she goes deep. I wouldn’t say things that Billie says.
Billie: We haven’t had one of those real big arguments. But I know when Greg’s sulking.
Greg: She does and she’ll say little things she knows will annoy me. Initially, I don’t let her know it’s annoyed me but then she’ll realise because I won’t talk to her.
Billie: However, I don’t think it’s good to go to bed on an argument, so I’ll be like, “Right, come on now, let’s sort this out.”
Greg: Once you’ve apologised for being rude…
Billie: I do apologise. I know when I’m in the wrong.
How’s the house coming along?
Billie: It’s really coming together now. We’re probably not going to be in there until February, maybe March, next year, but we went there recently and for the first time, I felt like we were looking at a home. I had that excited feeling. It’s been a really long process, but it will be worth it in the end.
Arthur started school earlier this month. How was that?
Billie: It was emotional, actually. I still can’t believe he’s going to school, my little baby. But it was a different feeling to when Nelly started. I was so nervous when she went to school because it was unknown. Now, with Arthur going, I know the school and the teachers, so it all felt a bit more relaxed.
Greg: We knew what to expect. And he was ready for it. He was more than ready for it.
Now that both children are at school, have you thought about baby number three?
Billie: Now, more than ever, we’re like, “OK, if we’re going to have another baby, we need to do it sooner rather than later.” We don’t want a huge age gap. Nelly and Arthur constantly say, “Is Mummy going to have a baby in her tummy?” They must hear people talking about it, and we talk about it sometimes, so they say, “We want Mummy to have another baby!” So you do think, “Oh my gosh, the pressure’s on!”
How do you feel about the prospect of having three children – or maybe more?
Greg: Just one more! We’ve had this conversation a lot. One more and I’m done.
Billie: If I do have another baby, I won’t find out [the gender]. I’ll keep it a total surprise.
Greg: If I’d had my way, I wouldn’t have found out before but Billie told me she was doing it anyway, so I had no choice [laughs]. This time, it would be nice to have a surprise.
Last week, you celebrated your 10-year anniversary. Has it been hard having a relationship in the spotlight?
Greg: I think it was healthy that I wasn’t involved in TOWIE or anything like that. It’s probably helped our relationship.
Billie: Yeah, it was good he was separate in the beginning. And now we’re in it together.
How do you keep the romance alive?
Greg: I’m more romantic than Billie!
Billie: We have a social life separately with our own friends but then also together.
Greg: l’m constantly booking things. I’m the organiser.
Billie: We don’t really get out much on our own because of childcare. And when we do, it’s for a birthday or anniversary. So sometimes I say to Greg, “Should we have a glass of wine tonight and have our dinner separately to the kids?”
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Billie & Greg: The Family Diaries begins on Wednesday 6 October, 9pm, ITVBe
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