Lisa on life af­ter split:

Af­ter a painful break-up from Ant Mc­partlin, Lisa Arm­strong opens up to Closer’s Katie Banks about her new life, and how her Labrador Hurley has been her rock

Closer (UK) - - Contents -

“You’ve got to look af­ter your­self as much as you can”

She en­dured the hor­rors of S an ag­o­nis­ing and very pub­lic split from Ant Mc­partlin ear­lier this year. But when Closer meets Lisa Arm­strong at char­ity dog show Pup Aid, she looks like a wo­man fight­ing back, dressed in black hot pants, high boots and bright red lip­stick.

Pre­vi­ously, Lisa, 41, only re­vealed her heartache by retweet­ing mes­sages from sup­port­ive fans af­ter her TV pre­sen­ter ex swiftly moved on with his PA, and her former friend, Anne-marie Cor­bett.

Af­ter see­ing loved-up pics of the pair hol­i­day­ing in Florence to­gether, with spec­u­la­tion that Anne-marie may even be preg­nant, Lisa favour­ited sev­eral tweets call­ing her ex-hus­band of 11 years “in­sen­si­tive” and “dis­re­spect­ful”.

Now, she’s com­pletely trans­formed her­self from the sad and lonely fig­ure she cut af­ter the split was first an­nounced in March. And while her choco­late Labrador Hurley – who she now shares with Ant, 42 – has also dom­i­nated the head­lines by be­ing at both their sides dur­ing the drama, she ad­mits he’s been her ab­so­lute rock.

BEST FRIENDS

“Some­times I hon­estly feel like he’s half hu­man,” smiles Lisa, re­flect­ing on their bond. “You feel like they can ac­tu­ally un­der­stand how you’re feel­ing. They lis­ten to you and, as their head goes from side to side, it’s like they know what you’re talk­ing about. He’s 100 per cent a part of my fam­ily and my best friend.

“When­ever we go out to our park in Chiswick, he runs to the gate and al­ways looks back to see if he’s al­lowed to go in. He al­ways lis­tens to me and is so well be­haved. It’s so sweet. I feel bad that I didn’t bring him to­day, but he’d be run­ning around like crazy with all the other dogs!”

In July, Lisa ditched her wed­ding ring and jet­ted off to LA to spend some time with her former Deuce band­mate, Craig Young. She was seen get­ting a new tat­too and hik­ing in the Hol­ly­wood Hills – re­port­edly los­ing a stone to mark her fresh start.

“I don’t know what the hell hap­pened,” Lisa says, laugh­ing off all the at­ten­tion she’s get­ting from her new look. “I haven’t had a per­sonal trainer or any­thing like that. It’s all about be­ing healthy and do­ing some ex­er­cise. You have to look af­ter your­self as much as you can.

“I went on hol­i­day to LA for five weeks and just hung out. I was chill­ing with my friend and en­joy­ing my­self. Now I’m get­ting back to work. I feel great and I’m hav­ing a nice time.”

TAK­ING THINGS DAY BY DAY

And Lisa – who met Ant in 1994 when they were both pop stars, and is re­port­edly look­ing for a £50 mil­lion set­tle­ment in their di­vorce – says her hair is key to her new lease of life!

“I take things day by day,” smiles Lisa. “I love chang­ing my hair – it’s cool to have a dif­fer­ent look ev­ery now and then. I bleached the hell out of it so it’s al­most fall­ing out, which is an­other story. Who knows what colour it will be next.”

Lisa has worked as the chief make-up and hair de­signer on Strictly for the past 11 years, and she can’t wait to catch up with all the new con­tes­tants, par­tic­u­larly old pals Lee

Ryan and Ash­ley Roberts.

She says, “I’ve known Lee for years and I ab­so­lutely adore him. Ash­ley Roberts and Faye Tozer are such cool girls. And crick­eter Graeme Swann is so hi­lar­i­ous – he’s one of the fun­ni­est peo­ple ever.

“I know it sounds clichéd, but you do all be­come like one big fam­ily. You spend so much time in such close prox­im­ity – it’s like a jour­ney, and every­one is there to support each other and help each other out.”

Lisa was ru­moured to be see­ing a mys­tery man while hol­i­day­ing in LA, but she shoots down any dat­ing ru­mours or plans to hang out with sin­gle ladies’ man Lee, 35, dur­ing Strictly.

CELEB SUPPORT

“Lee won’t per­suade me into any nights out, don’t be silly!” gig­gles Lisa. “I’m sure there are a lot of other girls out there that he’d rather take out. I love Lee and the boys from Blue. Si­mon Webb has al­ready done the show, so maybe he’ll give Lee some tips.”

And although Lisa has gained a huge fan base af­ter bravely keep­ing her head held high while Ant has jumped straight into an­other ro­mance, she says she won’t be seiz­ing the op­por­tu­nity to step out in front of the cam­eras.

Lisa re­veals, “I’m quite happy to be where I am be­hind the scenes. I don’t think any­one would want to see me whizzing around the dance floor as a con­tes­tant! I have the best job in the world and I’ve loved go­ing back to work. Who doesn’t want to be play­ing dress-up ev­ery week in lots of glit­ter, tan and lashes? It’s long hours, but I love the chal­lenge of live TV – you’ve just got to go for it. I’m in a good place.”

Closer’s Katie caught up with Lisa

Ant is now dat­ing his PA Anne-marie Lisa and Ant were mar­ried for 11 years

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