Knowing she was having a third child via a surrogate, and with husband Robbie Williams midway through a world tour, Ayda Field would have been quite within her rights to tell him she wanted a quiet end to 2018 at home with her family.
Instead, ambitious Ayda masterminded a multi-million-pound deal for them both to become X Factor judges.
Cue her current life: juggling changing nappies and family life with being a TV judge, and checking Robbie is on top of his schedule and receiving the love and support pop stars with big egos require.
“It’s not like we piled too much on this year, right?” she jokes when I remind her of everything happening – in particular the recent birth of Colette Josephine Williams, or Coco, a sister for daughter Teddy, six, and son Charlton, three.
“I’m like, ‘Wow’. Rob and I are over the moon, the kids are over the moon. It’s really like a bliss bubble right now.”
Speaking to Ayda at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, you get the impression she’s loving life right now.
“It’s been one life-changing moment to another. We’re really, really excited about this next step. I mean, we had this big thing happening after we finished work,” she says, recalling Coco’s birth following The X Factor auditions.
“Now we’re this complete unit and going on to this next stage. It’s just been very exciting. It’s been lots of cake, balloons and bubbles.”
Ayda did not think it was going to be possible to have another child when she and Robbie were having problems conceiving. She told ITV’s Loose Women: “I feel so, so grateful. I didn’t ever think this would happen.
“I thought this wasn’t meant to be, but for her to be in our lives, it’s more than I can put into words.”
Previously a jobbing actress in the US, Ayda got her break on American soap Days of Our Lives.
She went on to appear in other US TV series including Eve, Blue Collar TV, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But here we know her for marrying Robbie, and as a Loose Women panellist.
Even her relationship with Robbie, whom she began dating in 2006, took perseverance. He finished with her three times before realising She’s the One.
At 39, The X Factor is easily her most high-profile TV gig to date. Ayda worked hard to get it and relishes the challenge.
“This is comfortably outside my comfort zone. But that’s always really excited me in my career.
“Even Loose Women was comfortably outside my comfort zone. I’d never done live TV or presenting. But the fun thing about being creative, an actress, is getting to try new things.
“I like being the underdog. I’m kind of a wildcard choice and I kind of like that, ’cause it means I have to work twice as hard as everybody.”
The drive has been there since she was a teenager. Ayda was good on the track at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, but would leave it until late in
I like being underdog, watching competition ahead then taking them on
Announcing the birth of daughter Coco ATHLETICSporty Ayda at 18 in school yearbook