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
“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.
“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.
“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