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Bobby Norris and Casey Johnson

Businessma­n and reality TV star Casey Johnson talks about a being dad, returning to music and the reality shows he’s got his eye on


He shot to fame after auditionin­g for The X Factor in 2014 and, following a short stint in the show’s eight-piece Stereo Kicks, Casey Johnson joined the pop group Union J in May 2016.

However, he left the band less than a year later. And although he hasn’t released new music since then, the 25-year-old has gone down the reality TV route, appearing in a number of shows including MTV’S Single AF, where he met his now fiancée, Geordie Shore star Marnie Simpson, in 2017.

Fast-forward three years and he’s a father-of-one and runs his own successful vegan sweet business, Vegan All Sorts, which produces a vegan range of pick ‘n’ mix products. And when I get Casey on the blower on a Monday afternoon, he can’t hide his love for both.

As a proud dad to 14-month-old Rox, he says his life has changed for the better since his son entered the world and that running his own business has been a dream come true.

“It was difficult becoming a dad for the first time but honestly, as soon as we got through the first few months and Rox wasn’t up all night, it got easier,” he tells me. “He has changed our lives for the better and the fact I get to focus on a job I love is brilliant.”

Here, Casey reflects on his

X Factor days, his relationsh­ip with Marns and whether they plan to expand their brood…

Hi Casey! How have you been passing the time during the recent lockdowns?

I’ve been looking after Marnie and Rox and I’ve got my work as well to focus on.

How are you finding fatherhood? At first I found it so difficult. The first four months were really hard. It was mad as Rox didn’t sleep and I thought I would never get my life back. However, when he started sleeping 7pm to 7am and we had no nightwakin­g, it suddenly got easier.

I asked Marnie about her dream to have more kids. What are your thoughts?

I go with the flow. Having a baby is hard and it changes your life forever. You will never get a lie-in, even though Rox does sleep now. If Marnie wanted more kids I would. Maybe we should wait for when Rox is older.

Tell me about how you met Marnie…

Me and my girlfriend at the time had split up and I’d been single for a few weeks and then Marnie followed me on Instagram. I sent her a DM and it went from there. I went on a cruise, came back and then went on the reality show [Single AF].

Tell us about your romantic proposal to Marnie in August. Were you nervous?

On the day, my heart was beating fast. I was quite chilled in the run-up to it, but when it came to it I was so nervous. I couldn’t get the ring out of my pocket.

Bless you! Do you miss working in the music industry?

I was away constantly. I’m not exactly going to leave Marnie and Rox to go on tour.

What are your memories of being on The X Factor?

I remember that day [the first audition] well. My dad was

pushing me to go. Things went really well and then I got put into a boyband. It all happened so quickly.

How did you find working with Simon Cowell?

I liked Simon and I really liked Louis Walsh, they were great. I had no problems with either of them. Louis was really funny and such a nice guy. It changed my life, that show. I think without The X Factor,i

wouldn’t have done the reality TV journey, met Marnie and so on. I feel like everything happens for a reason.

Would you like to make more music in the future?

It is a lot of work. Having my own business, it’s hard to get the time to do music. I simply don’t have the time, especially as I want to be around Rox.

Aww. Would you rule out more reality TV?

No way, I always love reality TV. I don’t slag it off and that’s how I’ve built up my work.

I love binge-watching reality TV shows. People who don’t like it are either jealous or don’t understand. You won’t believe this but when I promote my products to celebritie­s, I get more interactio­n if a reality star posts about them than a famous actor.

Wow! Are there any other shows you would like to do?

I’d really love to be on I’m A Celebrity and Dancing On Ice.

The festive season is upon us. What are your plans?

I’ll have all my family to ours at Christmas and after the year we’ve had I deserve to have a drink! I want to go to a live event, too – I really miss them!

You’ve been keeping busy with your new vegan brand, Vegan All Sorts. How is that going?

Yes, really good. I launched it in 2019 and it’s kind of built up since then. I was looking for a vegan pick ‘n’ mix and realised there was no such thing out there so I decided to make my own. I have created a vegan brand of sweets and I’ve never looked back.

Are you vegan?

I’m not vegan as I eat fish, but I don’t touch meat. I do the cooking – Marnie is not great at cooking.

Vegan All Sorts sweets are available now from veganallso­ Prices start at £3.99

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Casey and son Rox
Casey and son Rox
 ??  ?? On The X Factor with Stereo Kicks
On The X Factor with Stereo Kicks
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Casey and Marnie got engaged back in August
Casey and Marnie got engaged back in August
 ??  ?? Casey says he’s very busy with his vegan venture
Casey says he’s very busy with his vegan venture

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