Lucy Par­geter: ‘I love my young twins but it’s chaos’

Emmerdale ac­tress Lucy Par­geter tells us why she feels so lucky to have given her 13-year-old daugh­ter twin sis­ters at the age of 40

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

‘I’ve got this pros­thetic bump, so my brain goes, “You’re preg­nant, you can eat loads!”’

Her life on-screen as feisty Chas Din­gle is full of drama and tur­moil, and Emmerdale ac­tress Lucy Par­geter laughs that these days she can’t even get a rest when she gets home.

In the good old days, Lucy would re­lax by horse-rid­ing, go­ing on hol­i­day or putting her feet up in front of the tele­vi­sion. But, as a mum to 13-month-old twins, she ad­mits the adrenaline-fu­elled life she lives on-screen con­tin­ues when she walks through her own front door.

‘I’ve just had a week off, and it’s been ab­so­lute chaos; they’re just in­sane!’ she smiles. ‘One’s go­ing one way and one’s go­ing the other. I’ve got a climber and a walker, so one’s try­ing to climb the stairs, and the other is run­ning with a walker. I need two heads and four arms, but I’m re­ally lov­ing it.

‘Be­fore­hand, I was kind of think­ing, “God, I’ve got a week with the girls, it’s go­ing to be hard and I’m go­ing to be ab­so­lutely shat­tered.” And then I come back to work and I’m al­ready miss­ing the mad­ness!’ To add to the com­mo­tion, Lucy also has Lola, who’s just turned 13. ‘In one way, it’s bril­liant, be­cause she’s at an age where she can help out and can look af­ter the twins when I’m cook­ing,’ rea­sons Lucy. ‘She’s ab­so­lutely amaz­ing, but then you’ve also got the mood swings. So I’ve got lit­tle ones and one that’s go­ing through teens. It’s not all easy!’

Not that the 41-year-old ac­tress would change a thing. She fell preg­nant with Missy and Betsy fol­low­ing IVF treat­ment af­ter try­ing for an­other child for sev­eral years.

‘When I had Lola, I just took for granted that I got preg­nant and that ev­ery­thing was fine, and when she was born she was ab­so­lutely per­fect,’ says Lucy.

‘Then I got preg­nant with the twins af­ter try­ing so hard. It’s not un­til you go through some­thing like that you re­alise

it can be tough. Then you hear about how a lot of twins end up in neona­tal units be­cause they’re born pre­ma­turely, and you just think, “Jeez, I’ve been so lucky.” They’re happy and healthy and ab­so­lutely manic, and it just makes me even more thank­ful, and I ap­pre­ci­ate them even more.’

Lucy knows only too well that not ev­ery preg­nancy re­sults in a happy end­ing. She is cur­rently in the mid­dle of a heart­break­ing sto­ry­line that’s seen preg­nant land­lady Chas strug­gle to cope af­ter be­ing told that her baby will not sur­vive more than a few min­utes af­ter be­ing born. Her baby has been di­ag­nosed with bi­lat­eral re­nal age­n­e­sis, a con­di­tion which means the kidneys and lungs don’t de­velop prop­erly.

But Chas is still pray­ing for a mir­a­cle, and when she finds out her fi­ancé Paddy has spo­ken to the hospi­tal about or­gan dona­tion, she’s dev­as­tated that he didn’t speak to her first.

‘She’s liv­ing on hope that the di­ag­no­sis might not be as bad as they say,’ ex­plains Lucy. ‘She doesn’t want any neg­a­tiv­ity. Mean­while, Paddy is more re­al­is­tic and has thought about or­gan dona­tion.

‘Chas is pretty hurt. She feels he’s gone be­hind her back and de­cides she can’t marry him.

‘She thought they were both hold­ing out ev­ery last bit of hope, and de­cides she can’t walk down the aisle with him when they’re not on the same wave­length.’

As up­set­ting as the story is, Lucy re­veals she has en­joyed wear­ing her fake baby bump dur­ing film­ing. ‘I’m eat­ing a lot, too,’ she laughs. ‘I’ve got this pros­thetic bump, so my brain goes: “You’re preg­nant, it’s fine, you can eat loads!’’’

Lucy, who lives in north York­shire, gained four stone with her twins, but was quickly back to her pre-preg­nancy weight. ‘Some­times you can get so caught up in try­ing to make sure ev­ery­thing’s OK, that the per­son you for­get to nur­ture and nour­ish is your­self,’ she ex­plains.

‘I lost the weight in three months, but my fig­ure’s never re­ally go­ing to go back to nor­mal – the skin never goes back, does it?!’

Although she looks in amaz­ing shape, Lucy con­fesses it’s not down to pun­ish­ing gym work­outs.

‘Are you hav­ing a laugh?’ she jokes, when asked about her ex­er­cise regime.

‘I get up at 5.30am with the twins, then get Lola up and leave for work at 6.30am. I then fin­ish work at 8pm. So, no, I don’t go to the gym. If I got there, I’d prob­a­bly fall asleep in the chang­ing room!’

In­stead, her idea of a treat is a solo trip to the su­per­mar­ket or sit­ting in ab­so­lute si­lence at home. ‘Be­ing able to do a shop that isn’t a grab-ev­ery­thing-you-can-and-get-out-with­out-a-tantrum – that’s a plea­sure at the mo­ment,’ she smiles.

‘But I’m prob­a­bly at my hap­pi­est when I’m at home, the kids have been fed, they’re all bathed, happy and asleep and my lines are learnt. Then I can sit and breathe. I just sit still and don’t move – which is some­thing that I don’t do very of­ten now!’

Funny and frank, Lucy is shocked to be re­minded that it’s 15 years since she first ap­peared in Emmerdale, but she’s adamant she never gets itchy feet.

‘Why would I? I’ve got a job I love,’ she says firmly. ‘I’m blessed with sto­ry­lines, and I work with the most amaz­ing peo­ple who are my clos­est friends. Un­less they pushed me, I would never, ever want to go any­where else.’

Emmerdale is on ITV, Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri, 7pm, and Thurs, 7pm & 8pm.

Above: Lucy as Chas Din­gle telling Cain she can’t marry Paddy, and, right, with fi­ancé Rudi

At the BAF­TAs with Danny Miller, who plays her on-screen son Aaron Livesy

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