MOMENTS TO CHERISH: ‘PRINCE PHILIP WAS ABSOLUTELY CHARMING WHEN I MET HIM'
OK! UK|April 26, 2021
ACTRESS CLAIRE SWEENEY REFLECTS ON HER MEMORIES OF THE LATE DUKE OF EDINBURGH AS SHE WELCOMES US INTO HER HOME TO CHAT CAREER HIGHS AND REACHING HER MILESTONE BIRTHDAY
KIRSTY HATCHER

She looks amazing on OK!’s exclusive shoot, but actress and presenter Claire Sweeney admits to having a “right old wobble” about turning 50.

“It’s freaking me out!” laughs the former Brookside star, who hit the milestone at the weekend.

But Claire does add that she feels more comfortable in her own skin as she gets older.

“Ten or 15 years ago I was a lot thinner, I had a lot more money and I was doing a lot more work, but I have to say I am so much happier now,” she says.

Claire divides her time between London and Liverpool, where she also has a home, but today she is welcoming us into her stunning four-bedroom house in central London’s Pimlico, where she lives with her son Jaxon, six, who she shares with her former partner Daniel Reilly. Claire separated from Daniel soon after Jaxon was born and she has raised him by herself ever since.

“I’ve always stood on my own two feet and supported myself,” says the star, who most recently appeared in BBC drama Scarborough.

Here, Claire, who now has her own BBC radio chat show, opens up to OK! about having no regrets, her career highlights (including kissing Patrick Swayze!) and why she’s happy being single…

Hi, Claire! How are you feeling about turning 50?

I have friends saying, “Embrace it”, but I’m having a right old wobble. It suddenly seems old, but I know it’s not, because I feel great. I have my little boy and a nice life. I couldn’t be happier than I am now. I think as you get older you get more comfortable in your own skin and your own mind. You know more of what you do want than what you don’t.

Now that we’re able to meet people outside, how did you celebrate your birthday?

Jaxon’s godfather is my best friend and he’s in our bubble so I saw him. I’m also doing a nice lunch at my favourite restaurant in Soho, Little Italy, with my closest friends. Hopefully the sun will be shining and I can have a glass of rose! I’d actually rather do that than a massive shindig. And I’m having a gathering in Liverpool with close friends and family.

Do you have any regrets from the last 50 years?

None. I’ve had a wonderful 50 years. Jaxon was worth the wait and I’m glad I had him later on in life. People said to me, “You’ll have him and wish you’d done it sooner,” but I don’t. He came along when I was 43 and it was right for me. I’ve lived a very full life and ticked most boxes in my career.

Was one of those boxes to meet the Queen and Prince Philip?

I met Prince Philip a couple of times. I sang at the Horse Guards Parade for a VE Day concert. I remember shaking hands with the Queen live on TV and the Prince shook hands with me and said, “Nice dress!” I was laughing. He was just so charming.

Do you have any other special memories of him?

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