Holby star Tina Hobley’s 9-year age gap between children

Holby City star Tina Hobley talks about life as a soap actress mum and how her children cope with the paparazzi

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Q You’ve just gone back to work playing Chrissie Williams in Holby City. How have you found it being back in the day job?

A I took four months off after I’d had Orson, now 1, and as much as I miss being with him and my daughters, Isabella, nearly 12, and Olivia, nearly 3, I’ve really enjoyed getting back to work. Being a working mum is manic and I feel like I’m constantly spinning plates in the air, but it gives me a bit of me time in my busy world.

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Q What’s a typical morning like if you’re off out to film?

A I get up when Orson wakes at around 4am. He’s not a great sleeper, so we have a cuddle and then he goes back down until around 5.45am. I leave the house at 6.30am, and drop Orson off at my mum’s house on the way to work. If I’m heading out before Isabella and Olivia have woken up, I leave them a note on the table to say have a good day at school and nursery and I’ll see them later.

Q Your character in Holby is also a mum, did you find it hard to bond with your on-screen baby?

A It’s gone really well, and the baby who plays Chrissie’s son, Daniel, was actually born two weeks before Orson arrived, so it makes it easy having them around the same age. I would love to have Orson
playing the part of Daniel one day. It’s just an idea at the moment, but it would be amazing to save the
footage of us together on film for the future.

Q We’ll look out for him on screen soon then! Chrissie’s had some pretty harrowing storylines in the show, how do you switch off when the filming stops?

A I find it easy, as I’m so busy outside work, so as soon as the camera stops rolling, I’m straight back into mum mode, thinking about what’s for tea and who needs to be where.

Q There’s a nine-year age gap between Isabella and your two youngest children, is that ever a problem?

A Isabella is amazing with both Olivia and Orson, but I’d completely forgotten how difficult the two-year-old stage is, which we’re going through with Olivia at the moment. Maybe I’d forgotten it on purpose so I’d have another baby one day!

Q Do the children ever get bothered by press attention and being snapped by paparazzi when you’re out and about?

A Isabella just ignores it, as it’s something she’s grown up with from an early age, but Olivia seems to enjoy the attention and is very cheeky. She pokes her tongue out if she sees a camera.

Q Sounds like she takes it all in her stride. Are you planning any more babies to take on the paps?

A Absolutely not! I’m very happy that I’ve got my little boy after two girls, but I’ve done my bit now
and I’m happy with three.

Q Orson’s about to turn one. Have you got any big plans for the birthday boy?

A I love parties, so we’ll definitely be celebrating. Isabella and Olivia both have birthdays in April, which makes it a bit of a challenge to do them all together, so we’ll be sure to give Orson a treat on his big day.

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Tina is supporting Tommy’s Let’s Get Baby Friendly Awards 2011 and presenting the Danone Baby Nutrition Hero award for health care professionals.

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