Real Housewives of Cheshire star Nicole Sealey admits she’s not a fan of reality TV and didn’t watch show before joining

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With her cutting humour and no-nonsense approach to life, Nicole Sealey has caused a stir since joining The Real Housewives Of Cheshire earlier this year.

It’s been a strange introduction for Nicole, who began filming shortly before the pandemic. Not only did she have to get used to being in front of the camera, she also had to quickly adapt to filming remotely.

But the 46-year-old, who admits she was camera shy at first, says the show has been “enjoyable” so far.

A success in her own right, Nicole doesn’t see herself as a WAG – despite her marriage to former West Ham footballer Joe Sealey, 36, whose father was late Manchester United goalkeeper Les Sealey.

Nicole explains that when she met Joe in a bar in Essex 15 years ago, she already had three children from a previous relationship and ran a successful business empire, including the hugely lucrative railway construction company that she still heads up today.

In fact, it was Joe who encouraged her to join the reality show as he believed it would be good publicity at a time when the pair were attempting to buy Macclesfield FC.

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Nicole explains, “They’d spoken to me since series four, but it was always a no.”

However, she tells us her grown-up kids don’t share her passion for being in the spotlight. Her eldest daughter, Luka, 23, has recently bought her own house, while Kira, 20, is studying fashion at a university in London.

Her son Remi, 18, is currently part of Manchester United’s youth academy and is the reason the family first made the move to Cheshire.

Here, the couple show us around their stunning six-bedroom home while they open up about their relationship and time on the show so far…

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Firstly, can you tell us about your beautiful house…

Nicole: We bought it five years ago. We looked at about three houses, but I’d driven past this a couple of times and I was just like, “I really think this house is the one,” and so we bought it!

What’s it like?

Nicole: It’s got six bedrooms. It’s quite a modern house and it’s very low maintenance. We’ve got the gym at the bottom of the garden.

Did you do any remodelling?

Nicole: We virtually knocked it down in the end and rebuilt it! So I designed and project-managed it. I do work full-time, so it was like a hobby. I like to be busy! It took us 11 months to do it and we did six months living elsewhere. Then we lived in it. Living in the house gives you a different feel of what you want.

How much did all the work cost?

Nicole: We spent about £900k. We’ve made very good money on the house, it was done to the budget that I put in place.

Does the pool get much use?

Nicole: I designed it! It’s got a swing, which is nice to sit in and read. It’s indoors, but you can open it up into the garden. We’ve used the garden a lot in the summer months, like everybody.

Can you tell us a bit more about your relationship. How did you meet?

Nicole: We’ve been together for 15 years. We met in Essex.

Joe: On a wet and rainy Thursday night in a nightclub.

Nicole: And he was really trying to push in at the bar, but I didn’t really want a drink and in the end I just gave in. That was it really – we moved in together two weeks after and then Joe asked me to marry him every Sunday until I gave in! [Laughs]

What would you say attracted you both to each other?

Joe: Nicole’s got big boobs!

Nicole: [Laughs] He said he didn’t know what I looked like for the first year.

Joe: I tell you what attracted me to her, she said no first of all.

Nicole: It was the chase I think. Joe’s got quite a big personality. I would normally run away from someone as loud as him. That was the start of it and it just went very quickly! We got married 18 months later, so we did take a little bit more time with that.

What makes your relationship work?

Joe: You just get on with it, don’t you?

Nicole: I’m very tolerant! We do lots of stuff together. I think that’s always been key. Although we’re busy with work, we do spend a lot of time together.

Joe: You don’t just say “I’m going here” or “I’m doing that”. I always say, “Well, do you want to come with me?” We’ve never gone on holiday separately.

Nicole: And nothing in life is perfect, but I think you work through those things. As long as you actually do enjoy each other’s company, I think that’s the key.

Do you have more time now the kids have grown up?

Joe: Yes. We got a place in Majorca 18 months ago and before lockdown we were spending every other week away. We planned to spend half our time away and half the time here. Then coronavirus hit and Nicole started doing the show, so that changed a little bit.

You said you’d been saying no to joining the show since series four. Why did you say yes this time?

Nicole: We were looking at buying the football club and Joe thought it would be good publicity. He was like, “Oh, you should do it.” I’m quite spontaneous, so I was like, “OK, I’ll do it then.”

Had you watched it before?

Nicole: I hate to say this, but I’m actually not really a big reality TV person, weirdly. I hadn’t really watched it and they sent me episodes over and I watched a few of them. But I actually thought it was better not to watch it too much so I didn’t know. Obviously we live here and I know some of the people, so I know some of the stuff that was going on, but had I watched every episode? No.

Has it been hard to join a show with such big personalities?

Nicole: I’m not a massive shouter on the show, I don’t think. But I do think I get my point across without shouting. They’re all strong characters, but I hope I’ve managed to hold my own.

Can there be bitchiness?

Nicole: I’ve worked my whole career with predominantly men. I think there is a different balance and to be fair, if you get eight men in a room they can be bitchy. But there is an element of that and things are heightened at times. So, I’m getting used to that.

How do you think you’ve been portrayed so far?

Nicole: Maybe not much of my business side has come through and I can be a little bit sarcastic. But it’s a bit of my humour and
I think it’s taken some of the girls a little bit longer to get my humour. Maybe that’s the north-south divide!

You left school at 15 with no qualifications. Can you tell us how you ended up being such a successful businesswoman and the CEO of four different companies?

Nicole: I went through having quite a few jobs just to pay bills. I fell into the business. It wasn’t what I set out to do – to work
on the railway, and there were no women in it! It was an opportunity that I ended up pushing upon.

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You underwent emergency gallbladder removal surgery in August. How are you coping?

Nicole: I was really ill at that point and my liver had started to be affected. So that was quite scary, but I’m quite a positive person on that front. I think you’ve got to try and live your life the best way you can. For me, it’s done. I recovered really quickly as well.

Is your 3st weight loss linked to your illness?

Nicole: I collapsed in April and spent five days in hospital, but they gave me antibiotics and stabilised me. When I came
out I was really not eating
a lot because if you rest the gallbladder, it’s the best thing for it. I was doing a lot of walking and I reduced what I was eating so the weight came off.

How did you feel about your body before losing the weight?

Nicole: Before, I wasn’t eating that badly, it’s just that I was picking at bits, like you do when you’re busy. But I’d never been big – around a size 8 or 10 – and I’d gone up to a size 12, which is not big! But I had stopped enjoying clothes, so I think it had affected me, but I hadn’t realised that until it started to come off and I started to feel more comfortable again.

Do you feel happy with yourself now?

Nicole: Yeah. From a health point of view, having more energy is really good and as you get older you don’t want to be carrying too much weight.

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