Never before has the goodtoknow office been so excited about the arrival of one man! That’s right, this week, we caught up with none other than Peter Andre, and what an exciting start to the year it’s been for him so far. He’s even written a
song for new kids’ film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
Our Family Assistant, Gemma Chandler, chats babies, engagements, the film and his family with our fave celeb dad.
goodtoknow: So, lots of things to say congratulations to you for! New baby, engagement and a new song, how are you feeling?
Peter: Unbelievable. I can’t believe that January’s been so good because normally January’s very quiet for everybody. It’s just been the most incredible month and just amazing really. The engagement’s one thing and then a stunning baby, and then to be given such an incredible opportunity by Dreamworks is… it’s not something that happens every day.
“It’s just been the most incredible month and just amazing really. The engagement’s one thing and then a stunning baby .”
What do your other kids think of your new little one?
Ahh they’re just in love, they’re totally in love. And it’s really nice because the kids almost look like teenagers now. They’re only eight and six, and all of a sudden they look like teenagers compared to Amelia. That’s so nice.
Did you do anything special to introduce them to Amelia?
It’s really weird because they came running home out of the car and Junior said, ‘Look I’ve gotta go to the bathroom, please, please, please do not show Bista (Bista is Pete’s nickname for Princess) until I get out of the bathroom.’ But they were so excited! They were running around like anything, seeing their sister. It was beautiful.
Any advice for dads in the delivery room?
You know what, it’s really interesting you asked that because I was always told [by Emily] ‘Always stay close to my face.’ I think instinctively you would anyway, but it’s probably great advice because you want your partner to feel really comfortable. So, you don’t want them to be thinking about what you could be seeing! You just stay close to them. I think instincts take over in everybody. I don’t think there’d be anyone that would just know what to do.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman looks really, really good!
Are you a big kid at heart?
I’m the biggest kid! It’s really weird when we were told that we were going to go the premiere. Instead of me thinking ‘You’ve got interviews, you’ve gotta look good for a red carpet,’ I’m thinking, ‘I wonder if they’ve got popcorn? I wonder if they’ve got chocolate? I wonder if they’ve got Coca-Cola?’ Did you ever see the Michael Jackson video clip of Thriller? And you know the very beginning where he’s sitting in the cinema and he’s eating popcorn and he’s just got the biggest smile on his face? That’s me. I’d choose that, rather than go to any event, and yet the event was that! How cool is that? It’s like the greatest event you can go to!
Pete with Princess, 6, and Junior, 8, at the premiere of Mr. Peabody and Sherman earlier this month.
I went with Junior and Princess. We saw the film in its entirety and I was like ‘Wow!’. And for the kids to go there and know that their dad’s involved in it? It makes you cool to them and that’s hugely important.
What do Junior and Princess think to you being famous and seeing you on the telly?
It’s really weird because we never discuss things like that in the house. We don’t use words like ‘famous’, we just don’t, it’s really weird. What I say to the kids is: ‘We’re so lucky, people are really nice to us.’ Sometimes Princess will go: ‘Why does everyone scream or ask for photos?’ or ‘Why are they so nice?’ and I say ‘Well Bista, because we’re nice to them.’ Because I don’t think it’s about them thinking you have to be on TV or you have to be doing something for people to react to you. It’s more important that they think people react to you because you react to them. That’s how I would like to do it. I’ve never even heard them use the word ‘famous’, which is so nice because they’ve just accepted that it’s… it’s just us. We’re friends with everybody. That’s what’s kinda cool, you know?
“The bond between parents and their kids is something else.”
How would you describe your parenting style?
Well, I think that I’m strict but I’m also a lot more open-minded than my parents were. My parents were so strict to the point that I was petrified. Now, I’ve instilled that into my kids; they know if I say ‘no’, I mean it and don’t even argue it. This is where I think Supernanny was excellent. One of the things that she said was, ‘If you say that you’re going to do something; do it.’ Don’t say, ‘If you do that again I’m going to take this away from you’, then when they do it again say: ‘I’m warning you…’ If you say ‘If you do it again I’m going to take it away from you’, when they do it again, take it away from them. They might scream or cry or whatever, but it’s like: ‘That’s your lesson. You’re not getting it back.’ The next day, trust me; they’re not gonna want to do it and so I love that because that’s how my parents used to be with me.
On the flipside, we watch movies together, we hang out together, we play games together, we go and do things. If I have a day off and my kids are there I don’t go off and do my own thing. We do everything together, which most parents do. It’s not that I’m any better, or worse, or different, we just all do things in our own way. But I’ve always said a good parent is someone who puts their kids first. However they want to do it, if they do it and their kids are first, then great.
And what’s your favourite thing to do with your kids?
I am definitely someone that wants to do something outdoors in the day, just a little bit. Even though in Australia we were so used to the warmth. Here, I’m looking outside thinking it’s pretty but when you go outside it’s really cold but I think it’s so important to just be outside a little bit. I also love to do things like with Bista: we’ll cook stuff together, we’ll make cakes, we’ll do stuff like that. With Junior we’ll watch movies together. And we’ll sort of bond in different ways with them and it’s great. It really is great.
And now that we’ve got Amelia, the kids are doing all the things with her and wanting to change her and wanting to do this. I think that’s why this movie’s so good to me, when I went and saw it I thought, my gosh, this is like a history lesson! But the moral undertone of the whole movie was that really, the bond between parents and their kids is something else. You can’t explain it really until you’ve got kids. I remember people used to say to me all the time, ‘My kids this, my kids that’, I used to think ‘Who cares?’, because I’d never had kids, I didn’t get it. The minute you’ve got kids you get it.
“I’m not a genius. I tell bad jokes. I goof around. But I absolutely love my kids, and that is me, through and through.”
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt since becoming a parent?
The biggest thing I’ve learnt since becoming a parent is that you can’t be selfish anymore. You’ve got to stop being your first priority, they have to become your first. And I think that’s an instinct that happens with everybody but I learnt it. Instinctively you do it, but you learn some hard truths very quickly.
We really loved hearing that you called Amelia ‘Bista’s sister’, before you decided on the name. Do you and Emily have nicknames for one another?
Oh yeah. Well Bista’s Bista because Junior couldn’t call her sister. Junior is Junbuggy. I call him JJ, or Jun, or Junbuggy, all sorts of names like that. Bista is Bista, she’s Pringles. Pringles and Bista were the two main nicknames. And she loves Bista! She’s actually asked me if I can call her Bista as her main name. I’m like, maybe… I said, ‘It is original!’ And Amelia was known as ‘Bista’s sister’, as ‘no name’, and she was also known as ‘pigeon’.
Because she used to go *makes cooing pigeon noise*. Make these little noises and we’d be like, ‘What was that?!’ Cute little noises. And Ems is known as Embolism – it’s not the most flattering name! Emballs, Embryo, gosh, loads of names! And me? Every silly name you can think of, they’ve thrown it at me, and I deserve it!
Emily and Peter welcomed their first baby together on January 7 2014.
How is it with the new baby in the house? Is it chaos?!
Amazing. Do you know, it’s not? It’s not chaos, it’s weird. There’s a sense of calm. It’s just solidified the family. It’s just amazing. I’m just a bit gutted Mum and Dad haven’t seen her yet. They’ve seen her on Skype, but they live in Australia.
Do you know when you’re planning to see them?
Probably May or June, they’ll come over.
And it’s your birthday this month…
It is, and do you know I haven’t even thought about doing anything whatsoever? I know Valentine’s Day’s next week and because of everything that’s happened, I’m like, ‘Woah. I’d better start getting it together!’
I’ve realised that with birthdays and things like that, you’ve got to know
someone so well to know what they like and you’ve got to listen
throughout the year to the little things that they say. Funny thing is, Ems has given me no hint at all. Well, it’s my birthday coming up soon but hers, normally I’d get hints way in advance but I’ve had nothing.
When is her birthday?
Well hers is still a way away but she’ll be 25 in… *freezes for a moment* Oh God, did I just forget for a second?
August 16! The day that Elvis died, I remember. Sorry!
Is there a character you’re most like in Mr. Peabody and Sherman?
Yeah, I am Mr. Peabody. Not in genius because I’m not a genius, I can’t invent time machines… but where we’re similar is he tells bad jokes (that’s me), he goofs around and he tries to act down with the kids, but really he’s not (that’s me). And the bottom line is that he absolutely loves his son more than he loves himself and that is me, through and through. But I’m like that with all of them, obviously.
We absolutely love your choice of baby name, Amelia Andre, it’s lovely! But we’re dying to know, if you’d had a little boy, did you have any baby name ideas?
Yeah! James is my favourite boys’ name along with Jacob and Matthew. I love real English names. Maximus – what a great name. I love that. ‘We will fight!’ See, I love the name Elvis, it’s too out there but I just love that name. Elijah… I mean I wouldn’t go Elvis but any of those traditional names I just love them. George? I prefer James, that’s my favourite.
When Kate and Prince William said that they were thinking between James and George I was like: ‘Please don’t pick James!’ because I didn’t know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. so, obviously, once the royals have done it, you’re out! They can take it from you, but you can’t take it from them! So James. Any of those I love.
Don’t you just love him? We wish Pete and Emily plenty of love and happiness with their new baby girl.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman tells the tale of the world’s smartest dog and his ‘pet’ boy, Sherman, on an amazing time-travelling adventure. See it in cinemas from Friday 7 February 2014.
Where to next?