Sunday with Amanda Holden: ‘A sweet sherry at 11am’

The TV presenter and singer on cheese soufflé for lunch, Disney movies and snuggles on the sofa

How does Sunday start? With me gasping for air in a total panic, thinking I’ve missed my weekday alarm. I send my husband, Chris, to make me a coffee as I talk myself down.

A day out? A walk in the Cotswolds, where we spend weekends, and a roast at the Chequers, a gorgeous pub in Churchill, Oxfordshire. I’ll order the double-baked cheese soufflé with all the trimmings, and leave with a tinfoil clutch bag full of meat for the dog.

Do you drink? A sweet sherry at 11am, just like my nan did. She hid her bottle behind the microwave, so I do, too. My daughter once spent all her pocket money on this tiny Georgian sherry glass for me from a garden centre. While peeling potatoes I’ll raise my glass to Nan and knock it back like a tequila shot.

Sundays growing up? On Saturdays we ran riot on our estate all day until Mum – banging on a frying pan – called us in for dinner. On Sundays, out of courtesy to the neighbours, we were confined to the house. We sometimes went to Sunday school. We weren’t at all religious, it was just that Mum wanted a break.

A special Sunday? My nan’s 80th birthday. I surprised her with a trip to New York with my mum and sister. We did all the sights, but my enduring memory is of the two of us racing each other along the corridors of the Waldorf, her dodgy hip clunking, to see who could make it to the bar first.

And Sunday night? I pray for rain. In the summer I have to be a good mother with baking and homework. If it’s miserable out, the rule is Disney movies and snuggles on the sofa. You can imagine my letters to their teachers: ‘Dear Miss, no homework, it was raining so we watched Frozen, soz!’

Amanda Holden’s debut album, Songs From My Heart, is out now (


Michael Segalov

The GuardianTramp

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