Rachel Stevens was called the sexiest woman of all time at the height of her stardom, appearing on magazine covers on a regular basis.
After nearly two decades, the former S Club 7 singer is a 44-year-old married mother of two who says she would still be pleased to appear in a bikini in an exclusive interview.
Rachel, who married actor Alex Bourne in 2009 and has two children, Amelie, 11, and Minnie, eight, spoke about her mental health difficulties, juggling her work with parenthood, and her current role as a National Lottery ambassador, which includes helping poor children get into theatre.
“Yes, I’d do another bikini shoot, why not?” she told The Sun on Sunday.
“I loved doing those pictures because it gave me a chance to express myself in a different way than Top Of The Pops or Smash Hits or any of the other magazines the band worked with.”
“I enjoy photoshoots and think they are quite creative. I enjoy being a part of the creative process for the photographs.
Rachel, who married actor Alex Bourne in 2009 and is mum to their kids Amelie, 11, and Minnie, eight, also discussed her mental health struggles, balancing her career with motherhood and the drive to help disadvantaged kids get into acting as part of her new role as a National Lottery ambassador.
She told The Sun on Sunday: “Yes I’d do another bikini shoot, why not?
“I loved doing those shoots because it was an opportunity to do something where I could express myself in a different way to Top Of The Pops or Smash Hits and all those other magazines the band did.
“I love photoshoots and find them really creative. I love getting involved with how we are going to make the pictures look.
“So if there is an opportunity to do all that then yes, I could definitely see myself doing shoots like that.
“But it will be something different these days because mags like FHM were so of- the-moment.
“I don’t think it will ever be like that again.”
Rachel had previously pledged to hang one her favourite magazine covers on the wall of the family home in North London.
“I guarantee I’ll put one up on my wall right now.”
“With the kids, I am extremely upfront about everything, so it won’t be awkward.”
Rachel also expressed an interest in performing with her bandmates Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, and Hannah Spearritt again.
The band was formed in 1998 and has since gone on to record four No. 1 songs and sold ten million albums worldwide.
Before disbanding in 2003 and briefly reuniting in 2014, they even had their own TV show, Miami 7.
“Our last reunion was incredible,” Rachel added. It was fantastic to see everyone loving our music and to be able to perform it again.
“However, who knows?” Getting a group of seven people together is difficult. To be honest, I haven’t spoken to them, and I need to.”
For the time being, the actress is focused on her new role as an ambassador for the National Lottery Platinum Jubilee Fund, which will distribute more than £22 million to communities around the UK to honour the Queen’s 70-year reign.
Hundreds of awards will be offered to organisations across the country for community, arts, sports, and environmental programmes.
Rachel recently paid a visit to The SPID Theatre Company in West London’s Kensal House Estate, which has received £46,912 in funding for renovations.
The theatre is working with children and people who would otherwise never have the opportunity to act on stage, including individuals who were devastated by the Grenfell Tower fire five years ago.
“This is critical,” Rachel stated. There’s a lot of untapped potential out there.
“Having a place like this where people can come to play and be creative is extremely necessary — especially for kids.”
Rachel also stated that both of her daughters enjoy her music, and her oldest daughter wishes to pursue a career in show business.
“I remember sending them off at nursery and hearing Don’t Stop Moving on the radio,” she added. ‘Wind down the windows so everyone can hear,’ Amelie and Minnie said proudly. They have ‘Wow, that was so fantastic’ moments.
“But I’m just ‘Mum,’ and they expect me to be around at all times and not go to work.”
“And entertainment has changed dramatically in recent years; the girls now only want to watch TikTok.”
Rachel also acknowledges that being in the spotlight has its drawbacks.
“I’ve never regretted becoming famous,” she stated. It has given me so much, and I am eternally grateful. After leaving S Club 7, though, there remained a lot to learn.
“The band was a whirlwind — everything was taken care of for us in terms of scheduling, and everything was kept safe.” I was just 19 years old at the time, and it was a period in my life when, if I wasn’t in a band, I felt like I was missing out.
“We had our TV programme, movies, records, and radio tours more than any other band, actually.” It was exhausting.”
“Yes, definitely,” she answered when asked if she experienced mental health issues when she was younger.
I’ve always been a deep thinker and a worrier who overthinks everything.
“I used to internalise everything as a kid and never really talked about it, and I just grew used to it.”
“I grew up in a really tight and warm household, but we never really talked about our feelings.”
“I was really sensitive and absorbed and internalised everything that happened around me, but I lacked an outlet for it.”
“Once I joined the band, I did that even more. So when I left S Club 7 I had to relearn how to be open with people. I still find interviews really hard, to be honest.
“Talking about my personal feelings is something I never learnt to do so it feels quite exposing.”