Exclusive: James Haskell shares details of lockdown life with wife Chloe Madeley and friendship with Mike Tindall
James Haskell has given a candid account into lockdown life with wife Chloe Madeley, admitting that like other couples, they too have had their fair share of ups and downs during this trying period.
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The couple, who tied the knot in 2018 in a wedding which was exclusively covered in HELLO!, found something useful to pass their time with – launching their incredibly popular relationship podcast, Couples Quarantine.
During an exclusive chat with HELLO!, the professional rugby player was full of praise for his wife, who is the daughter of chat show hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.
WATCH: James Haskell and Chloe Madeley open up about their relationship
“With Chloe, I always wanted to work with her, we get on very well and I think she’s very funny and super intelligent and has really strong opinions about stuff,” he shared. “I just thought it was something that we should definitely do and share with people because we get put on a pedestal as couple goals but we’re like everybody else. We argue, we fight, we make up, we have good times and we have bad times – it’s important for us to show that.“
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James, 35, then added: “Working with friends or family is always really dangerous because it can become quite stressful.”
When the topic of Chloe’s parents came up, he said: “Chloe’s parents are kind of the blueprint for successful marriage partnerships, who can work together and be professional. I think that we are really honest and it comes across, perhaps more honest than we actually are.
“We just cover some difficult topics that people are too frightened to talk about. There’s a lot of misnomers, people walking around questioning everything and doubting it, not really understanding what’s really going on. To be honest, if people spoke up a bit more then perhaps things would be better.”
James and Chloe have been together since 2014
Asked whether their parents have heard their no-holds-barred podcast, James replied: “No they haven’t heard it, I think my parents have heard a few. My mum was a bit – when I saw her the other day, she sort of asked a few questions like, ‘Did that really happen? Did you really do that?’ And I was just like, ‘Mum, best not to ask really.’
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“I just don’t think it’s Richard and Judy’s cup of tea. But we don’t really want them to listen to it. We might get them on at some point but obviously, we daren’t ask anything too dodgy.“
The couple, who have been together since 2014, are set to celebrate their second wedding anniversary in December. On whether children are on the cards in the future, James revealed: “There’s potentially [scope] for kids on the horizon, maybe a dog first if I get my way – we’ll have to wait and see. I think Chloe wanted kids first – she was never that bothered by it first but now she’s got to that broody stage.”
The couple will soon celebrate their second wedding anniversary
Although their joint podcast looks into their marriage, James also has another one under his belt – The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, which he co-hosts alongside Alex Payne and Mike Tindall. “They are both quite different,” he said. “The Good, The Bad & The Rugby followed on from an old podcast, we started something new and we really wanted to go our own way and that was about certain personalities and characters of sports and in life.”
During their conversations about rugby, the topic can swiftly change into their private lives – particularly about Mike’s marriage to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall.
James and Mike Tindall (pictured far left) go way back
“He never gets angry at me [when I ask about the royal family], Mike can be – what’s the word – he will put you in your place when you step over the mark,” shared James. “But he’s brilliant, we’ve never had words. He’s such a professional, he never answers a question if he didn’t want to so he’s pretty good at managing that. He likes to hand out a fair amount of stick so he gives as good as he gets.
Of their friendship, James added: “We have spent a large amount of time together as I used to play with Mike in the England team, used to be on tours together. To be honest, when we went to Japan together with our old podcast, we spent a lot of time together so – we all get on very well, we’re all different characters – and I’m sure Tindall rolls his eyes with the things I do but we’ve always got on.”
Meanwhile, James has also been busy with the release of his new book called What a Flanker, which explores many stories on and off the rugby pitch.
“The book has been a labour of love for the past couple of years, I never thought my career warranted having this autobiography,” he explained, adding: “I decided to book of essentially short stories about all the good bits, some of the bad bits and sort of everything in between. It was really a lethargic process which I really enjoyed.”
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