Before appearing on BAFTA winning The Only Way is Essex Debbie Douglas went about her daily business relatively unknown.
Now, almost two years on, she is one of TV’s most popular and charismatic women.
It’s a busy old life but Debbie seems to have taken motherhood in her stride and beams with pride as she talks about her children.
“The love for my children is like no other,” she says. “When you see that baby for the first time it’s like nothing else matters. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.”
We go on to talk of mother’s day and what her children will lavish upon her. “Oh, that’s easy,” she says.
“Cold tea with sugar, and I don’t take sugar. Burnt toast, homemade cards and broken flowers that look half dead.”
Essex to India
She also anticipates an endless supply of kisses and cuddles, rounded off by an annual trip to the Pie and Mash shop for everyone. “It’s just perfect,” she says fondly.
Flower-pots and her children’s drawings are also guaranteed to make her smile. “I love gifts that have been made,” she says.
As a mother there must be countless occasions that make you feel proud of your child. One moment that sticks out for Debbie was seeing her daughter Lydia complete a bike ride from Essex to India in order to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, in London.
“Giving so much of herself at such a young age was inspirational,” she says, obviously blown away by Lydia’s achievements. “Once you have the gift of giving and expecting nothing in return then your path to happiness is truly earned.”
She lists some of the other TOWIE mums amongst her friends outside the show including Carol Wright (the mother of Mark and Jessica) and Joan, (Mother to the show’s larger than life character Gemma Collins).
However, no one can compare to the Pearly Queen of Essex and a surrogate mother to almost everyone on the show. “My favourite is Nanny Pat, we have a special bond and I love her to absolute bits.”
And finally, the most important lesson Debbie ever learnt from her mother? “Hard work never killed anyone and if you want something that much then go and get it.”