Former Nineties popstar, Lee-Latchford Evans chats to Celebrity Secrets about what it’s like to be reunited with the band, and the personal reasons for why he’s fronting the new Diabetes UK challenge
You’re fronting Diabetes UK’s 1 Million Step Challenge. What’s it all about?
‘Diabetes UK is challenging everyone to take 1 million steps between 1 July and 30 September. It sounds like a lot but you can walk, dance, jog – whatever suits. It’s something like 11,000 steps a day – you will get there. You can even take part as a team with friends and family.’
How do people get involved if they want to take part?
‘It couldn’t be easier. From July 1st, you have until the end of September to do it. Go to diabetes.org.uk and get involved!
Is it really achievable for someone to complete one million steps from 1st July to 30th September?
‘Yes, of course! You don’t need to be doing dance routines for two hours every night to move around. You can walk in the park, join a park run or similar running club; even a dance class will have you moving more, and living a healthier lifestyle.’
What are some easy ways for everyone who wants to take part to up their steps intake?
‘Steps is a good way to do it – for example, taking stairs when you might otherwise have jumped in a lift. Or on the bus or tube, get off one or two stops before you need to, and walk into the office or back home.’
What’s your reason behind taking part in the challenge yourself?
‘I have seen first-hand the effect diabetes can have on a person. My grandfather, father and mother in law were all diagnosed with Type 2 and had to change their diets and lifestyles because of this.’
Your French bulldog, Luna, is also taking on the challenge… how’s that going?
‘Luna is loving the challenge and it was a joy to film and have pictures with her. She now goes for longer walks and we play lots of games in the garden. She’s not being a diva yet but time will tell, ha ha!’
Being on tour with Steps this summer will help you up your steps… what’s it like both mentally and physically taking part in such a demanding tour?
‘I love being on tour and we are fortunate enough to have a fantastic Summer of Steps tour this year following our UK Arena tour last year. It’s a shame once the 1million Steps challenge starts, I’ll only have 5 shows left, otherwise I would have smashed it. Now it’s more normal and I’ll be doing all the things that everyone else is doing to up my Steps.’
How has the group changed since you first formed?
‘It’s funny because other than the obvious – we are older and there are families involved now – as a band we actually just went straight back into our normal roles and it was like we have never been away. I guess we have wisdom on our side now and can appreciate everything a little more.’
How much harder is it touring now you are in your 40’s?
‘We all said as we are a little older we shouldn’t dance as much but we tend to dance more now than we used to. I personally don’t think it’s harder to tour as that is our baby. We all love it and will do all we can to make it work.’
What’s the best thing about touring?
‘Being on stage in a huge arena or at a stadium and feeling the live buzz of the crowd, the adrenaline and atmosphere, then looking out and seeing thousands of people all having a great time. They are there for you, for what you bring as a band and the joy you are giving them.’
What’s the worst thing about touring?
‘Without question, being away from the ones you love.’
We see you’re very in to your fitness regimes. What’s your favourite form of exercise?
‘I like to vary my workouts from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to a spin class, CrossFit, kickboxing or working on certain muscle groups using weights.
I had a major back operation just over two years ago now, and so I also have to be aware of my workouts, do a lot of core work and recently I’ve started doing Yoga.’
What about your diet?
‘I believe that diet and fitness have to come hand in hand; you cannot train five times a week and then ruin your training by eating takeaways and fast food. I try to eat nice and healthy, fresh, colourful food and not too many fatty sauces. Turkey stir-fry, sweet potato wedges and fresh chicken wraps are some healthy and easy to make meals.’
What’s your diet like when on tour?
‘My diet is actually probably better on tour as we have our own catering and they get to know what you like, so I tend to eat good nutritious fresh food and at regular times.’
Do you have any guilty food pleasures?
‘Yes, I have a sweet tooth and love my desserts from apple pie, to cream cakes and ice cream. So I have a daily battle with desserts after every meal.’
What about any guilty TV pleasures?
‘I don’t get a lot of time for TV and tend to record a lot and catch up later.
The World Cup is fantastic at the moment but as for a guilty pleasure it would have to be Love Island. I know… please don’t judge me!’
You’ve been married to your wife for five years. What’s the secret?
‘No secret – just tell her she’s always right… ha ha. Seriously though, we’ve been through a lot since we got married. I believe this has brought us closer together as well as trusting each other, making time for each other and listening to each other. I love and adore my wife and she is one of the strongest people I know.’
Who rules the roost and why?
‘I’m quite an independent person but as much as I hate to admit it, I would have to say Kerry rules the roost. There’s not a lot, if anything, that I won’t discuss with her regarding work or personal stuff.’
Finally, describe your perfect weekend…
‘Ooh tricky, I can go from the extreme of whisking my wife away to somewhere exotic, spending the day seeing the sights, taking adventure trips, or we could just walk hand in hand on a beach (counting my steps, ha ha) and having waiter service. The flip side is being home, walking our dog Luna, having a nice meal in a local restaurant and cuddling on the couch with a movie.’
Lee Latchford-Evans is the face of Diabetes UK’s 1million Step Challenge for 2018 and will be taking part this year. To take part, or find out more, go to diabetes.org.uk. Photo credit: Jamie Garbutt/Diabetes UK