'Peter and I get into terrible fights. But in a marriage, nobody's perfect': The world according to Abbey Clancy
The model on being married to Peter Crouch, not knowing the offside rule and why British children moan too much
'I didn't grow up thinking I was beautiful. Far from it,' said Abbey Clancy
Abigail Clancy is best known for her TV and modelling work and for being the wife of Stoke City and England footballer Peter Crouch.
Born in Liverpool, she had a short-lived career as singer in the girl band Genie Queen before reinventing herself as a model, coming second in the TV show Britain’s Next Top Model.
She has since starred in the reality TV series Abbey And Janice: Beauty And The Best, competed in Hell’s Kitchen and co-hosted ITV2’s The Fashion Show. Despite allegations that Crouch had been unfaithful to her, the couple married in July 2011.
Now 26, she lives in Cheshire with Crouch and their baby daughter Sophia Ruby.
I was nearly killed in a car crash.
I was driving from Peter’s house in Cheshire to Liverpool in my Mini convertible. I swerved to avoid a bump. The car swung round and crashed into the central reservation. I ended up in the wrong lane, facing the oncoming traffic. My life flashed before me and I thought, ‘I’m really going to die here.’ I was in such shock that when people got to me they had to hold me down as I was shaking that much. Miraculously, I escaped without so much as a scratch or a bruise. Up to that point I was always a bit reckless on the roads. Now I’ve become one of those annoyingly safe drivers. I move at a snail’s pace.
In a marriage, it’s important to accept that nobody’s perfect.
There are so many dos and don’ts. We get into terrible fights. You learn that we all have faults. We all have our ups and downs. Some days you can’t be bothered with people and they get on your nerves. Little arguments now and then are fine.
British kids are such moaners.
Recently I went trekking through India with my mother, mostly travelling by camel. It was a complete eye-opener. Poverty was all around, but no one was complaining about their lot. They were happy despite their situation. It made me think of the kids back home who’ll moan because they haven’t got the latest computer game or football shirt.
'There are so many dos and don'ts,' said Abbey of her marriage with Peter Crouch
I had swans deliver our rings at our wedding and I wear special shoes so I can reach Peter to kiss him.
That’s according to the magazine stories that have been written about me. The list of incredible, untrue things I’ve read about myself is endless. Saying that, I was gutted I hadn’t thought of the swan idea!
I have no idea what the offside law is.
I’ve had football around me all my life, way before Peter – my brother was accepted into the Liverpool Academy – but I still have no clue about it. I was always being dragged to football matches in the freezing cold. The only time I pay attention to football now is when Peter is playing. It’s almost surreal to sit in a stadium with 30,000 people singing songs about him.
My party trick is break-dancing.
Well at least a drunken attempt at it. It’s not something I’ve learnt so much – I’d say I’m self-taught. I think our friends have probably seen that every time we go out.
The whole WAG phenomenon is ridiculous.
People believe we all hang around together in a little club. It’s comical and absurd. I don’t take it remotely seriously and anyway, I’ve been called worse things than a WAG.
I’m not the kind of girl who could turn men’s heads.
I’m incredibly self-critical – especially about my big size seven feet. I didn’t grow up thinking I was beautiful. Far from it. Especially when I went through my spotty adolescent phase, the last thing I felt was beautiful.
It always amazes me when someone wants my autograph – I don’t feel worthy of being asked.
It was never my ambition to be famous, it’s just a by-product of what I do, but I don’t think of myself as a celebrity at all. Peter gets a lot more attention than me. If I’ve learnt anything from him, it’s how to deal with attention gracefully. He’s got a lot more patience than me. I’m not one to complain but it can be awful when all I want to do is walk around the park and you’ve got five photographers following you. I’d quite like to be Madonna for a day to see how she copes with it all.
'I always loved being the centre of attention. In anything, I always had to be the leader,' said Abbey
I’ve sent three e-mails in my life.
My idea of heaven would be a world without gadgets. I could happily live without the internet, social networking and mobile phones. I think people have become far too dependent on all that stuff. You see people checking their tweets at the dinner table. They can’t seem to live a minute without being plugged in. Nobody seems to be able to concentrate on one thing any more. I’m the complete opposite. I’m relieved when the battery runs out on my phone and I often let a week pass without charging it.
Looking at the sea makes me sick.
I’ve always had a deep fear of the water. Peter’s the opposite. He’s like a fish. When we were on holiday recently in Ibiza, he persuaded me to try scuba diving. I’ve never been so terrified in my life. We were taken out on a boat and I had to do a backflip into the water. Once I was in, it felt amazing though. I went right to the bottom of the sea and swam through these caves. I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t allow my fear to let me miss out on an incredible experience. Next I want to conquer my fear of heights. I’d quite like to jump out of a plane.
I got thrown out of ballet class because I spent all my time posing in the mirror.
I always loved being the centre of attention. In anything, I always had to be the leader. The one thing about me that’s never changed is that I’ve always liked to get my own way.
‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is absolute rubbish.
I don’t believe that bad experiences have made me stronger. When I’ve been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, I’ve paid a price. I’ve had to become a less open person. I’ve become much more guarded and far less trusting in other people. Since I came into the public eye I’ve gained very few new friends. There’s always a chance that you’ll tell someone your life story and it will be in the papers the next day.
Abbey Clancy launched the new Lynx Attract For Him and For Her. lynxeffect.com