Louise Redknapp has opened up on her first new relationship since separating from ex-husband Jamie on Loose Women on Wednesday.
The singer, 48, couldn’t contain her smile as she discussed dating defence firm boss Drew Michael, 39, following her divorce in 2017.
The mum-of-two, who was spotted leaving The Groucho Club with partner Drew last week, gave ITV viewers an insight into her relationship.
It comes after she went separate ways with x-footballer Jamie, 50, after 20 years of marriage. Jamie has since tied the knot with second wife Frida in 2021.
She said: ‘I’m very happy, he’s great, lovely, it’s really nice.
All smiles: Louise Redknapp has opened up on her first new relationship since separating from ex-husband Jamie on Loose Women on Wednesday
Loved-up: The singer, 48, couldn’t contain her smile as she discussed dating defence firm boss Drew Michael, 39, following her divorce in 2017
‘It’s been a really long time for me. It’s lovely to have met somebody that makes me so happy.’
Jamie and Louise share two sons, Charlie, 19, and Beau, 14, while the former footballer also shares a son Raphael, two, with new wife Freda.
Freda is also has four children who she shares with her ex-husband, Jonathan Lourie.
Elsewhere on Loose Women it was Louise’s first public appearance since being accused of trying to ‘cancel’ her Eternal bandmates Easther and Vernie Bennett in a bitter trans rights row.
She joined fellow star Kelle Bryan, also 48, on Wednesday’s show as they addressed the controversy – with Kelle insisting the joint appearance was not planned and she had been booked to appear on the show as a panellist a month ago.
It was revealed this week that the pair had pulled out of an Eternal reunion tour because Vernie and her sister Easther had refused to play any of the LBGTQ+ gigs they had scheduled over claims the community is being ‘hijacked’ by the trans movement.
Shortly afterwards Louise was accused of trying to get her former bandmates cancelled by ‘misrepresenting’ their views.
Yet in a telling statement, Louise said on Loose Women: ‘I would have always loved to have done a reunion with the girls. I have a lot of love for what we have done together and me and Kelle are still the best of friends.’
Ex: It comes after she went separate ways with x-footballer Jamie, 50, after 20 years of marriage. Jamie has since tied the knot with second wife Frida in 2021; Jamie and Louise pictured in 2009
Standing by her friend, Kelle added of her time in the band: ‘It’s been life changing for me. Obviously the music and the fans are so important.’
Earlier on Wednesday, Vernie broke her silence on the row, seemingly refuting the claims made by Louise’s team as she released a statement about how she has been ‘blessed to connect with so many diverse and wonderful people from all walks of life during my career.’
Vernie released a statement which read: ‘I am “Eternally” grateful for the family, friends, and amazing fans who have and continue to support our incredible journey and artistry.
‘I’ve been blessed to connect with so many diverse and wonderful people from all walks of life during my career. You all have a piece of my heart.
‘Though it is impossible and counterproductive to respond to the overwhelming number of statements and allegations made online recently, I place this moment in God’s hands.
‘I truly appreciate all who continue to express love and support for my family and Eternal.’
Eternal’s original manager Denis Ingoldsby had furiously defended Easther and Vernie, who remain his clients, previously insisting they are ‘devastated’ and accusing Louise’s team of misrepresenting details of a private email.
He told Sky News: ‘Louise and her team have thrown them under the bus and everyone is totally appalled at their bullying behaviour by totally misrepresenting the situation to suit their own agenda.
‘The girls sent an email to Louise’s camp saying they loved playing Pride, and they loved the ethos of the event.
‘For her camp to go on the record suggesting they are homophobic is utterly outrageous. This is nothing about gay rights.’
Speaking out: During the show Louise also broke cover to address the ‘trans rights row’ with her Eternal bandmates in a joint TV appearance with Kelle Bryan on Wednesday
Shocking: It was revealed this week that the pair had pulled out of an Eternal reunion tour because Vernie and her sister Easther Bennett had refused to play any of the LBGTQ+ gigs (L-R Louise, Kelle, Easther and Vernie)
Cosy: Louise appeared on the show while her former bandmate Kelle was on the panel, with the pair sharing a warm embrace before addressing the trans rights row
Louise said: ‘I would have always loved to have done a reunion with the girls. I have a lot of love for what we have done together and me and Kelle are still the best of friends’
Speaking out: Eternal star Vernie broke her silence earlier in the day, saying ‘I’ve been blessed to connect with so many diverse and wonderful people from all walks of life during my career’
Always and forever: On Monday, Louise addressed her decision to step down from the tour by sharing the Progress Pride Flag on her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘Always and forever’
Speaking to The Mirror, Denis also claimed there were no confirmed, or contracted dates, in place for the reunion. Louise’s team have denied this to the publication.
He claimed that the sisters sent an email to Louise’s camp saying they ‘loved’ playing Pride and the ‘ethos of the event.’
Denis added that the dispute is ‘nothing about gay rights,’ and that the sisters have played ‘numerous LGBTQ+ gigs.’
He added: ‘Vernie said she had some concerns about the Pride movement being hijacked – and she is not alone – but this has now been weaponized against her, with Louise’s team trying to get her cancelled.’
Louise’s publicist Simon Jones has stated that they stand by their previous comments, telling the publication: ‘Denis Ingoldsby was not involved in the discussions about the Eternal reunion including all four members over the last two years. Easther and Vernie can try and dress this up however they wish.
‘The fact remains that the duo said they would only do the Eternal reunion if no Pride or LGBTQ+ festivals were included.
‘Louise would obviously not agree to excluding the LGBTQ+ community from their touring plans. We as a team absolutely do not agree with dividing the LGBTQ+ community or excluding trans people.’
He added: ‘Absolutely nothing has been misrepresented.
‘We have simply explained the reason why the Eternal reunion is not going ahead with Louise and Kelle.
‘It is a fact that an email was sent saying that Vernie and Easther would only do the Eternal reunion if no Pride or LGBTQ+ festivals were included in the plan.
‘Louise would obviously not agree to excluding the LGBTQ+ community from the band’s touring plans, and as such notified the duo that she would not be taking part.’
On Monday, Louise addressed her decision to step down from the tour by sharing the Progress Pride Flag on her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘Always and forever’.
The flag was created in 2018 by nonbinary artist Daniel Quasar, and is largely based on the iconic 1978 rainbow flag.
The stripes of black and brown represent marginalized LGBTIQ+ people of colour and the triad of blue, pink, and white are from the trans flag.
Eternal, who shot to stardom in the nineties, were planning a huge reunion tour next year, with the highlights including performances at Pride and Mighty Hoopla.
Both festivals celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, however the tour dates apparently did not go down well with band members Easther and Vernie Bennett.
It was revealed that Louise and her team received a message from Vernie and Easther, stating they would not be involved in any Pride shows or LGBTQ+ festivals.
Louise’s publicist said: ‘A message was sent to the team putting together the Eternal reunion stating that if it was to go ahead, neither Vernie nor Easther would perform at Pride shows or LGBTQ+ festivals.
‘This was because the duo felt that the gay community was being hijacked by the trans community and they do not support this.
‘Louise is a huge supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community and both herself and Kelle told the duo they would not work with anyone who held these views, and as such the reunion as a four would not be going ahead.
‘The team behind the proposed Eternal reunion are gay including management, PR and tour promoter, and neither myself nor any of the team would work with artists who held such views about the trans community.’
Louise, who recently confirmed she is dating new boyfriend Drew Michael, has performed as a solo artist at many Pride events over the years.
Earlier this summer she took to the stage alone at Brighton Pride in August.
The Eternal tour was set to be the first time the original line-up had performed together since Louise quit in 1995 to pursue a solo career.
They soared to stardom in the early nineties with hits such as Stay and I Wanna Be The Only One.
The band stayed together for another five years after Louise quit, before splitting and reuniting in 2014 on ITV’s The Big Reunion without her.
Earlier this week, Louise paid tribute to her time with the band, taking to Instagram to honour their 30th anniversary.
I’m out! Louise, who recently confirmed she is dating new boyfriend Drew Michael, has performed solo at many Pride events over the years (pictured at Brighton Pride in August)
She wrote: ‘Where it all began… 30 years ago today Stay was released. I remember it like yesterday… Happy 30th Anniversary to my Eternal girls.
‘I remember it like if was yesterday the first radio play sat round my mums kitchen table missing the que to hit record when it played, to going to America to shoot the video and so many more incredible memories.
‘Stay is such a timeless song Easther absolutely KILLING that opening note as she does and I’m so proud this was where it all started for us! I’m so lucky I got to record this song myself for my Greatest Hits this year and girls I hope I did you proud.
‘Happy 30th Anniversary to my Eternal girls Kelle, Easther and Vernie and most importantly THANK YOU to each and every one of you that has been there with us from day 1 buying every record, coming to every show and being so supportive over the last 30 years.’
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