New body, new man. No wonder Chloe Madeley’s on top of the world
Photographed exclusively for Fabulous by Mark Hayman
Four weeks. That’s all Chloe Madeley claims it took to transform her body from an average, slightly squidgy size 10 to the rock-solid, gym-honed wonder that’s currently being squeezed into the itsiest of denim hot pants for our cover shoot. She still doesn’t quite believe it herself.
“It’s mad when I look at the photos from today. Holy crap, I look in shape! I look like I go to the gym,” she says. “It doesn’t quite register that I have a toned stomach because I’ve never had it before. I walk round my house in my underwear feeling like an exhibitionist… and I like it!”
It’s all down to a super-strict, low-carb diet and a whole lot of sweat under the expert guidance of actor-turned-personal-trainer Danny Young, who just so happens to be Chloe’s new boyfriend.
The couple met at the end of last year while starring in panto in Maidstone, where she was Cinderella to his Dandini. Friendship blossomed into romance and it wasn’t long before they were enjoying, ahem, steamy workouts in the gym together as well.
Chloe, 25, who whittled herself down to a taut size 8, says: “He asked me what I wanted to look like and I showed him a photo of Britney Spears back in the day. And he said: ‘I’ll get you that’. It took about two weeks before I thought: ‘Wow, it’s working.’ And now my body’s transformed.
“Danny knows exactly how to deal with me. He pushes me when I need it and he lays off when I need to recuperate.”
It might have only taken a few weeks, but bodies like Chloe’s don’t come easy. She does two hours in the gym, six times a week – a combination of interval training on the treadmill and weights. Then there’s a diet that seems so, well, joyless, that it’s good to know that Chloe allows herself one “treat day” in seven, lest she goes insane.
“My new diet is probably the hardest thing to get used to,” she says.
“In the morning, I’ll have porridge with a cup of coffee and I’ll snack on a piece of fruit or some nuts. Lunch is anything, as long as it doesn’t have any carbs or sugar, so it could be fish, chicken, soup, salad, falafel or houmous. I’ll have yoghurt or fruit in the afternoon and then dinner is the same deal as lunch.
“It’s supposed to take 21 days for something to become habit. That absolutely happened to me.”
Danny, 26, who has accompanied Chloe to our studio today (every sentence between the two of them ends with a “babe”), has not only overhauled her body, he’s also been a tonic for her mind. He came into her life at a time when her confidence was rock bottom, the panic attacks she’d suffered for years were becoming more acute and her faith in love shaken after a particularly difficult break-up with on/off boyfriend and former Dancing On Ice co-star Sam Attwater last year.
“I feel very safe and taken care of. It’s just calm, and I need that because I’m such an anxious person.
“I’d gone through a really hard year and Danny was just so supportive. He’s a real gentleman – there aren’t many of them left,” she says.
After the final split with Sam, 27, in January 2012, came a long period of self-doubt, where sometime TV host Chloe faced a career crisis, unsure of what she wanted to do next. Attempts to follow in the TV-presenting footsteps of her parents Richard Madeley, 56, and Judy Finnigan, 64, were proving extremely stressful and not entirely fruitful.
“I think we often go through transitional phases brought on by not the most pleasant things. I’d had a horrible break-up, my anxiety got catastrophically bad, so much so that I was turning down lots of work.
“I assumed I’d take to TV like a duck to water, but I didn’t and because I didn’t have that massive success, it wasn’t worth it. Job offers were inspiring panic and weren’t making me happy. It was a really confusing time.”
Chloe went to stay with a friend in South Africa, while she tried to control the panic attacks and figure out her next move.
“I was meant to be there for a week, but stayed for two months. It helped me realise what I wanted to do, which was to write. I came back, started doing some creative writing courses and work started to even out.
“I’ve started to get paid for writing short stories, which have been published online and in magazines. I’m not making the kind of money I used to, but I’m happy.
“And then along came Danny. Life is swings and roundabouts and I’m sure it’ll change again, but right now it’s lovely.”
Chloe is more than aware that some people will have limited sympathy for the daughter of famous millionaires – a girl who has enjoyed a comparatively cushy life of opportunity. Fear of being scorned has made her reluctant to speak out about her problems in the past.
“I felt embarrassed because I know I’m lucky and I’m not deluded enough to think that I’ve had opportunities because my parents are anyone other than who they are. But anxiety, depression and insomnia are nothing to do with your background – it’s a psychological issue. Some people find things harder than others.”
Since Danny came on the scene, the panic attacks have subsided. Until then, Chloe had rejected medication in favour of cognitive behavioural therapy, but has now found exercise to be the best coping mechanism.
However, she was wary of getting involved with Harlow-born Danny because of the rep TOWIE has given Essex boys.
“But, actually, they treat you really well,” she says. “All his friends and the men in his family open doors, pay for meals and give compliments. They have old-school values – and I fancy the pants off him!”
Chloe, who has “The Circus of Dreams” in French tattoed on her arm, is the first to admit that she’s a bit of a love monkey when it comes to men, swinging from one relationship to the next in the blink of an eye. When she finds someone she likes, she falls hard and fast, and to hell with the consequences.
“I’m a massive romantic,” she says, cringing. “It’s really bad. I’ve had so many ex-boyfriends, I can’t even count, it’s awful.”
When reminded about the glossy mag shoot she did with insurance broker Glenn Crickmar, 26, in 2011, only to split with him weeks later to hook up with Sam, she buries her face in her hands.
“Yes, I know! It’s awful. I get overly obsessed with romance stories and end up forcing it on my boyfriend. Whenever anyone tells me a story about what their partner has done for them, I turn to Danny and say: ‘Why don’t you do that for me?!’
“I need to deal with that, but I’m now in a place where I’m hoping to settle down. I’ll probably have been divorced five times by the time I’m 50!”
Chloe’s dream wedding day is (obviously…) already set in stone. “I’m determined to marry in Disney World, which is something I raise with all my boyfriends because it’s a dealbreaker. That’s my wedding, all planned.”
Um, is Danny cool with the Disney thing? Chloe calls over to check, he looks momentarily thrown, before politely telling her to “f**k off.”
“We can take that as a yes,” she says confidently. “It’s not a no, anyway.”
The background to their relationship is a tangled web. Like Chloe’s ex Sam, Danny, who appeared in DOI in 2010, the year before Chloe, used to date pro skater Brianne Delcourt, 32. Keeping up?
“That show is a hotbed for romance,” says Chloe. “In this business, you tend to meet like-minded people and it pulls you together. The majority of people who take part in the show are young and fiery. That sexual instinct is going to run wild. It’s pretty uncontrollable.”
Control could be Chloe’s middle name these days. The boozing she was once famed for has been knocked on the head and she’s quit her 10-a-day smoking habit, too.
“Like Disney for me, that was a dealbreaker for Danny. He couldn’t go out with a smoker. So I quit.
“I used to be a massive party animal, but now I’m not really into it. I’m a horrible drunk. Either I cry, find a pole to dance round or start mouthing off. Seriously, I’m the worst drunk ever. I have a lot of work to do with my course, so now I’m quite happy to stay in and write.
“I’m sure when it’s summer and I end up in a pub garden it’ll be a different story…”
Not if Danny has anything to do with it. He portions up Chloe’s carb-free lunch (although caves in to her pleas for a small slice of pizza), but they do seem smitten. He was by her side when she underwent surgery to remove abnormal cells following a smear test. Chloe is closely monitored for cervical cancer after tests showed she had the HPV virus, which can go on to cause the disease.
“If we learned anything from Jade Goody, it’s to get it sorted as soon as you know there’s a problem. I went into hospital, got put under and I’ve healed very quickly.”
The four days Chloe spent recovering just two weeks ago saw her banned from the gym.
“That killed me,” she says, acknowledging how much she’s changed in the last few weeks.“Everything is so different. When I first tweeted a picture of my ‘new’ stomach, I got a lot of s**theads on the internet saying nasty things. Last year, that would probably have made me not leave the house for three days, cry and eat loads of chocolate.
“Now I’m like: “F**k you all!” The fitness feeds into your everyday life, you want to be better mentally and physically and accept what you can’t change.
“I’m in the best place I’ve ever been.”
● If you’re interested in personal training with Danny, email: email@example.com.
1987 Chloe is born in Manchester.
2007 Leaves college in Leeds after one term to focus on TV presenting, and co-hosts Big Brother’s Big Mouth with brother Jack.
2009 Becomes the face of Ultimo underwear.
2010 Presents Live From Studio Five, and appears in Celebrity Quitters.
2011 Stars in Dancing On Ice, reaches the final and finishes in third place.
How to get a body like Chloe’s
Hit the gym for two hours, five or six times a week
- Interval training on the treadmill, doing 1 minute running, 1 minute jogging for 15 minutes
- Then 5 minutes on the cross trainer
- An abs session using TRX (suspension training) – three sets of 20 each of leg raises, side bends and planks
- Plus three sets of 20 Russian twists with a medicine ball
- A legs session with weights – three sets of 20 of a variety of weighted squats, leg presses and weighted lunges
- Breakfast: Porridge and coffee
- Snack: fruit or nuts
- Lunch: Anything carb and sugar free, such as chicken salad
- Snack: Greek yoghurt
- Dinner: Carb and sugar free, such as fish or meat with veg