There’s an unusual amount of girls screaming in John Lewis toy department. And it’s not the giant LEGO Darth Vader that’s got them in a tizzy.
I would have said I’m the wrong demographic to get my knickers in a bunch over the silky smooth pop personality. However I spot quite a few ladies that I can only describe as ‘grown-ass’ (including John Lewis staff from other department floors!) queueing up for their moment.
Actually I do have fond recall of Peter emerging with pecs and 6-pack a-rippling in the Mysterious Girl video way back. So when I’m offered one of 2 exclusive blogger interviews with the father of 2, my answer is you betcha.
LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS Launch
Our first encounter was at the launch event itself, featuring some other familiar faces including Sinitta and Angela Griffin plus respective kids. Soon after our arrival, Ezra and Jed both got stuck into various Leapfrog toys. I got a kick out of watching Ezra yakking away on camera for the crew filming the event!
Peter introduced the new Leapfrog gadgets (full reviews in a separate post), read a children’s story off the LeapPad2 and told my boys they had cool hair. He asked if they liked his hair and I cringed a bit as my babes can be quite blunt. Luckily they said yes!
In fact, the kids warmed easily to Peter Andre. As comes across on telly, Peter in the flesh seems like a genuinely lovely guy and caring dad. He simply oozes ‘good bloke’, in spite of all the razzmatazz that surrounds him.
When we got up close and personal later, juicier topics were off limits. So we started chatting a little about London during the first week of the Olympic Games.
‘It’s a lot quieter than I thought, I think everyone’s been a bit freaked out and some people thought why bother getting tickets. I went to the O2 Arena to watch men’s gymnastics and it was half empty. But it was well worth it.’
As someone who obviously invests in his physique, is gymnastics his top sport?
‘My favourite is the 100 metre sprint, but I also love women’s gymnastics. When you see them on those parallel bars, it’s a whole different level of fitness.’
I asked Peter about raising his kids under the celebrity spotlight and whether his Greek Aussie roots help him stay grounded.
‘Definitely. I’m from a background where family’s first. Family and food! Everything else comes second. I really honestly believe that I was lucky to take from both my parents, from my mum on the sensitive side, the caring and cuddling and from my dad on the strict side.’
How does he keep his own little monkeys in line?
‘If I say to my daughter I’m going to count to 3 and she still doesn’t do what she’s told, I won’t just yell at her. She goes up to her room, I take out all the games, TV everything. And I say when you come downstairs you’re going to say sorry to everybody and you’re still not having your TV and games until tomorrow.
‘For the first few times you feel bad, but believe me, by the next time you count to 3… Our parents used to do it with a stick. But we don’t have to. When you give your children enough love, they fear hurting your feelings more than anything. It’s like people who believe in God, you can either get someone who does the right thing because they’re scared of God or someone that does it because they respect God. So when you bring kids up the right way, they respect you and they don’t want to disappoint you.’
My 6-year-old Ezra was sitting across from Peter and you should have seen his little face after this speech! Even Jed seemed impressed although he did interrupt at one point to ask for crisps.
And here’s what Peter told them about keeping their grubby fingers off Mummy’s iPad.
‘Kids you gotta realise that LeapPad2 is cooler than an iPad because this is designed just for you. The iPad’s made for adults so it gets a bit boring after a while.’
The babes actually looked convinced. Let’s hope it sticks!
The new LeapPad2 and Leappad GS Consoles are on sale now. Full review of LeapPad2 coming soon.