In the club room of the Café Royal in London, Daisy Lowe is eating salad, chips and toast and trying not to talk about her friend Louise Redknapp.
She wants to discuss her new podcast Femme – a feminist-slanted discussion programme pitched between ITV’s Loose Women and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
It is a passion project. A show by women for women to discuss every aspect of being female in the 21st century, from body confidence to mental and physical health and motherhood. But right now, it’s impossible to ignore the issue that has dogged Daisy and her friend since Louise separated from her husband, ex-footballer and sports presenter Jamie Redknapp.
Daisy has been described by Louise as her ‘greatest cheerleader’. The woman who gave her the confidence – when they both appeared on Strictly Come Dancing last year – to realise she could be more than a mere trophy wife.
Somewhat bizarrely, this relationship brought with it a tsunami of scandalous headlines about the exact ‘nature’ of their friendship, along with finger-pointing at ‘party loving Daisy’ for having upended Louise’s marriage.
So far, Daisy has only said she ‘respects the privacy’ of Louise, Jamie and their two young sons. But Femme will soon give her a platform to say what she thinks about the way their friendship has been presented.
‘I’m aware of all the lesbian hints,’ she says. ‘It actually makes me laugh. I’m not a party girl, nor is Louise. I’m a grandma, I’m usually in bed with a cuppa at 11pm.
‘People find it strange we are friends. Why? She’s an amazing, warm, honest woman. I’m proud of her. This is what women should do – support each other.’
The circumstances of their friendship explains why they have such a bond. ‘On the first day of Strictly rehearsals, Louise was in my dressing room chatting and I got a call telling me my grandfather had died. I went to the bathroom and sobbed. ‘Louise was lovely. From then on she looked out for me. I realised she is one
of those amazing women who don’t know how incredible they are. I’d tell her all the time she was gorgeous and lovely and that she looked beautiful and I had the privilege of watching her confidence grow.
‘We’re incredibly similar – we both have open-door policies on our wardrobe, we love to treat our friends to dinner or take people places. Louise is a great girl.’
It is no surprise that Daisy has been such a support. Her mother, Pearl, has told me on so many occasions how Daisy has been the one to lift her spirits. Daisy shakes her head. ‘I credit my mum and my grandma for making me like I am. We’ve always been incredibly open in my family and we’ve all had problems. I’ve had confidence issues, I think everyone does, but if we talk about why we feel how we feel it’s a very positive way to deal with things. Women can learn so much from other women.’
At 28, Daisy – the daughter of fashion designer Pearl Lowe and rock star Gavin Rossdale and stepdaughter of musician Danny Goffey – is a cool, credible woman who is an aspirational figure to her own generation. She models, acts, fronts fashion campaigns and appears on television shows. Her friendship circle includes Alexa Chung, Nick Grimshaw and the model Portia Freeman.
‘I’m in an industry where models are meant to be a certain size,’ she says. ‘And I’ve always fought against that because all women should be represented.
‘We are living in an age where we have so much freedom, yet we are still judged. When women stand together and make their voices heard we can make great changes. And I want to be part of that.’