Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo: The New Brand Of Power Couple

Millions have followed their relationship and their wedding set social media alight. Grazia sat down to chat about the secret to their success...

Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo

by Jessica Barrett |
Updated on

Jamie Laing is in the middle of telling a story of how he and Sophie Habboo, his wife of two months, wangled sunshine on their wedding day. ‘There’s a Spanish tradition where if you plant a sausage the night before a wedding, I mean an uncooked sausage, you have great weather,’ Jamie says, his hysteria rising as he recalls. ‘It was raining all week. We planted a sausage and we had glorious sunshine on the day.’ Sophie rolls her eyes as she clarifies she doesn’t believe you can actually ‘plant’ a sausage – you can ‘bury’ it, she counters, but is laughing despite herself.

It is exactly this blend of Sophie’s dry, self-deprecating brand of humour, pitted against her husband’s golden-retriever-esque boundless energy, all tied up with their never-ending ability to fall into mishaps, which has turned the former stars of Made In Chelsea into a new kind of power couple.

Their Spanish wedding in May, attended by the great and the good of the Made In Chelsea cast, generated huge attention across social media and even a write up in society magazine Tatler. This was partly, of course, because of their reality television heritage, and the fact that Jamie is a scion of the McVitie’s biscuit dynasty, but also because Jamie and Sophie had built an entire fanbase around their nuptials. They set up a podcast called Nearlyweds in the run up to their big day: on it they would discuss the ridiculous minutiae of planning a wedding, and break down the reality of blending their lives together forever – all while bickering like only reality stars know how.

Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo
Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo ©Getty

Now with over a billion video views on TikTok of clips from their Newlyweds podcast (the name was changed post-wedding), Jamie and Sophie have successfully turned their relationship into a lucrative brand befitting of 2023.

Off the back of the wedding podcast, Jamie, 34, and Sophie, 29, have set up their own production company, JamPot, which they see as a content creating machine for not only their own shows (Sophie also has a weekly podcast with her friend Melissa Tattam called Wednesdays We Drink Wine) but to nurture new talent.

Jamie says their reality television roots have prepared them well for their current careers. ‘It was basically a masterclass in podcasting,’ he says. ‘Go into a scene and make it entertaining: that’s what you have to do with podcasting.’

Reality television was ‘tough’ in a lot of ways, they reflect now. Sophie says she felt like she often got a bad edit. ‘I’d watch the show and it felt like my scenes had been cut to make it look like all I did was cry,’ she says. They made the decision in 2021, a year into their relationship, to leave the show. Jamie had filmed for 20 series, and was one of the longest standing regulars from MIC’s inception in 2011. (Sophie joined in 2017.)

‘If you do a reality TV show, I would say your relationship is probably going to have a really tough time,’ Jamie says. ‘Because the premise of a reality show is the ups, the downs, the lefts and the rights.’ Or, as Sophie puts it: ‘If your relationship is plain sailing it’s not going to be as watchable.’ As such, Jamie says they decided to put their future relationship first. ‘Soph and I, we made this decision early in our relationship that it probably wasn’t the best idea to continue doing [the show]. We wanted this to work. I’d been in two situations [on the show] and seen it go tits up. I just knew that Sophie and I would hopefully go the distance. So we had to make that decision to move on.’

Nothing is promised, but Made In Chelsea alumni tend to be a successful bunch. (No doubt it helps most of them were rich to begin with.) But Jamie and Sophie look to be in a different league. Together, they have over 2 million Instagram followers between them, attracting lucrative partnerships on social media alongside more traditional routes to fame. In 2019, Jamie became the first reality star to appear on Strictly Come Dancing – he was out before the show even started after injuring his foot, but was back the next year and came fourth, a fan favourite.

Do they miss Made In Chelsea? Sophie doesn’t, Jamie does. They both agree they would do their own reality show if anyone were to ask. People are invested, Jamie thinks, in couples like them because we know their back stories – helpful when thinking about how you can turn a relationship into, essentially, a brand. ‘People love stories, right? So behind any brand, you want to have a personality. Sophie and I, in particular, people saw Made In Chelsea, and so you’re invested. Molly Mae [Hague] and Tommy Fury just got engaged. The reason why we love that is because we’ve seen them on a TV show we were fully invested in, Love Island.'

Relationships becoming a lucrative brand isn’t exactly anything new, just ask Brand Beckham, which is about to hit the 25-year mark. There is a new generation of celebrity couples, however, who are turning their love stories into podcast content – and therefore cash. Peter and Abbey Crouch have their The Therapy Crouch podcast; Jamie’s best friend Spencer Matthews, another MIC alumni, has a successful eponymous podcast with his wife Vogue; Shagged, Married, Annoyed with Chris and Rosie Ramsay is one of the country’s most downloaded podcasts.

Does it make it difficult to separate your home and work lives, though? Jamie and Sophie have had to set boundaries. ‘I think if you do something with your partner, or create a brand with your partner, like Sophie and I have done, you have to make sure not to fall into the trap of being someone’s boss, or not trying to be bossy,’ Jamie explains. ‘First and foremost, you’re in a relationship.’

Sophie adds that they set some ground rules about discussing the podcast at home. ‘We don’t really talk about the successes of the podcast anymore. We just do it. And we have our team that rallies and things. We get to record a podcast every week and chat about fun things. That’s awesome. You don’t want it to become a job. As soon as it becomes a job, then it’s a problem.’

The problem with this, however, is that it is a job, and it’s becoming a hugely successful one. On the back of their first live podcast show in London in March (which, Sophie says, sold out in two minutes), word is that a live tour is in the works. They have ambitions to take their podcast to the USA and find new talent to sign to their production company. ‘It doesn’t matter what brand you’re building or what business you’re doing together or what you have going on. Family is the epicentre of it all. So you’ve got to make sure family is first 100%,’ insists Jamie.

So, despite their trademark bickering it seems like nothing can stop them now. ‘Soph and I have been through everything, from reality TV to lockdown to honeymoon disasters,’ Jamie says. ‘I think we’re going to be OK.'

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