Former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, 34, is a busy bee, juggling presenting work on popular Television shows such as Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway with her burgeoning music career. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, she's used to travelling widely and divides her time equally between London and LA. While music is her true passion, she's a prominent charity worker and an ambassador for mental health charity Mind.
Growing up in a musical household and having travelled all around the world for work and pleasure, Ashley's got an open mind when it comes to trying new things and appreciates all sorts of food, from Mexican tortillas to English muffins. We talked to her about the foodie tips she's picked up on the way, including what exactly it was like to eat that infamous Wallaby on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
What’s on your daily menu?
Eggs and avocado for breakfast. Lunch is usually butternut squash or sweet potato salad with seeds, nuts and greens, then dinner will be chicken and vegetables.
Do you diet?
I watch my weight by eating healthily and exercising, but I have treats, too. When I eat badly, I feel disconnected from my body and I don’t like that.
Favourite childhood food?
I grew up in Arizona so we had a lot of Mexican dishes, like tortillas and taco salad. After school, I’d have a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and jelly [jam to us in the UK] and a Sprite!
Who was your culinary idol?
My mum, Peggy, taught ’80s step aerobics and was a big influence on me eating well. In America, you’re either having pizza for every meal or eating healthily. Thankfully, I was the latter.
Where are you living now?
I’m hopping between the UK and the US doing a show for NBC called 1st Look, where I go around trying cool stuff, from fine dining to yoga on a surfboard.
Australian – they have really great chefs and restaurants there. Though in the I’m A Celebrity... jungle [Ashley took part in the series back in 2012] the food wasn’t so good – I ate kangaroo penis, crocodile and wallaby.
How was the jungle experience?
I appreciated food so much afterwards, even basics like salt and pepper. I left with a sense of gratitude and now, every morning, I go through all the things I’m thankful for.
Tell us your favourite snacks
In the green room at Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, there are sausage sandwiches, crisps and pizza. When the show’s over, we indulge. It’s Saturday night, after all!
Dream dinner party guests?
Goldie Hawn – I’ve loved her since I saw the film Overboard. Also, actor Paul Rudd, because he’d make me laugh, and Prince could serenade us while we ate. The best dinner parties are with the people you love, though, like my friends Laura Whitmore and Kimberly Wyatt. Laura’s a great guest because she always brings wine! She’s good in the kitchen, too.
Do you have a hangover cure?
Give me a burrito and nachos and I’m happy. I also love the wood-fire pizzas at Homeslice in Covent Garden. If I’m going big, I’ll have a chocolate brownie or a warm cookie.
Any dinner date disasters?
I once spilled wine on a nice white shirt. I don’t know why I miss my mouth every time I try to drink something!
Top takeaway treat?
Turkish food from Fez Mangal in Notting Hill, London. Lots of houmous, falafel, tabbouleh and fresh pitta bread.
Number one restaurant?
Xiao Bao Biscuit in Charleston, South Carolina, which serves Asian comfort food in an old converted gas station. One dish, okonomiyaki – candied pork on a cabbage pancake topped with a fried egg – is next level!