Big Fat Gypsy Weddings star, Danielle Mason, talks to this week’s Closer magazine about losing her baby weight, post-natal depression, her plans to be an actress and her upcoming wedding
As Danielle Mason poses in a bikini with her washboard stomach on show, it’s hard to believe she had a baby just seven months ago.
The 29 year old, who features with her fiancé Tony Giles on Channel 4’s hit show, has lost over 3st since having son Rudi last August, going from 13st and a size 14 to 10st and a size 10. She looks fab – but still wants to another half a stone.
We’re talking to 5ft 7 Danielle the day after Tony, 27, proposed at Thorpe Park and she can’t wait to start planning the wedding. Whether her sister – EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace, 40, who she fell out with a few years ago – will be coming to the big day remains to be seen. But, despite the family politics, Danielle and Tony are delighted to be engaged and can’t hide their affection during our exclusive bikini shoot.
And it’s thanks to Tony that Danielle looks so amazing, as she’s been following the cage fighter’s diet and fitness plan.
She says: “It’s really good to work out together, as he pushes me when I’m not in the mood. And he’s a great motivator. If I ever moan about my body, he’ll tell me to stop and do something about it instead. Now, I’m feeling really good and love my body again.”
The couple train together three times a week for 45 minutes, doing a combination of running, boxing, press-ups and stomach exercises. And the training has clearly paid off. Danielle – who had a boob job three months ago, taking her from a 34DD to a 34E – feels better than ever and is on track to look her best for her wedding, which will probably take place next year.
She says: “I’m not sure I’ll have a massive dress like other gypsy girls, but I’ll definitely have something over the top. Maybe a really long train!”
And while she wants to stick to her shape-up plan to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 9st and a size 8, she doesn’t want to get too skinny for her wedding dress.
Danielle says: “I like my curves and so does Tony. He’s always telling me not to lose too much weight like Jessie did a while ago. She got too skinny, but I think she looks great now. Tony really liked my pregnant body too. My main thing now is to tone up. I like my legs and my boobs, but I want to work on my tummy and arms.”
Danielle is now blissfully happy but, when she first had Rudi, she suffered from post-natal depression.
The former glamour model says: “I was feeling really emotional and scared, so I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with post-natal depression. I was given some mild antidepressants and I feel fine now.”
Danielle met Tony when she was presenting a cage fight he was competing in. She says: “We were sort of friends for about two years, but I didn’t really know him. Then I bumped into him at a party and he asked me out. I hadn’t thought about him in that way, but then I started to look at him in a new light and really fancied him!”
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. She says: “His mum, Tina, and dad, Mark, were really against him going out with a gorger [non-traveller] at first. And my parents, Annette and Ronnie, hadn’t even met him when I told them I was pregnant. Tony had to win them over and tell them how much he loved me.
“Rudi wasn’t planned, but he was a happy surprise. Jessie hasn’t met Tony or the baby yet, but my other sisters, Joanne and Debbie, have and they all get on really well.”
Not only did Danielle and Tony live together before they were engaged – rare within the travelling world – she also managed to coax him away from his caravan site in Virginia Water, Surrey, and into a house in Windsor. While traveller wives are often expected to stay at home to clean and be full-time mums, she says she wants a more balanced relationship.
She says: “It’s quite a restricted way of life you’re expected to lead. It can be quite hard work, so I have to stand my ground. Tony’s quite protective – he likes to know where I am when I’m out without him. When I met him, I was a huge party girl and he’s calmed me down. I think I’ve mellowed him, too.”
And with one reality TV show under her belt, Danielle can’t wait to do more – and maybe move into acting like her big sister.
She reveals: “I trained as an actress, so I’d love to do a cool British film, or some comedy with Catherine Tate. I love her.”
But first, there’s a wedding to organise – and Danielle has other plans too! She says: “I want two or three more children, so maybe we’ll have another baby. Next year would be good. Watch this space!”
This week’s Closer magazine is on sale now (Tuesday).