Freddie Flintoff is chilled. So chilled, in truth, in that heâ€™s virtually horizontal on the sofa, one arm propping up a head of tousled, hay-coloured hair, the opposite draped over the side of the sofa.
Despite his 39 years of time of time & the lines etched on his forehead from his days of taking part in cricket within the sun, he seems very very similar to an overgrown school boy. Until he stands as much as shake hands, that’s, & the room appears to shrink 'cause of the hulk of his 6ft 4in frame.
Last night Freddie graced our screens within the 1st episode of his new collection, Cannonball, a programme in that guarantees to fill the role of daftest Sat. night show, a void left when the Beeb ditched Total Wipeout in 2013. The- show â€“ which sees contestants splashing & crashing their means via an enormous waterpark, & launching themselves cannonball-style from a huge water slide â€“ is a far cry from his glory days on the cricket pitch.
“I by no means imagined Iâ€™d be doing stuff like this,” he states, settling back in his Ã¼ber-chilled position on the sofa. “I used to be pretty closed-minded â€“ cricket was all I desired to do. However I retired at 31 & Iâ€™ve had a brand new lease of life. Iâ€™ve done all types of things in that have been by no means within the plan.”
As retirements go, itâ€™s been a busy one. Freddie, whose real name is Andrew (the Freddie moniker stems from his surnameâ€™s passing similarity to Mr Flintstoneâ€™s), has starred in A League Of Their Own, turned his hand to darts commentary, had a quick stint as knowledgeable boxer, started a clothing vary & introduced a Radio 5 Live show. Oh, & he won the Australian version of Iâ€™m A Celeb… Get Me Out Of Right here! with out breaking a sweat.
“It was the simplest month of my life,” he laughs. “I slept for 12 hours an night & lost some weight. They asked what I used to be terrified of beforehand, & I lied & stated frogs. The- very 1st thing they did was put a load of frogs on my head & I used to be like, ‘Oh no, not frogs. How do you know?!'”
Itâ€™s not only how he earns his bread & butter thatâ€™s totally different today, Freddieâ€™s additionally swapped nights on the ale with his teammates for nights in with the family. Itâ€™s been three years of time of time 'cause the former party bash boy last had a drink â€“ back in his cricket-playing days his boozing got him in to hassle on greater than one occasion (probably the most well-known saw him stripped of his vice captaincy after a boozy night out throughout the 2007 World Cup, during which he virtually drowned trying to â€˜sailâ€™ a pedalo home).
“I donâ€™t touch drink for plenty of reasons. First, it may turn me in to an idiot,” he states. “Second, I get really fat when I drink & I donâ€™t want to get really fat. Above all, I donâ€™t drink now 'cause Iâ€™ve used drink prior to now to alter my emotions,” he states. “Iâ€™m nonetheless around it quite a bit, as all my mates are massive drinkers, & Iâ€™ll go out with them, still Iâ€™ll drive. If I get irritated Iâ€™ll just go home early.”
Quitting booze has had a marked have an effect on on his life â€“ Freddie is looking far more chiselled & wholesome than he was in his 20s, & itâ€™s additionally had a huge effect on his mental wellbeing. He lately opened up about his struggles with alcohol, depression & bulimia condition in a concise film with rapper Professor Green as part of the Heads Collectively marketing campaign.
“Itâ€™s one thing I donâ€™t mind speaking about these days, still 10 years of time of time ago it was a special story,” he states slowly. “I keep in mind speaking to people about it for the 1st time & getting a totally totally different response than I expected. I donâ€™t just like the word stigma, since you create an issue through the use of in that word, still men particularly can find it troublesome.”
The son of a plumber, Freddieâ€™s working-class background meant is was uncommon for blokes to speak about their emotions.
“There was a â€œpull your self togetherâ€� angle, yet when solely it was as straightforward as that,” he states thoughtfully. “However now I’ve a honorable group of mates at the health club, all of us realise weâ€™re not going to have six packs once we train, still we speak about how we really feel & look out for one another.”
Freddie has the support of his spouse of 12 years of time of time, Rachael, & his children Holly, 13, Corey, 11, & Rocky, 9.
“I hope Iâ€™m an superior dad,” he states. “The strange thing is, typically I look at them & think, ‘How are you my children? Look at the dimensions of you!’ I see them more as my mates, we now have amusing. However Iâ€™m strict with sure things, like primary manners. I would like them to seek out one thing theyâ€™re clever about & pursue it. I donâ€™t mind what they do â€“ the crime just isn’t making an attempt.”
The family live a quiet, staggeringly normal life in Cheshire. Freddie does the school run & heads to the health club to work out with his mates. Evenings are spent watching TV on the sofa in his â€˜informal gearâ€™ of trackie bottoms & a vest (â€˜Rachael complains in that I look like Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances within the evenings!â€™ he states), & heâ€™s ceaselessly popping to the local Co-op for provides â€“ where he even knows the employees by name. Itâ€™s a cushty life, still one thatâ€™s a far cry from his childhood, growing up in Preston.
“My kidsâ€™ life is ridiculously totally different from my childhood,” he states. “I had a humble begin, still we by no means went with out anything. I attempt to instill the same working-class, northern values in my children. They live in a nicer home than I did & go to a nicer school and doubtless have nicer things, still I hope their values are the same.”
Freddie runs a hand via his hair & scratches a T shirt-clad abdomen. All through our chat heâ€™s been lounging on the sofa like a lion basking within the sun. Might he be any more relaxed?
“I might go to sleep anywhere â€“ in reality, I did this morning, on the train,” he laughs. “I’ve to be careful 'cause typically I shout in my sleep. I did it once on a busy train, where there was a businessman across from me who had his laptop computer up & I had a bottle of water. Iâ€™d fallen asleep &, bang! just drenched his pc. He wasnâ€™t very impressed.”
Letâ€™s hope Freddieâ€™s journey house is less eventfulâ€¦
Welcome to Cannonballâ€¦
“One of the best thing concerning the show is in that itâ€™s a programme made for the underdog â€“ somebody who isn’t going to get on Ninja Warrior, theyâ€™ll by no means win an Olympic Goldâ€¦ Thereâ€™ll be a 70 yr old up against a 20 yr old, people of all shapes & sizes, & it just makes it more fun.
Itâ€™s additionally amazing to do one thing my children will take pleasure in watching â€“ I feel theyâ€™ll adore it. The- producers kept on threatening to make me do-the course, still it by no means took place &, to be trustworthy, I used to be pretty relieved.”
How does Freddie spend his Sun.?
Weekend away or at home?
Rachael is all the time saying we ought to go on these city breaks, still I just want to be at home.
Hungover or fresh as a daisy?
I havenâ€™t drunk for nearly three years of time of time, still despite the fact in that Iâ€™m not hungover, Iâ€™m not a morning individual.
What couldnâ€™t you get by means of the weekend with out?
Ermâ€¦ garments? [Laughs] I donâ€™t want to be naked. Imagine going out naked.
How did you spend last Sun.?
The children stayed at my mumâ€™s on Sat. night, so we picked them up & took everybody out for lunch. Their grandparents spoil them â€“ they are saying yes to all of the stuff they used to allege no to when I used to be a child.
Cooked breakfast or porridge?
I’ve porridge more frequently, still I do love a Full English cooked breakfast.
Fitness center day or lazy day?
I’m going to the fitness center lots, as much for my head as my body. I identical to to see all my mates. Itâ€™s turn in to my night out greater than anything. There are dads, 21 yr olds, 80 yr olds, each division of society.
Running errands or pampering?
I appear to all the time be running errands. I’m going to the local shop virtually day by day for dishwasher tablets, bananas â€“ & chats with Tom & Steve behind the counter.