Sunday with TV’s Charlene White: ‘We plan the week to make sure no ball is dropped’

<span>Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

When does Sunday start? The kids are up by 6.30am, so [my partner] Andy and I buy time with cartoons on the tablet. Then it’s a rush to get them off to swimming. Pre-kids it was different: slow breakfasts, lying about and pottering to the pub… but no longer.

And while in the ‘jungle’? Waking up without the family [Charlene was a contestant in this year’s I’m a Celebrity…] has been strange. I’ve felt a little lost, not in their presence. Instead, I focused on food: dreaming of bacon sandwiches and fried eggs, instead of eating rice and beans, with leftover fruit skin boiled to make ‘tea’.

Sundays growing up? Gospel music played as Mum prepared the rice and peas for dinner. We had a small breakfast before the church van collected us for Sunday school. You had no choice but to be well behaved: the reprimands from teachers – and subsequent parental tellings off – were never worth it.

Sunday jobs? I worked from the age of 16. My first job was at the Trocadero Centre, full of arcades in Leicester Square. Mostly, I dished out flyers, but every few weeks – when a birthday party was in I’d dress up in a huge head-to-toe Sonic the Hedgehog costume to entertain them.

Sundays to yourself? A rare occurrence. I’d love to go out for coffee with a friend, then a walk and get some rest and relaxation. The reality would involve tidying the house, sorting the kitchen, doing laundry or squeezing in a wax: it’s never-ending.

Do you work out? Weight training at the local gym, I’ll try to book in an early morning session. It’s invigorating. I feel strong when I lift and can easily track my progress. My exhausted body aches after; it’s a real accomplishment.

Sunday night? Andy and I plan the week to make sure no ball is dropped in our constant juggling. Ideally, I’d pick out all my outfits for the days ahead, but instead I end up grabbing creased clothes from the cupboard every morning. In isolation before the jungle, I had time to read like I hadn’t in decades. I fell back in love with books. Sunday nights at home I’m going to keep that going.

Loose Women is on ITV at 12.30pm weekdays