Kelvin & Liz Fletcher spill the milk

Liz and Kelvin Fletcher

by Bryony Firth-Bernard |

Welcome to Spill the Milk, where we ask some of the UK's most famous mums and dads to reveal all about the wonderful world of parenting.

We caught up with actor, Kelvin Fletcher and his lovely wife and voice-over artist, Liz, who spill the milk on constantly worrying as parents, the product that saved their children’s eczema and Kelvin's rebellious childhood.

We’ve both always wanted to be parents

Kelvin: I've got a brother 13 years my junior, so in many ways I took on that parental role and just grew obsessed. I was at an age when I could be of use; I could change nappies, I could help with feeds, I was kind of like the third parent. I absolutely loved it and I used to always think to myself, 'hopefully one day I'll be lucky enough to be a parent myself'.

Liz: At first Kelvin was worried I didn't want kids because I'm the youngest in my family. I've got two older brothers and no baby cousins in my family or anything, so I was rarely around children. He said ‘I always wondered if you were more career driven’ and if I wanted kids, and now here we are with four!

Kelvin and Liz Fletcher and their children
©Joseph Sinclair

Our experiences of parenthood have been very different

Liz: I'm the one breastfeeding, so I feel a lot of the responsibility falls on me sometimes, whereas Kelvin is the one who will continue working. Then there's been moments when we've had loads of time off together and then there were moments, the day after I had a c-section with Milo, Kelvin had to go away and work. No one can ever prepare you for those moments in parenthood. I worry about the kids so much. I can solve any problem, but with the kids I always worry 'am I doing the right thing?'. Kelvin's a bit more laid back.

Kelvin: Unlike Liz, I didn't have any worries before we embarked on parenthood, everything was very focused around how amazing it will be. Naturally, you have compromises and restrictions when you become a parent; you don't give up your own life for someone else, but you're very willing and embrace the fact that your life will change as a direct consequence, and before I didn't really consider that. As a parent now I think ‘wow, the worry I must've put my parents through’, because all you do as a parent is constantly worry. I think the first time they go to school ‘will they be alright?’, ‘are they developing as they should be?’, or you're always comparing them to their classmates; ‘are they reading as good?’, ‘are they confident?’, ‘are they shy?’. But it's been an amazing experience for both of us that's made us say 'let’s do it again'.

We can’t live without Tropics’ Tamanu Balm

Liz: All my kids suffer from eczema and Tropics Tamanu Balm has been a saviour in some of the worst times when our kids were bleeding because their skin was so sore. It’s helped soothe their skin so much. I don't use any perfumes or any chemicals on them, because their skin will flare up instantly, so everything has to be 100 per cent natural, cotton, organic, so I'm all about Tropics.

We both got up to some mischief when we were younger

Liz: Me and my friend thought we were joyriders in her dad's car. All I did was put it in gear and stalled it into the car in front and ended up crashing it. It made a right mess of the car, despite only moving an inch. That was definitely the naughtiest thing I've ever done.

Kelvin: The naughtiest thing I did as a kid, I never even did. I was hanging out with a kid a couple years older than me and he was a bit naughty, but I just seemed to bring out this soft side in him. One day we were in this phone box and as he's making a call and I thought 'what are you doing?', then he slammed the phone down and was like 'leg it!'. I was six or seven years old. I said 'who did you ring?' and he said ‘the fire brigade', I was like ‘what?!’ Twenty minutes later fire engines were outside. I took the blame, even though no one asked if it was me, I just went along with it. They said ‘if you do that again your daddy will go to prison'. I just remember crying my eyes out, while thinking 'it wasn't me'.

We’ve learnt a lot from each other since becoming parents

Kelvin: First and foremost, Liz is an amazing mum and I didn't know whether that would be in her. I've been lucky enough to witness all three births and that has a profound effect on you, it’s a truly special moment. It's that whole cliche isn't it, where a lot of partners say 'I don't know how they do it' 'I couldn't do that'. I doth my cap; what courage, what strength, then I'm like 'ah a bit of blood!' and I can't even look.

Liz: Kelvin and I kind of have the same mindset when it comes to the kids, but the one thing he’s good at is being calm in those situations and that's what I feel I need in those moments to keep the energy running smoothly. Especially in the birth when you can panic and you can get worried. He always just keeps his cool and when the babies came and were crying, he'd just whisper in their ear and then they're calm. He's nice to have around.

In five years’ time we’d love to be watching our daughter, Marnie, on stage

Kelvin: In a show like Matilda or something like that, doing everything I think she was born to do - she's a proper performer! I think she's got the best of us both, she's got Liz's voice, my confidence and 'I'll give it a go’ spirit.

Liz: I'd love to see that too, but I'd also love to be on a beach with a cocktail with children that are just able to play and give me five minutes rest. If all the kids can swim and I can just lie on a sun lounger with a drink, that would be nice.

Would you rather…

Stand on a piece of Lego barefoot or be pooped on by your baby?

Liz: I've had both, they're both as bad as each other, but stand on Lego I think.

Kelvin: I'd rather be pooed on, it hurts Lego doesn't it?

Never drink wine again or never drink coffee again?

Liz: Never drink wine again, I couldn't live without coffee.

Kelvin: (15 seconds later...) Wine. I was just thinking about a nice bottle of red, on the rare, rare, rare occasion.

Watch Bing on loop for 24 hours or Peppa Pig?

Liz: Bing.

Kelvin: Peppa Pig

Be able to go to the toilet in peace forever or have undisturbed sleep for a year?

Liz: Undisturbed sleep.

Kelvin: I do love a private toilet break. They're important and I already get interrupted sleep, so I feel like I already get the ideal.

Eat five jars of your least favourite baby food or let your toddler eat sweets all day?

Liz: I'm very against the sweet thing, so I'd have to eat the baby food.

Kelvin: Yeah, baby food.

Clean glitter out of carpet or felt tip pen off the walls?

Liz: Glitter out the carpet.

Kelvin: Glitter, get the hoover out.

Your partner tell you that they love you every day, or never say it and get up every time your child wakes in the night?

Liz: The second one, I'd love to see it.

Kelvin: I'd like to be told I'm loved every day.

Don't forget to buy your tickets to see Kelvin in Jack Absolute Flies Again plays at the National Theatre from 2 July-3 September. It will be screened to cinemas via NT Live on 6 October.

Related: Ashley James Spills the Milk

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