Home Tv & Radio Julia Bradbury: ‘Happily unmarried’ without ‘deeply oppressive’ Greek wedding dress

Julia Bradbury: ‘Happily unmarried’ without ‘deeply oppressive’ Greek wedding dress

Julia Bradbury: ‘Happily unmarried’ without ‘deeply oppressive’ Greek wedding dress 1

In fact it reinforced that there will be no Big Fat Greek Wedding for her, saying the “deeply oppressive” dress was a constraint on a woman’s femininity. “I had mixed feelings about that dress,” she says. “It was handmade but, although it was wonderful to try on the beautiful tapestries, when you actually examine the dress, it’s deeply oppressive; uncomfortable, heavy and you can’t move properly.

“It doesn’t celebrate a woman’s femininity and sexuality. It was a controlling item. But some women still get married in them.It definitely didn’t give me any ideas! I’ve never had that dream of walking down the aisle in a big white meringue dress.

“That’s never been part of my fantasy world… I’m happily unmarried!”

The Greek Islands With Julia Bradbury is a travel show but also a personal journey. Julia’s father, Michael, is English while her mother, Chrissi, is Greek.

“I feel so at home and happy when I’m in Greece,” says Julia. “The Greeks are proud, positive and hospitable. And I wanted to explore why we the Brits love it so much. Three million of us head there every year.”

She explores hidden gems, including Chios, just off Turkey, where her mother’s family are from. Chrissi, a sprightly 82, even joined her on her odyssey to find her great-grandmother’s dowry but Julia won’t reveal the outcome.

Julia, 49, who has presented Countryfile and Britain’s Best Walks, lives in west London with Irish property developer Gerard Cunningham, 60.

The couple enjoy an idyllic life with more than a touch of the Med about it. They have a lively brood; son Zephyr, eight, who was born just after Julia turned 40, and four-year-old twins Zena and Xanthe, who were conceived at 45 after five gruelling rounds of IVF.

Julia smiles. “Our life is fun and challenging! It’s a busy household as their school schedules are packed. It was a massive life change at 40 but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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She extols the benefits of being an older parent. “I’m calmer, experienced and know how to deal with curved balls because I’m more equipped emotionally,” she says. “And I treasure little moments – there is a greater awareness of the beauty of life.”

She laughs when she says that having young children also gives her the perfect excuse to vegetate on a Saturday night. “I can say, ‘Oh sorry, I can’t come, I haven’t got a babysitter’. I am generally knackered!

“To be honest, most mums at the school gate are my age group. But I live in London so it’s probably not a fair reflection of what goes on in the rest of the country.

“Life is great. Gerry and I are a team. We have amazing childcare, we’ve got fantastic grandparents and wonderfully supportive aunties but I find it hard leaving the kids.

“But this new series is my dream come true. It was my idea and I co-developed it and present it, and that’s a lovely feeling.”

 The Greek Islands With Julia Bradbury, Friday, 8pm, ITV

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