What I know about women: Chesney Hawkes

Chesney Hawkes is 36. He lives in London with his wife Kristina and their three children

I PREFER the company of women most of the time. In the production I’m in at the moment I spend most of my time with the girls. I was quite intimidated by women in my younger days, but I guess I’m more secure in myself now. I’ve been married for 11 years and I’m a father of three, so I don’t really worry about those things any more, I just take every person as they come.

I suspect women like me because I’m quite in touch with my feminine side. I’m quite an emotional person and I guess I’m probably a bit of a modern man, a metrosexual type. I can be quite a good shoulder to cry on at times. I think women warm to me.

I met my wife Kristina on 4 July 1995. She’s American and she was in London and, for some crazy reason, she decided to come to my crappy little local pub. It’s the kind of place with sawdust on the floor and one man in a flat cap with his dog. I’ve no idea why she came there to celebrate American Independence Day, but I’m glad she did. From the moment I met her, I’ve believed in love at first sight. We’ve never been apart since we met that day and it’s been 13 years now.

You’ve got to communicate in order for a marriage to work. There are too many people out there who don’t talk [to each other]. You can’t let things go, you have to clear the air, you have to work at it and want it to work. There are too many people who aren’t willing to do that.

I think men can have female friends. You’ve got to have trust and feel secure, and I believe I do. For instance, on this production I’m living in digs with my leading lady, Siobhan Dillon. She’s lovely and we’re friends. Kristy doesn’t have any worries or doubts about it.

But you’ve got to respect your partner as well and not be too tactile and familiar with other women.

We’re all human and we can all get jealous or too involved in things. I couldn’t be friends with my ex-girlfriends, though. That’s a different story.

I do buy my wife flowers and surprise her with little gifts. If I was to choose what my favourite time was, it would be time spent with her. I want to be with her all the time, really, but because I’m on tour right now I can’t do that, unfortunately.

Our ideal date would probably, er, involve having no kids in the morning. We’d maybe drink champagne and just hang out together wherever we were.

If we were in London we might go out for a nice dinner somewhere, see a show and even stay in a hotel for the night. I’d make sure she was pampered with some kind of spa treatment, get her breakfast in bed, that kind of thing.

I think it’s healthy to appreciate other women, though. When I was growing up I had a huge crush on Debbie Harry. I also saw a film with the actress Madeleine Stowe in it when I was a boy and I thought she was gorgeous, so I had a poster of her on my wall. These days it’s Nicole Kidman. She’s lovely. I like a bit of Nicole.”

&#149 Chesney Hawkes appears in the Barry Manilow inspired musical Can’t Smile Without You at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, 2-25 October. His latest album, Another Fine Mess, is available at www.chesneyhawkes.co.uk