Tanya Bardsley on why she left The Real Housewives of Cheshire

Tanya Bardsley

Tanya Bardsley - Credit: James Rutland

Cheshire Life's beauty editor talks to the former Real Housewife about why she decided to leave the show and what the future holds

In 2015 Tanya Bardsley burst onto our screens as one of the original cast members of The Real Housewives of Cheshire.

With her hilarious one-liners and affable nature, Tanya was a joy to watch. However, her health and wellbeing suffered and forced Tanya to make some tough decisions, one of them being, to leave the hit ITVBe show.  

I first met Tanya when I was asked to host the launch of her book Just A Girl Who Got It All, on the show a few years ago. In our latest catch-up, we chatted about her life, loves and her latest projects.

Who were your influences growing up? 
My influence was always my mum, she was always hard-working, kind and loving.

Looking after me and my sister when my dad was away on army tours for six months at a time must have been hard.

Soldier with wife and daughter receiving MBE

Tanya with her mother Julie and dad Steve Robinson when he received an MBE for services to injured soldiers. - Credit: Steve Robinson

Both my mum and dad (Julie and Steve Robinson) are inspirational, in fact, my dad has an MBE  for services to injured soldiers. Watching him receive it at Buckingham Palace was the proudest day of my life.

You started off in modelling back in the early noughties before you met your now husband, Burnley FC defender  Phil Bardsley. Tell us about your early career and how you met 
Phil saw me on the front cover of FHM and tracked my number down to ask me out. I Googled him and he was gorgeous but because he was a footballer and played for Man Utd, I thought he must be a ‘player’ so I turned him down for three years. But God loves a trier and he got me in the end. 

Real Housewives of Cheshire Seema Malhotra, Hannah Kinsella, Tanya Bardsley and Nermina Pieters-Meki

Tanya Bardsley pictured when she was on the cast of Real Housewives of Cheshire with fellow housewives Seema Malhotra, Hannah Kinsella, and Nermina Pieters-Mekic - Credit: Archant

How did the opportunity of becoming a Real Housewife of Cheshire come about? 
I was living in Sunderland and Phil had just transferred to Stoke City. The casting team for housewives asked Leanne Brown if she could think of anyone else before they made their final casting decision and she said my friend Tanya is moving here in a few weeks, so I had a meeting and the rest is history.

You’ve had quite a public battle with anxiety and your mental health. When did this first start and how do you manage it?
 Looking back I’ve always struggled with my mental health, I just thought it was depression and anxiety and now I know it was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) all along 

Tell us about your decision to leave the show
I had a seizure, which was stress-related. I was juggling so many plates and trying out new medication for ADHD  and everything just crashed mentality and physically, so I decided to go back to basics and do less and only do things that help other people or are a laugh.

As a mum of four and with your various business ventures, how do you juggle everything?
It’s like juggling hot potatoes but luckily I have the best mum and dad who help me so much including the boys' football runs, which are eight times a week! Phil's dad Tony and Phil's brother, Josh, really help out too. 

Tanya Bardsley

Tanya Bardsley - Credit: James Rutland

One of your catchphrases is 'turning dreams into reality...' How did you discover ‘manifesting’ and what positive rituals do you have? 
I’m all about the power of positive thinking; it’s hard sometimes as life can throw some terrible things in the mix, but keeping the discipline to train and keep your mind in check really does help in life. Just as you take your body to the gym you have to do the same with your mind through meditation, affirmations, vision boards, positive self-talk and visualising.

Are there any plans to write another book? 
I’m in the middle of writing two books: one about my ADHD journey and a ’manifesting with love’ book.

Describe your personal style 
I love to match colours especially block colors as I’m only 5ft 3ins tall ,so too much fuss makes me even more of a Hobbit. I love a classic look that never goes out of fashion.  

Where are favourite destinations in Cheshire?
 I love Cibo, Nourish and Juniper which are all in Wilmslow. 

What are your favourite skincare products?
I use Obagi on my skin as I have big pores but it really reduces them and I always wear factor 50 on my face every day. 

What are your favourite make-up products? I wear Mac foundation, Hourglass mascara and Charlotte Tilbury lip gloss in peachy plump. 

What does beauty mean to you?
It sounds cringe but beauty is soul deep. I really do believe that if you think happy thoughts you look more beautiful. Having an attitude of gratitude helps with this. 

Growing up did you gain any beauty tips from your mum?
My mum was and still is, full-on glam and she always says, 'never dress down for anything'. 

One of your businesses is My Glam Style. Tell us about it
I wanted to create quality classic looks for really affordable prices. I always keep in mind my price point and budgets from when I was a single mum, so we try to keep the prices as affordable as possible while maintaining quality for these classic designs. Check them out on myglamstyle.com 

Earlier this year the lease for your boutique in Wilmslow came up for renewal but you’ve decided to make an important change. Tell us more.  
The pandemic has really changed the high street.  We were losing money paying out of the online money, to fund the shop while it was closed due to the various lockdowns, so when the lease came to an end I decided to just be online.

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I still have products in other stores around the country but the pandemic was so stressful for everyone, especially business owners.

However, we were so lucky our online business never changed. Me and my ‘Bardo angels’ are so so grateful for the love and loyalty from our clients.

We are also going to do mini-tours around the UK teaching people how to attract their dream life as well, so keep your eyes peeled for dates.

Tanya Bardsley

Tanya Bardsley - Credit: James Rutland

You’ve been married to Phil since 2014. What do you think is the secret to a happy marriage? 
Love, respect and gratitude, always

Do you have any plans to work together on any projects or is Phil very much tied up with his commitments to Burnley FC?
We have had tv offers to work together so we might look into doing that when his contract finishes with Burnley in the summer. 

You have four stunning children: Gabriella from your previous relationship and your three boys with Phil. How do they cope with having parents in the spotlight? 
I think they just think it’s normal, my kids are amazing although sometimes naughty but amazing. I love them so much. 

What’s coming up this year for you?
I’m doing a documentary about my ADHD mental health journey for ITV, as well as the book on the subject later this year. I’m also looking at the projects for me and Phil. 

Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self?  
To not always believe your thoughts. I’ve wasted so much time worrying and getting anxious over things that might go wrong but which never do.

So, relax and think of the things that could go right instead.