Giovanna Fletcher on the power of saying 'no'

6 Jun 2024

"No" is a complete sentence. Don't believe us? Just ask Giovanna Fletcher.

The 39-year-old has every reason to be serious about setting healthy boundaries. She's a mum to three lively boys, Buzz, 10, Buddy, seven, and five-year-old Max, who she shares with her husband, McFly singer and fellow children's author Tom, she fronts award-winning podcast Happy Mum Happy Baby, and when Women's Health catch up with her, she's just come back from an arduous trek in aid of CoppaFeel, the breast cancer charity that former WH cover star Amy Dowden credits with saving her life.

Giovanna Fletcher - Figure 1
Photo Yahoo Lifestyle UK

With so much going on in her life - including a new edit with high street shoe shop Deichmann, it's slightly ironic that we're discussing the power of saying ‘no’, but Gio is a big believer in simply enjoying the moment, something a lot of us struggle or simply forget to do, especially when we feel overwhelmed with work or our personal responsibilities.

‘I think you can spread yourself too thin. And if you do that, you're not paying attention to the projects you love or the things you're passionate about,' she says. ‘We can often get stuck just feeling that we must say yes and take up every opportunity. So actually, the word "no" has become my favourite word, even though I hate saying no to people, but it’s become a word which I know is important. If we all keep striving for something and not stopping and [enjoying] being where we are, then what is it all for??'

It's sage advice from arguably one of the busiest women in showbiz - as well as all her usual business ventures, Giovanna took to the West End stage last year to star in the musical Everyone’s Talking about Jamie, her second time treading the boards since she guest starred in 2:22 A Ghost Story in 2021.

Charity trek

But Gio's life isn't all glitz and glamour, and she's just as likely as to be seen pulling on a pair of hiking boots as she is towering heels for a red carpet event. She leads the annual CoppaTrek, which has taken celebs and CoppaFeel supporters - collectively known as #TeamBoobs - off the beaten path in the Sahara Desert, Pembrokeshire Coast, Scottish Highlands, the Indian Himalayas, and Iceland.

Reflecting on the charity's founder, her close personal friend Kris Hallenga, who sadly passed away last month aged 38, years after she received a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis at just 23, Giovanna says it was an 'emotional trek'.

'She was a great friend, and it's really sad - but we spoke about death a lot, so it was never a conversation that we shied away from,' she says. 'However, when it actually happens, it always still feels like a shock and it still feels like a massive loss.

'Ultimately, the trek is about about trying to celebrate who she was and legacy that she left behind - while making sure that we continue doing her work.'

It was on one of the CoppaTreks that Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden, who Gio describes as 'inspirational', learnt about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Describing how Amy, 33, joined them two years ago, Giovanna says: 'She was walking with women who had had a breast cancer diagnosis and then literally months later she found her lump. Had she not gone on the trek, and been aware of the different signs and symptoms, that you can get it that young, who knows what the outcome would be?

Giovanna Fletcher - Figure 2
Photo Yahoo Lifestyle UK

'She's always been incredible. I don't think it takes a cancer diagnosis to make someone inspirational - she always has been. She's a grafter and she's also one of the most positive people that I know.'

Dressing up


Back in December 2020 when she appeared on (and went on to win) I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, we became very familiar with Gio's bare faced beauty - there's really a limit as to how glam you can be when you're in a dank Welsh castle during a global pandemic. But, she's a glamour puss at heart, and loves getting dressed up for date nights with her husband, making her the perfect person to curate a shoe edit with retailer Deichmann, an affordable collection which consist of some very flattering heels and wedges, as well as shoes perfect for school runs, and going to the park with the kids.

'It's been a real collaborative process, putting the edits together and looking at the predicted trends - and then how that fits into my style. We wanted to reflect, with the collection, what I love and celebrate what I do,' she explains.

Giovanna goes on to add that her favourites from the range are the pink trainers and chunky raffia heels: 'The platform heels and wedges have really thick heels on them which is great as because I'm someone who can't be trusted in stuff like that.'

Podcast power

Aside from fashion, she's now into her 6th year of hosting her very popular podcast Happy Baby, Happy Mum which has seen her interview big names like from Jennifer Garner to Davina McCall, about what they've learnt from being parents. Kate Middleton has been her most notable guest, who spoke to her openly in early 2020 about her experiences of pregnancy, her morning sickness and even hypnobirthing.

However Giovanna says they were both as nervous as each other: 'I was so nervous going into that and she was nervous because she hadn’t done anything like that before. I knew what a big deal it was and I wanted to be respectful to her and her experience which I do with every guest.

'But I was aware of the of the massiveness of the interview and that she would be sharing her personal experiences, which would be listened to around the world. It takes a lot of courage and I'm so glad that she felt safe on the podcast.'

Gio and Tom's boys unarguably come from solid showbiz stock - their maternal uncle is Mario Falcone of Towie fame - does she predict a starry future for them, too?

'I'm happy for them to do whatever they want to do, whatever their passion is,' she says. 'Me and Tom found our way into doing what we do really naturally. It wasn't something that was forced upon us by our parents. And I think that you've got to have a passion for it because it's so self-driven a lot of the time and you can't harness that in someone else.

'But our eldest, who's 10, regularly has a guitar around his neck and is singing and creating and stuff. So who knows, but really, I think both of us are just very happy with whatever makes them happy.'


Career satisfaction is important in the present day, too. Gio's hopeful that she will continue to have opportunities to develop as an actor, and is writing a new book. 'I've had to have a slight pause because we moved house and trying to find that those hours and every day to sit down and be with your character has been really tricky,' she says. 'But this year I'd love to get back to that because that's such a massive passion.'

And of course, she'll make sure her podcast will keep going from strength to strength.

The Giovanna Fletcher X DEICHMANN edit is available now.

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