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Doting dad Kieran Hayler made sure his children had birthdays to remember as he threw them a joint bash at home.
Bunny turned six on 4 August and Jett was seven on 12 August, while Kieran’s fiancée Michelle Penticost’s son Valentino turned 10 this week. And Kieran, whose mum Wendy joined them for the celebrations, pulled out all the stops on the day, with an inflatable assault course, candy floss machine, balloon wall and personalised cakes.
“Rather than having to plan three different parties for the kids, it was nice to have it all together for them,” he told new magazine. “Because we decided we were going to do a joint party early on, I was able to arrange it in advance.”
Kieran says that while he enjoys spoiling the children, he tries to keep them as grounded as he can. And he admits that when it comes to their future, he hopes they avoid going down the showbiz route.
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He tells us he’s on civil terms with Jett and Bunny’s mum Katie Price for the sake of the kids, telling us he’s happy to help out after she broke both of her feet during a holiday in Turkey last month. However, he adds that she and new boyfriend Carl Woods probably won’t receive an invite to his upcoming wedding to 37-year-old Michelle.
Here, Kieran, 33, opens up to new about how their wedding plans are progressing, his thoughts on having more children and his hopes that Katie will find a partner to settle down with…
Hi Kieran! Did the kids enjoy their party?
It was really good. We couldn’t invite their friends because of everything going on, so we just wanted to make it as special as we could. I made sure that it was perfect for them.
What did you organise for them?
I asked the boys what they wanted and they asked for a bouncy castle so I gave them some options and they decided they wanted a 50ft inflatable assault course. Bunny wanted a candy floss machine, so I got her that. Then I had a balloon wall put up in the garden. Also, rather than sorting out a barbecue, I got a grazing table. So we had continental meats and breadsticks and cocktail sausages. One side was savoury and the other side was sweet.
It sounds like you’re an accomplished party planner…
I haven’t done it before, but I definitely think I should look into it as a career! It went really smoothly. I put the balloons up the day before and I was a bit worried about the heat popping them overnight, so I covered them with a bed sheet. Luckily in the morning I came down and only one had popped and you couldn’t tell. I got all the cakes the night before – but it was so hot. I had to put them in the boot of the car overnight because it was cooler outside than it was inside.
Were there any surprises on the day?
Because we’re not able to go away on holiday, I decided to put a tent in the back garden. It was Harry Potter themed – there were wands, broomsticks and fake potions in there and stuff like that. We camped out on Saturday and Sunday night. I didn’t realise that on the Saturday it was Global Sleep Under The Stars Night, so it worked quite well. The kids absolutely loved it.
What presents did you get for Jett and Bunny?
Well, last year I got them both big presents. I got them a new bike and an iPad, whereas this year, I asked directly what they wanted. Bunny is like a typical girl, so the biggest thing she wanted was a Barbie DreamHouse. I’m not going to lie, it’s ridiculous – £300 for a Barbie house! But it was great and she loved it and it was the only thing she wanted. So I got her that and loads of other little presents. Jett didn’t really ask for much. He wanted a new Nerf Gun so he got that and loads of other little bits.
Do you enjoy spoiling them?
Yeah, I do but only on special occasions. At the end of the day, I don’t want them to grow up being spoilt brats. I try to keep them as grounded as possible. They know on their birthdays they’re going to get spoiled, but the rest of the time if they ask for something it’s usually going to be a no. They don’t get everything they ask for, that’s for sure.
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Do all the kids get on well with each other?
Yeah they do. Obviously kids have little spats here and there, but in general they get on really well. All three of them are like best friends.
Jett and Bunny are so close in age – do they ever fight?
Some days they’re amazing and the next day they want to kill each other, but what siblings don’t? Jett knows to take himself out of a situation. He’s like me – he doesn’t like confrontation. They’re old enough so they know not to fight too much.
Do they have similar personalities?
No. Jett is very closed and quite sensitive. If something happens he’ll keep it in, whereas Bunny is quite fiery. She’s more likely to kick off and she’s the first one to tell me that someone has done something wrong. Whereas Jett is more likely to keep it to himself and just deal with it.
Which of them takes after you the most?
Definitely Jett. He’s into the outdoors and he’s very much like me. But then Bunny does have some of my traits. We’ll be out for bike rides and she’ll be the first one to stop and pick up a beetle and move it off the path so nobody runs over it.
Do they get on well with Michelle?
They get on really well. We make a happy family unit. During the past few months, we’ve been riding our bikes almost every day, walking the dogs and doing things we wouldn’t normally do because we’re so busy.
What do you think the kids will want to be when they grow up?
To be honest, it’s not really a question I’ve ever asked them because it’s really difficult at this age. Their minds are so active anyway, so I think I wouldn’t get a straight answer. I would support them in anything they do – that’s what parents do.
Do you think they’ll go down the showbiz route?
The trouble is that all kids want to be at the moment is YouTubers and influencers because they see all these people making shedloads of money for not doing a lot. It’s really difficult to steer children in another way because it’s very easy to make money from social media. With Kate as their mum, it gives them a good platform for stuff like that, but I would like the kids to do what comes to them naturally.
How do you feel about it?
It would be nice to try and steer them away from that and focus on a good education first, then let them choose what they want to do.
Katie’s had a very difficult time with breaking both her feet. Do you feel for her?
It’s not nice for anybody. She’s going to have to change her way of life completely and rely on so many people now.
Does it mean you’ll be looking after the kids more often?
It’s no problem for me to have the children. At the moment we’ve got them 50/50, but I’m at home and I love having them. Me and Michelle love taking them out, so if I need to help out I’m more than happy to. I’d rather the kids were with me than a nanny.
Do you and Katie speak often?
Just for the kids. It’s good to be friendly for the kids because it makes life easier. I haven’t really spoken to her [about the injury]. She was on holiday when it happened, but I’m sure when she comes and picks the kids up I’ll get a chance to speak and catch up with her then.
What are your thoughts on her new boyfriend Carl Woods?
I haven’t met him, but I look forward to being introduced properly. I don’t know him, so I can’t really comment.
Have the kids spent much time with him?
To be honest, I’m not too sure. I’ve had them for almost three weeks for the summer holidays and then she’ll have them for two weeks. I’ll get them back the week before school to calm them down and get them ready, which will be the hard bit. But they haven’t talked about Carl so I don’t know whether they’ve met him or not.
How do you feel about the kids potentially having a new man in their life?
It would be great for them to have a stable man on that side – or no man! One of the two. Either no man or a long-term man. I just want the kids to be happy and I want them to go there and for it to be nice – it can affect the kids with different people in and out of their lives. I’m hoping that Carl is here to stay.
Fingers crossed! Do you ever speak to Peter Andre?
Yeah, me and Pete have spoken and we’ve always been friendly – we’ve never been on bad terms. I speak to Junior and Princess when I see them. And Princess FaceTimes Jett and Bunny on their phones, so I always have a chat with Princess before she speaks to them, which is great. I was in their lives for almost six years, so I don’t want to walk away from that. They’re lovely children and I like to think I played a big part in them growing up.
Would you like to have children with Michelle?
It’s something that we’ve definitely spoken about. We both feel open to having more kids. When it happens, it happens. But we would definitely like another child.
Do you think the kids would like that too?
Yeah, I think so. And then that makes it four as well, which I think is easier because while two of them are playing, the other two can be playing.
Do you have any update on your wedding plans?
Due to everything that’s going on, it’s a bit difficult. But now that everything is back on and open, so are the plans. We used lockdown as a very good time to plan certain things and talk about what we want and what we want to achieve. We’ve got similar tastes, so we’d like something traditional, but with a modern twist. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you have much involvement in the planning?
I think it’s nice to let Michelle take the lead, but I’m happy to get involved. It’s something we’re going to do together so it’s better that it’s planned together.
Have you picked your best man yet?
No, we haven’t got that far yet. Michelle has picked her bridesmaids – that’s as far as we’ve got.
Would you invite Katie and Carl to the wedding?
It depends on Covid regulations – at present you can only have 30 guests.
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Michelle previously told us Katie would be welcome to come. Has that changed, then?
There’s no change, but it is what it is. You never know what’s going on – she might be on holiday. I’m sure she’ll have much busier plans.
Fair enough! How have you been keeping busy recently?
I’m working from home. I run fitness bootcamps so I’ve been doing them over Zoom. I do eight weekly bootcamps and I do one-on-one clients from home because I know I can social distance and everything can be cleaned.
Is there anything else you’d love to do?
I’d love to go on I’m A Celeb. I think there have been talks, but I don’t know for sure. I’d love to do it because I’m into the outdoors anyway so for me it would be really cool. I think it’s just the eating stuff I’d be a bit rubbish at – and it’s closer to home now I’ve heard!
How do you feel about living life in the spotlight?
You have to take the rough with the smooth. I haven’t exactly had the best press, but I’ve also had positive press. You have to have a strong backbone. Over the last few years, I’ve really tried to show who I am and what I’m about and I’m hoping it’s changed people’s perception of who I am. I’m a very different person today than I was back then – I have learnt from my mistakes. I am older, wiser and slimmer now – bootcamp fit for the jungle!
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