'Age just a number' for chef Novelli, 55, with new baby on way


Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is to be a father again at the age of 55.

The popular TV personality and author, who has two young sons with his fiancee Michelle Kennedy, told Hello! magazine they are expecting a baby boy in September.

Novelli, father to a 30-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, said he has no qualms about being an older father.

"When the new baby is 20, I will be 75, but I don't see it that way. Age is just a number at the end of the day."

He added: "If I compare myself to a good wine or a cheese, it's very true that the older you get, the better you are."

During the exclusive interview and photo-shoot at the family's holiday home in the Austrian Alps, he also spoke about the family's health regime.

"I lead a much healthier life now. We are very active and I go for a run with my son Jean every morning.

"Michelle and I don't smoke, we don't drink and we do a lot of sport. There is a lot of happiness, which I think is essential in life."

On the subject of family, he said: "I have always loved the idea of having three boys. I don't know why, it's what I've always wanted."

Novelli's partner Michelle, 40, who is mother to sons Jean, seven, and Jacques, three, said the chef was overjoyed at news of the surprise pregnancy.

"I didn't tell Jean for a couple of days," she revealed.

"I was trying to get my head around it. When I did eventually tell him, he jumped up in the air, singing and dancing."

She continued: "He's over the moon and the kids are really excited too."

Born in Arras, Novelli moved to the UK in 1983 and worked in several establishments, including one in Devon owned by the late celebrity chef Keith Floyd.

In 1996, the Frenchman founded Maison Novelli, his first restaurant in London.

Alongside his establishments, Novelli also has a media career which includes television appearances on ITV's Hell's Kitchen and BBC One's Saturday Kitchen.

Although the Michelin-starred chef puts his youthful looks down to a healthy lifestyle, he has dabbled with a cosmetic treatment in the past.

"I did Botox once when I was going to film in America but I ended up looking like an owl," he admitted.

"That was funny. My face was very stretched and pulled up."

Novelli continued: "There is nothing wrong with it but I felt a little bit odd. It was a one-off. Never again. But I still get my hair coloured."

:: Read the full article in Hello! out now.