Claire Richards suffered "panic attacks" as she worried about turning 40.

Claire Richards

Claire Richards

The Steps singer - who has children Charlie, 11, and Daisy, eight, with husband Reece Hill - celebrated the milestone birthday in August 2017 and initially found the idea of the landmark age a big struggle, but her fears went away not long after the date had passed.

She said: "For the two years leading up to it, I was terrified and having panic attacks, thinking, 'Oh my God, it's all over.'

"But it's so weird, I woke up a couple of weeks after my birthday and thought, 'I feel really good.'

"Now I accept my flaws and I'm happy with myself."

The 'My Heart Is Heading Home (This Christmas)' singer feels lucky to have such a supportive husband and admitted their physical attraction to one another is still a huge part of their relationship.

She said: "Sex is definitely a big part of our relationship and always has been. He's a good-looking man. We still really fancy each other.

"Plus, I know it sounds cheesy but he is my best friend.

"I always knew he was The One I'm really lucky."

Claire recently spoke of how she became more confident after having children.

Speaking about her solo song 'Brave' - which draws inspiration from her kids - she revealed: "When we sat down to write that all I knew is that I wanted to write a song with my children in mind either for them or about them.

"It's about how they make me brave.

"It's a bit soppy but before I had kids, I was always a little bit stand in the background and I wouldn't really say boo to a goose, but I've kind of found my voice a little bit and it's because of them.

"It's about how I will always be there for them, and be there protecting them, it's thanks to them that I'm brave enough to do that."

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