Claire Richards used to get too homesick to enjoy travelling the world with Steps.

Claire Richards

Claire Richards

The 41-year-old singer - who has children Charlie, 11, and nine-year-old Daisy with husband Reece Hill - didn't properly appreciate the opportunities that came her way in her early 20s because she felt "too nervous" to go out and explore new cities she performed in with the band.

Speaking to Closer magazine, she said: "I was only 19 when I joined Steps and I really missed my mum and dad when I was away from home on tour with the band.

"I spent a lot of time travelling the world, but not actually appreciating all these amazing countries.

"Instead, I would stay in my hotel room because I was too nervous to explore.

"I wasted a lot of opportunities. I wish I had ventured out more, instead of getting caught up in a bubble of homesickness."

Claire finds the key to finding a balance with her professional and personal life is to regard her music career as just a job and creating a true "separation" between her public and private personas.

She explained: "It's easy to forget that being famous is just a job and having a good balance between family and work is key.

"The glitz and the glamorous side of showbiz is amazing, but it's not real life.

"I try to remember that I'm going to work, just like everybody does, and I have to have that separation between work and family. It took me a long time to figure that out.

"When I come home, I'm not Claire from Steps - I'm Mrs. Hill."

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