The TV star talks candidly about the success of her relationship with someone who is more than ten years her junior
When Caroline Quentin married a toyboy, cynics said it wouldnt last, but 14 years after the couple first met they are still as happy as newlyweds. According to the actress, the key to her successful relationship is all down to swapping traditional gender roles.
The 52-year-old and her husband, Sam Farmer, 40, married in 2006 and after ‘comparing wage packets’ they came to the decision that while she would work, Sam would stay in their Devon home to look after the children.
Speaking to a British magazine, Caroline said: ‘A farmer in our village said to Sam “You and your wife have changed sex”.
She added: ‘It’s just the way it works for us.’
Though Caroline admitted that at times it is hard to be away, she counts on her supportive family to keep her going. While she tries to make the ‘house come to life’ when at home, the actress worries about upsetting the children’s routine.
‘Some days I wake up and don’t know which bed I’m in – I’ve been working on so many different projects all over the country,’ she said.
‘Wherever I am, my mind is on home and I’ll be talking to Sam and the kids on the phone.
‘It’s probably hard for Sam and the kids when I’m coming and going. I’ve always been good cop to Sam’s bad cop.’
Despite having divorced comic Paul Merton a year before meeting Sam in 1998, Caroline says she knew immediately that he was the one.
She said: ‘I didn’t believe in love at first sight until the moment I saw Sam in a car park in Worthing 14 years ago.’
‘We were on set for Men Behaving Badly, it was lashing down with rain and this extremely handsome young man in a baseball cap came up to me and said, “Can I get you breakfast?”
‘I thought, “No thank you, but you can get me something else!” I asked one of the girls on set who he was and she told me he was the new runner.
‘Four days later, he asked me out in front of Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey, which was incredibly brave.’
'I didn’t believe in love at first sight until the moment I saw Sam in a car park in Worthing 14 years ago.’
Only a year within becoming a couple, Caroline found she was pregnant with daughter, Emily, who is now 13. Tragically she says that ‘dark days’ followed when she suffered two miscarriages. When William, now 9, came along she said: ‘We couldn’t believe our luck.’
Caroline and Sam admit that they usually get mixed reactions at dinner parties when people hear about their life choices, but they secretly enjoy it.
‘Some people don’t know how to respond, while others are fascinated’, said Sam.
Though Sam has decided to venture out by launching his own range of personal care products for teenagers, he admitted that he still loves being a stay-at-home dad.
‘I have a good relationship with Emily and William, and they get a male perspective.’