Joe Swash: Stacey Solomon is an angel sent to me by my dead dad
Joe Swash has said he believes wife Stacey Solomon is an angel sent to save him by his late father.
The former EastEnders actor – who lost his father when he was just 11-years-old – met the Loose Women star in 2016 and they are now married and co-parent their five children.
Swash, 40, told The Sun's Fabulous magazine: "I truly believe Stacey was an angel sent to me by my dad to bring me out of real darkness in my life. If I hadn’t met her, everything would have been very different. I don’t know what would have happened to me."
Read more: Stacey Solomon worried she won’t be able to afford energy bills for Pickle Cottage
The TV presenter's father Ricky died of a heart attack at the age of 39.
In 2008 Swash split from his ex-partner Emma Sophocleous and they entered a custody battle over their son Harry.
Swash said: "Not being able to see Harry. Not being able to be the dad I wanted to be. I think, above everything else, more than acting or TV work, I’d always wanted a family and I thought: ‘I’m never going to have that.’ It made me think about my dad.
"And all that sadness you keep locked away comes back on top of it all. It was a really bad time and it went on for years.”
The former soap actor – who won I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2008 – first met Solomon, 32, in 2010 when she also won the ITV jungle reality show.
But it was in 2016 when they worked together on spin-off show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! NOW! that they entered into a romantic relationship.
Swash said: “She’s so funny, so real and so lovely. I know she was sent to me. I knew it when I met her. I knew she was the only woman for me.”
The couple are now co-parents to Harry, 15, Solomon's sons Zachary, 14, and Leighton, 10, from two previous relationships and three-year-old son Rex and one-year-old daughter Rosie.
Read more: Stacey Solomon says she has 'nothing against the monarchy' after old clip resurfaces
They became engaged on Christmas Eve 2020 and married at their home Pickle Cottage in Essex on 25 July 2022.
Swash said son Harry now lives close by and he sees him "all the time" and speaks to him everyday.
He said: “I hate that word ‘step’. All of our kids are my kids. Of course they see their actual dads and have good relationships with them, but I love them all exactly the same. No difference.”
Watch: Joe Swash and Stacey Solomon's wedding in their back garden