My Haven: Chemmy Alcott (Daily Mail Weekend)

The 36-year-old sports presenter, former Olympic skier and Dancing On Ice star in the living room of her Surrey home.


I bought this cottage by the Thames soon after my mother Eve died suddenly in 2006.

Being so close to the river helps me feel calm.

My husband Dougie and I often go paddle boarding – we even bought a special chair for our two-year-old son Locki so he can come on the board with us.

We do it all year round but it’s even more special in the winter, when all is quiet and you can see the frost.


At 18 months old I had my first ski lesson, and by the age of three I was racing.

This Orangina-shaped trophy was for my first big win when I was ten.

I was representing the French village of Flaine, where my parents had a holiday flat, in a nationwide competition.

It was always my dream to be in the Olympics and I competed in four – the ski suit next to this trophy is from my last in Sochi in 2014.


My mum was told to stop having children for health reasons after my two older brothers, but she wanted a daughter.

People said she looked like Sophia Loren, so she named me Chimene after her character in the 1961 film El Cid.

I couldn’t say it as a child, so Chemmy stuck.

My brother gave me this El Cid poster for my 30th birthday. People write to tell me they named their child Chemmy and I think, ‘Gosh, it’s made up!’


Our wedding was just a magical day.

I chose to get married at Syon Park in west London, where my mum is buried, because I wanted to bring her into the day as well.

This photo of me and Dougie was taken just after the ceremony.

I got everything wrong and I was giggling throughout – it was light-hearted but very romantic.

My husband is Scottish, so we had a Scottish wedding with a Scottish flag flying – outside an English venue!


This is my outfit from Dancing On Ice in 2012, and I think I’m the only person to take part in the show who was less injured at the end than at the beginning.

I took part when I was recovering from my most serious skiing injury, having shattered my right leg in a high-speed crash in Canada.

Taking part in the show helped me to recover and get back to skiing, and I loved it – although it was hard work.

I considered it as a new sport, rather than thinking about the dance and showbiz elements to the routines.


These photos of my mum on a modelling shoot look out onto the garden, because I know she would love it.

My dad Tim was a rugby player, and Mum was a very good swimmer, but she retired from competitions after an injury in her early twenties.

Her experiences helped me in my determination to get back to skiing even after I was badly injured, because she taught me that you only get one chance to make a comeback.

As told to Anna Behrmann. Chemmy is an ambassador for children’s charity Right To Play UK (, and her podcast Chemmy’s Chair Lift Chats is on iTunes & Soundcloud

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