He may be one of the biggest rock stars on the planet – but Rod Stewart still enjoys all the home comforts of a traditional Christmas. In an exclusive interview and photoshoot inside his luxury 19th century Essex mansion, wife Penny Lancaster reveals how he keeps things simple over the Festive season.
"There's Rod the rock star who gets up on the stage and sings," Penny, who poses with her husband and their two sons Alastair and Aiden in the shoot, tells HELLO!.
"And there's the Rod I'm married to, the very funny, very loving, family man who just loves being surrounded by the people he loves and those who love him.
"Rod is pretty easy to please. He never really wants anything, the things he likes are very simple luxuries: really good brushes for his model railway hobby and cashmere socks which he loves to wear in bed and on planes because he gets really cold feet.
"In the afternoon all the boys want to do is jump around in all the wrapping paper and empty boxes. That's when Rod disappears to his library to watch television on the big screen, hoping that the mess will be cleared up on his return. He likes a tidy house."
A family Christmas these days, Rod says, is very different to those he had growing up. "There are a few more shillings about now," he told HELLO!. "However, my childhood memories of Christmas are full of joy."
In the interview, Penny responds for the first time to the recent release of Rod's first autobiography. She says it has made her fall even more in love with her husband.
"There's lots of little things I loved, like the fact his window as a kid used to look out onto a railway track which is the reason he loves trains so much," she reveals.
"What was really moving for me was just how hard he worked – in the early days no-one wanted him."
And she says that she's glad her romance with Rod didn't take off until he was a bit older. "Part of me would like to have met Rod in his thirties or forties," she says. "But I know it wouldn't have been right for him to have the relationship we have, the life we have."
To read more of the interview with the couple, including how Penny unleashed a romantic Christmas surprise on the singer, what moving gift their son Alastair wanted for his birthday and Penny's new year's resolutions, pick up the latest issue of HELLO!.