GEMMA Collins is planning to end 2021 with a “gigantic yellow diamond” on her finger and a baby in her arms after declaring that this is “her year”.
The star has just turned 40 and is looking head-on into the future after her beloved dad Alan, almost lost his life to Covid-19 in December.
Gemma has also bought a stunning six-bedroom house set in sprawling land and she’s recently become the face of PlayOJO’s campaign to raise awareness of problem gambling.
Speaking to exclusively to The Sun, she said: “I feel very settled in my 40s. I think this is Gemma’s year. I’ve overcome a lot.
“When you nearly lose someone you love so much, it just puts everything into perspective. Life is so short.”
Gemma added: “I just feel I’m ready for a baby. I’ve had an amazing career the last 10 years. I’ve now got my house. I’m settled, so I’m ready for action!”
Gemma was left “scared to the core” when her dad Alan, 73, was admitted to hospital before Christmas after testing positive for Covid.
The former Towie star was told to prepare for the worst and was allowed to sit by his bedside for two days, as medics feared he would not pull through.
Gemma says: “You just couldn’t write a lot of the stuff that went on, it was really harrowing and traumatic. I saw it with my own eyes; people dying, families crying, nurses crying.
“I would have given anything to trade places with my dad. Literally anything.
“I’d come out of the hospital and sit in the car and break down crying.”
Against the odds, Alan began to show signs of improvement and was eventually allowed home to Gemma and her mum Joan on January 27.
But he has been diagnosed with ‘long-Covid’, meaning his recovery is slow.
Gemma explains: “Dad manages to take about four steps daily, which has been a real shock.
“My dad is a really fit man, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t drink and he’s not overweight.
“He would walk the dogs for two hours a day plus go to work, but now he’s not able to do any of that. It is going to be a really slow and steady progress.”
Gemma has, however, been left in awe of her dad’s positive attitude towards his recovery.
“Do you know what, it’s incredible,” she says. “He is so determined to get back to how he was.
“He’s just my total inspiration and is so mentally strong.
“When he was on his death bed in hospital, he looked at me and grabbed my hand and said, ‘I’ll walk out here alive, Gemma, don’t worry’. And he did just that. His determination to get his life back is just incredible.”
Just four days after Alan was released from hospital, Gemma turned 40.
She joked that she might “need counselling” for reaching the milestone, but is now feeling on top of the world.
Gemma said: “It’s just been the best birthday present ever to know that my dad is home and safe.
“It was actually one of the best birthdays I’ve had.
“Everyone made such an effort because it was such a milestone, and I got so many presents and flowers.
“I had crates and crates of gifts, nonstop. I kept saying to the delivery man, ‘Bring them in a couple of days, I can’t accept any more flowers!’ It was hilarious.”
Gemma is planning to throw her own festival once Covid restrictions are lifted, as a belated celebration.
And she has plenty of other big plans up her sleeve for 2021, too.
The star is also certain that marriage and babies is on the cards for this year.
Gemma reveals: “I’ve been having tarot readings with a lovely girl called Emma.
“She says I’m definitely going to have a baby this year and I’ll definitely get a ring on my finger.
“It had better be a big one. I want a yellow diamond. A huge one. A gigantic one!”
She adds: “I keep saying, ‘You’re joking, I can’t see it happening!’ But let’s see if her predictions come true. I hope so, I do hope so.”
Gemma says she is more than ready to become a mum, especially after she recently purchased a sprawling family home in Essex.
The property has six bedrooms and she will be using one as an ‘Instagram room’, another as an office and she hopes to transform at least one into a nursery.
“The new house…OMG, it’s absolutely incredible,” Gemma gushes.
“My mum found it last year and it was a little bit out of budget.
“I went to look at it though and I just knew I was going to live there. It was just so weird.
“I said, ‘Okay, I’ll buy the house’. But I was thinking, ’S***, it’s quite a bit of dough. I’m going to have to start making sacrifices’.
“It all worked out in the end though and we agreed on a good price.”
Gemma describes her new house as “beautiful and classy” and is slowly but surely unpacking.
The star is grateful for the current lockdown, as it means she has got time to get it sorted.
She says: “The house is beautiful. It’s got lots of land and I’m definitely going to be very happy there.
“The kitchen is lovely and it does feel like home already.
“I do feel very happy about my future and what this year has got to offer me.
“It’s a big house, so hopefully will be filled up at some point with a new baby.”
Like her beloved dad Alan, Gemma is remaining positive about the future.
She says talks for another series of her ITV2 reality show Gemma Collins: Diva Forever are underway but, for now, she is enjoying a slower pace of life.
Gemma says: “At the minute, I’m just basking in house glory and am delighted my dad is alive.
“I can’t wait for all this to be over so he and my mum can come and see it.
“I get satisfaction just from looking at my champagne flutes in the cupboard knowing that really soon we can raise a toast and get absolutely bladdered!”
Outside of her TV work, Gemma has become the face of PlayOJO’s responsible gambling campaign.
The advert shows the reality star advertising pretend perfume “Compulsion” before giving people the tools to spot the warning signs of problem gambling.
Gemma has joined the campaign as combating addiction is something “close to her heart”.
She told us: “I am so proud to be working with PlayOJO on this campaign! It’s something that is very close to my heart and I have been able to meet some really inspiring people and create some amazing resources to support people who are affected by gambling addiction.”
However, the star insists there is a lot of work to do to defeat stigma around addiction – and she’s happy to use her platform to do that.
Gemma added: “There’s sadly still a stigma around any mental health issue, but we are getting more open as a nation.
“It is not something to be ashamed of. If someone was suffering with a physical illness, they would get medical help and addiction is no different in that sense, and people should worry less about what others think of
“We live in a world where people are petrified of being judged. Addiction is becoming less taboo through initiatives like PlayOJO’s Responsible Gambling campaign, but there is still a lot to do to let people know about the tools they can use to get help.
“That’s why I want to use my platform as a tool to offer advice to those affected by addiction and make it subject with less negative connotations.
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“I have already had some wonderful feedback from the wife of a gambling addict saying this kind of campaign is so important and I hope that by talking about it openly and helping people to recognise the signs that we can help many others.”