AS any parent will testify, home-schooling is not easy.
But it has proven harder than most — or not as the case may be — for Wayne and Frankie Bridge.
The former England star says the exhausted couple have ditched evening sex for quickies between lessons . . . but keep getting interrupted by the kids.
While on I’m A Celebrity in 2016, Wayne had told jungle mates down under that he liked sex every day with his wife, former Saturdays singer Frankie.
But that can be pretty tricky, what with the couple having sons Parker, seven, and Carter, five, in addition to Wayne’s 14-year-old son from a previous relationship, Jaydon.
Wayne, 40, says: “I’m up and down to be honest; it’s one of them because of our kids and the lockdown.
“Bedtime’s become harder so [sex] has become a daytime thing.
“But that’s also been quite hard because of home-schooling, it’s quite difficult. There have been times with them coming close to catching us!
“I like a late-night one but my missus isn’t as keen — she likes a bit earlier, and she likes to go to bed early as well.
“I do like daytime [sex] as well, it makes you feel good afterwards.”
Unlike most parents I know, too frazzled to do anything after 4pm bar crack open the Chablis, and nail it, he reckons the couple still have chemistry.
They amused fans last April by taking part in the Flip The Switch TikTok challenge, swapping clothes in a hilarious clip.
Last month, ever the romantic, Wayne says he got his stunning wife a Valentine’s Day card bearing the words: “You still make my knob throb.”
He adds, poetically: “You can be together for a long time, and it doesn’t make it do it, but she still makes me stand to attention.
“So I thought it was a good card. She liked it.”
He and Frankie, 32, were introduced by James Corden at a nightclub when Wayne was on a boozy night out with the Late Late Show host.
They swapped numbers and exchanged a few early messages, but, says Wayne, Frankie “pied me off on text” before they finally got together.
Their first date in 2011 was at posh Japanese restaurant, Zuma, in London and they tied the knot in July 2014.
And while Frankie has walked red carpets for the past 20 years — she was in child group S Club 8 before joining The Saturdays — Wayne is also now increasingly a celebrity in his own right.
After finishing fifth on I’m A Celebrity, he went on to win Channel 4’s Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins in 2019.
It’s safe to suggest he has long had the champagne-swilling, celeb lifestyle down pat, though.
Of his erstwhile boozy days as a £90k-a-week footballer, he says his drinking got so bad he once ended up having to hitch a ride home on a milk float to go training.
On the pitch Wayne, capped 36 times for his country between 2002-09, was equally troublesome — once telling then-boss Jose Mourinho to “f*** off”, prompting the Portuguese coach to never talk to him again.
He tells Archie Curzon on The Rig Biz podcast: “I’ve been in trouble for football — not turning up for training, or not turning up on time, or drinking before training and stuff. I’ve been barred from a few places.
“But when I first started at Southampton, the drinking culture was still there.
“But I’ve got a great story — I got home on a milk float once. I didn’t know where I was, I walked outside and there was a milk float.
"I said, ‘Mate, you’ve got to get me back! I’ve got training!’ I was out in Winchester.
“I was with a mate and he’d taken me back to a house party and I’d fallen asleep and woken up, and thought: ‘Oh no’. So I got a lift home from a milk float. It took ages.
“I said the [car] fan belt had broken, but then (manager) Glenn Hoddle called me into the office and he said: ‘I won’t fine you for being honest but next time, you’re gonna get fined.’
"Now you can’t do anything because of social media.”
He recalled that at the 2002 World Cup having been beaten 2:1 in the quarter-finals by Brazil, the squad headed to the airport without him, after he slept through their meet time.
“In Japan, we’d finished the World Cup,” he explains.
“I woke up, we’d had a night out, and I’d been left behind! They forgot about me. They left me in the hotel. How bad’s that?
“The night out had been in the hotel, we couldn’t really go out — whenever we left the hotel it was just like carnage, hounded by people.”
Having made his debut with Southampton in 1998 Wayne stayed there for five years,then joined Chelsea in 2003.
During his six years at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were Premier League champions twice.
While there, Wayne had a bust-up with Jose that culminated in the self-proclaimed Special One sending him to Coventry — the idiom, not Championship side.
He explains: “There’s only one time when I lost it a little bit. He [Jose] was on my case in training — everything I did, there was something wrong with it, and I carried on.
“Eventually I turned to him and said ‘what is your f***ing problem?’ And he didn’t say anything and I said, ‘seriously what is your f***ing problem?’
"He never answered me at all . . . to this day. He never said a thing to me, and he never spoke to me after.
“He doesn’t use that method with everyone, so he’s either had enough of you or he’s hoping for a reaction.”
Wayne insists he and Jose, 58, eventually patched up their differences.
Brilliantly, he claims Jose regularly threw pre-season socials for the players — and even once booked US superstar rapper, Snoop Dogg.
Wayne adds: “He was good for the lads.
“There were times we’ve had pre-seasons in America, and he’s thrown a party. And when I say thrown a party, I mean Snoop Dogg’s there; everyone’s there.
“But you see how he treats some players and think it’s a bit harsh sometimes.
“He’s a great coach but where he’s had a bit of a tough time at United and Tottenham, sometimes he looks like a spoilt brat is throwing his teddies out of the pram.
"I don’t think he deals with it that well sometimes. But it’s funny to watch, I love seeing that.”
Wayne also helped the Blues to FA Cup and League Cup glory, before moving to Man City in 2009.
He retired having been released from Championship club Reading in May 2014 after just 12 games.
Since then, he has spent his time dabbling on the showbiz circuit and, more recently, in playing teacher in lockdown.
He adds: “I’ve lacked self-confidence since I was a kid, mainly because of probably my intelligence in school.
"I was always afraid to get up and speak in case I got it wrong. Football was a bit of a release for me.
“And since my career ended I thought, ‘I need to do something’, and never found out what it is
“But I am really happy in the position I’m in and being able to stay at home with my kids that I don’t really need to.
"I don’t want to chase the next thing.
"I’m more happy within myself as a person.”
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