DOLLY Parton told her to stay away from men because they’d ruin her career – but Amber Davies says she has no regrets about getting back with the man who's already broken her heart three times.
It’s just six months since the country superstar gave her young protegee the strict advice after she starred in the stage show 9 to 5, but Amber says this time the romance is for keeps.
In fact, the ex-Love Islander even has boyfriend Nick Kyriacou’s initial tattooed on her little finger – ensuring their love leaves a permanent mark.
Amber, 25, admits: “I’m not sure Dolly even knows about Nick.
“I highly doubt that she stalks my Instagram page or anything like that. So I don’t know what she’ll make of it.”
It’s pretty surreal when a living legend gives you dating tips, but Amber’s life has been anything but ordinary since she won Love Island alongside Kem Cetinay, 25, back in 2017.
While that relationship quickly fizzled out, Amber was able to build a career in the West End,
Earning rave reviews for her role in Dolly’s smash hit musical.
Now she’s about to head out on tour with new musical Bring It On – so she reckons her work life hasn’t suffered because of her chequered relationship with operations manager Nick.
She said: “Everyone my age is still figuring things out and that’s the same when it comes to a relationship. Nick and I were still trying to see how we worked together and fitted into each other's lifestyles when we split.
“I got really in my own head about the fact that everyone knew we’d broken up but I realised I had to put my ego aside. I had to take a breath and think about what I wanted.”
The pair first got together 14 months ago, but have had three break-ups since then. With their on-off romance being so public, Amber worried they’d never make it work – but says she’s glad she gave it another shot.
She reveals: “It didn’t matter that it was all in public. I had the support of my family who know how I feel. He knows how he feels. So I had to ignore what other people might think and not put pressure on myself.
“I had to tell myself it’s normal for couples to break up. What happened to us wasn’t out of the ordinary.”
Amber’s fans were thrilled to see the pair reconcile and it sounds like they’ve come back stronger.
The actress admits that it was hard for Nick to get used to her lifestyle as everything is in public which was a huge change for him.
But things seem to have settled onto an even keel, with Nick becoming involved in everything Amber does for work.
'HE'S BEING SO SUPPORTIVE'
She said: “I’m happily in love. I’m currently staying with him and he’s being so supportive.
“He runs scripts with me and I’m teaching him the dance routines. He’s so lovely and has become my number one fan.”
Thanks to all that practice, Nick will know the lyrics to all of the songs and probably most of her lines by the time Amber starts performing as cheerleader and leading lady Campbell.
She added: “I think he’s more nervous for the performances than I am. He came with me to West End Live and he was really pale.
“I think he feels the pressure of my job more than I do bless him.”
In fact, Nick’s support for her career means he won’t even get riled up at her kissing other blokes on stage.
She adds: “He knows it’s just part of the job and he’s relaxed about it. Although I think if I was kissing someone as fit as Michael B Jordan he might have a bit of a problem.”
When she was first introduced to her beau’s family she was worried her Love Island antics, which saw her have sex with then boyfriend Kem all over the villa, might put them off.
But instead she was accepted with open arms by Nick’s mum and sister who were huge fans of the show.
Her raunchy moments on telly also didn’t hinder her career, with her agent giving her time to enjoy being the ITV programme’s winner before knuckling down to acting.
Her first role treading the boards was as Judy Bernly in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 alongside Louise Reknapp before going on to win her role as Campbell in Bring It On – which has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Amber says being in a performance with songs composed by Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda is a dream come true.
She reckons the story, which follows high school students as they deal with love and competitions, will leave audiences feeling like they are on “cloud nine”.
But getting back into shape after 18 months out thanks to lockdown was no easy task.
Amber said: “I couldn’t move my neck for ages when we first started rehearsals and my voice was out of practice. But it wasn’t as hard to get back into condition as I thought.”
Her TV fame is bringing a new generation to theatre and Amber is often greeted by Love Island fans at the stage door after a performance.
She said: “I love that I’ve been able to bring those two worlds together and so far it seems to have worked really well.
“The fact that it’s a tour means more people get a chance to see the show and I often get to meet them in their hometowns.”
While she’ll be away from home for six months during the tour, Amber says it’s not Nick she’ll miss the most – but her dog Oreo.
Amber admits that planning where her beloved pooch would stay has caused the most stress for her before she settled on giving him to her mum in Wales for the stint.
'I DEFINTELY WANT TO DO A NETFLIX SERIES'
It also means the pup will be there when she drives back down to Wales to spend Christmas with her family.
And they won’t be short of conversation as Amber is the only performer in the Davies clan.
Her older sister Jade also appears on the West End and her older sister’s boyfriend Luke Newton, 28, is starring in Bridgerton as Colin.
But Amber insists there is no rivalry between the three and they are each other's “biggest supporters.”
Although the Love Islander hopes to follow in Luke’s footsteps and bag her own starring role on the streaming service.
She said: “I definitely want to do a Netflix series and I’m hoping that films will be somewhere down the line.
“But musical theatre will always be my first love and it’s something I want to continue doing.
"Nothing compares to that live element you get from having an audience.”
- Amber stars as Campbell in the UK tour of Bring It On which starts on November 26 in Peterborough
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