Amanda Holden has said she is ‘devastated she had to break the rules’ and is taking a week off work after being reported to police for making a 215-mile trip from London to Cornwall in lockdown.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge went to see her parents after she got a ‘distressing phone call’ from her stepfather Les Collister on the weekend before her 50th birthday.
The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday – it is believed she had not seen the pair for a year prior to the visit.
A neighbour – thought to be a police officer – is understood to have reported Amanda to the police for breaching Covid travel restrictions after locals spotted the Londoner arriving at the home.
It is understood the star stayed overnight on Friday before making the return journey to her house in south west London yesterday.
Amanda Holden, 49, (pictured leaving Heart Radio on Wednesday) has said she is ‘devastated she had to break the rules’ after being reported to police for making a 215-mile trip
The 49-year-old took a Mercedes from Richmond to a hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday (pictured with Amanda and her daughters, Lexi, 15, and Hollie, eight)
But the star will not have to issue an apology on her Heart Radio show tomorrow morning as she is taking a week-long planned break from hosting the show for February half-term, Mirror reports.
Speaking of the rule-breaking trip one Bude local told the Sun: ‘I was really shocked when I saw it and then felt quite angry. A man unloaded quite a lot of luggage from the boot and then the car sped off.
‘There are a lot of key workers and vulnerable people around here, and we need to keep them safe.’
They added: ‘They also know she had travelled miles from Surrey to get down here and she dashed into the house. She must have known what she was doing was wrong.’
Ms Holden is a well-known figure in the area after visiting her parents before the pandemic but residents were still furious.
She was spotted by a neighbour – thought to be a police officer – who is understood to have reported her for breaching Covid travel restrictions. Pictured: Bude – a town in Cornwall near to where the parents of the Britain’s Got Talent star live
Friends of Ms Holden said although she knew she should not have made the journey, she was so concerned about her parents’ welfare she felt she had no option.
One said: ‘Amanda got a call on Friday afternoon and felt she had no other choice but to get down there as quickly as she could.
The 49-year-old took a black Mercedes from Richmond to a small hamlet near Bude to see the 75-year-old and her 71-year-old mother Judith on Friday. Pictured: Yesterday
‘Because of the issues involved with their health, she knew she had to go – there was no way she couldn’t.
‘She knows she has done something wrong and she is regretful but until you are in that moment, how can you judge?
‘In order to ensure she posed as little risk as possible, she drove alone, leaving her husband and daughters at home.
‘She did not come into contact with anyone else.’
Devon and Cornwall Police refused to comment. Today, in a social media post which made no reference to the star’s visit, Cornwall Council posted a video urging ‘everyone to stick to the rules this half-term’.
The video, which was accompanied by the caption ‘We know it’s tough. But this won’t last forever’, featured members of the council’s public health team speaking about how they would be staying at home next week.
It was claimed Ms Holden arrived after dark, but her spokesman said she got there at 4pm and had just one bag.
He said she was aware of the rules but was ‘devastated she had to break them’.
Amanda and her mother and step father attend La Dolce Vita Gala July 2003 in London
Amanda pictured with her mother Judith (pictured), who she is believed to have not seen for a year before her illegal visit on Friday
He told MailOnline: ‘Amanda is aware that all families are going through difficulty during these turbulent times but received a distressing telephone call from her elderly father on Friday afternoon.
Amanda and her step father at the La Dolce Vita Gala
‘On balance Amanda felt the round-trip to Cornwall was necessary to contain the matter at her family home.
‘The very personal situation has now been aided and Amanda is back in London.
‘Amanda did not act on a whim and has adhered to Covid rules every step of the way in all three lockdowns.
‘Amanda is aware of the travel rules and is devastated she had to break them on this one occasion.
‘Her parents are vaccinated and with Amanda testing for Covid weekly (and is negative), she felt she was not putting her parents at risk. She did not come in contact with any member of the public.’
It comes as Ms Holden approaches her 50th birthday on Tuesday and said she felt ‘so grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love’ her Heart Radio colleagues put into her celebrations.
She was surprised with 50 presents by her radio colleagues to mark the occasion.
Ms Holden approaches her 50th birthday on Tuesday and said she felt ‘so grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love’ her Heart Radio colleagues put into her celebrations
The Britain’s Got Talent judge (pictured Friday) went to see her parents after she got a ‘distressing phone call’ from her father Leslie
They included a massage chair, flowers, prosecco, a margarita cocktail, a roast dinner and a cake.
Her co-host Jamie Theakston told listeners: ‘Our very own Amanda Holden is celebrating her birthday – as a gentleman I wouldn’t say how old – but what we thought we would do is pull together 50 of her favourite things.’
An advertising board outside the radio studio also displayed a birthday message to Holden.
She wrote on Instagram: ‘So grateful and overwhelmed at the thought and love they’ve put into it.’
Holden shared the message alongside a photo of her drinking prosecco, which she said was taken at 6.30am.
Amanda Holden celebrates her 50th birthday at Global radio studios on February 12, 2021 in London
Amanda’s 50th birthday cake given to her at Global studios, it features a picture of the Britain’s Got Talent judges, a cocktail and a model of Amanda wearing a crop top sat on the top
A number of her friends also sent her birthday messages.
Her fellow Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon said: ‘Happy 50th birthday to my amazing TV wife.
‘I love you very, very much and I’m absolutely gutted that we cannot celebrate today and celebrate with you, as you deserve to be celebrated, on this incredibly momentous occasion.
‘Your 50th birthday! You still look 25, woman!’
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan called in to the show to wish Holden a happy birthday.
‘I’ve actually got out of bed on my day off just to pay homage to the queen, Amanda Holden,’ he said.
‘You know what, I just think, seeing pictures of you drinking prosecco at 6.30am in the morning, it brings back such fond memories of working with you on Britain’s Got Talent.’