11 Dec At home with the new star of The Real Housewives of Cheshire
Dentist Hanna and anti-ageing specialist Martin reveal what it’s like to be on the hit ITVBe series and how the show has changed their lives.
She’s one of the newest Real Housewives of Cheshire – and dentist Hanna Miraftab has already made a big impact with viewers while ruffling feathers among her co-stars.
Dentist Hanna joined the eighth series after her doctor fiancé Martin Kinsella had already appeared on the hit ITVBe reality show which follows the lives of wealthy and glamorous women living in Cheshire.
Welcoming us into their plush apartment in Bowdon , the couple opened up about what it’s like to be on the show and how it’s changed their lives.
“I’m a dentist. I’ve not had any sort of television experience or training in media ever in my life so it’s a complete new world. It’s nuts,” said Hanna, who runs the Kiln Lane Dental Practice in St Helens.
“One of Martin’s patients is Lauren Simon off the programme and she’s been friends with him for years. Last series they approached him to do a non-surgical facelift on her so Martin was on the show, and he bloody loved it. He loves it more than me.
“So he was on the show and he was doing a thread lift, it was a real success and before I knew it I got a casting camera in the house and three or four weeks later ‘here’s the contract’.
“So it all happened very quickly.”
The couple had met Nermina Pieters-Mekic, the wife of Stoke City footballer Erik Pieters, artist Stacey Forsey and Forever Unique fashion boss Seema Malhotra before but had never met the other stars of the show.
Hanna, who joined this series with yoga instructor Perla Navia, said: “Obviously I went in with Perla, but they all know each other and a lot have known each other for years so there’s already very strong friendships so you’re going into this sort of group of friends. It was very daunting at first.”
The day before their first stint in front of the cameras this summer the couple attended a friend’s wedding, and were suffering “pangs of anxiety.”
“All we knew was that ‘you’re going to a Cheshire garden party tomorrow. Wear glam garden wear and arrive at this time’,” explained Hanna.
“We were at a friends wedding the night before thinking ‘oh my god we’re going to a party tomorrow that’s being filmed.’
“But you get so used to it. At first it’s daunting with the cameras and the microphones and you’re constantly thinking ‘I can’t say this, I can’t say that.’
“There’s no script. Lots of people always ask me ‘is it real?’ and it is real. It’s your own words and it’s you. You’re playing yourself. It’s not fake in any way.
“It’s like real life in a pressure cooker.”
She added: “I have enjoyed. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion with its ups and downs.
“It’s important to have someone supportive by your side and Martin has been amazing through it.
“Sometimes you do feel on your own, especially when a lot of the girls are disagreeing with you.
“You feel like you’re the only one standing your ground.”
Martin, owner of Re-Enhance Medical and Dental Clinic, which has clinics in Hale, Wakefield ,Majorca, and London’s Knightsbridge, said: “It’s very frustrating because sometimes you want to step and go ‘hang on, what’s going on here?’
“You hear bits of what’s happened and it’s not for you to get involved but it is hard.”
Hanna added: “It’s generally very positive. The crew, the production are amazing and hats off to them because dealing with eight women with eight different lives and there’s conflict, I think they’ve been fantastic.
“I’ve had to reduce my clinical hours to working two days a week and it’s like being on call. My phone could go and it’s like ‘be in a ballgown 6pm tomorrow.’
“It’s quite ad hoc and you’ve just got to be available.”
Hanna grew up in Bolton before her family moved to Wilmslow when she was a teenager.
She studied dentistry at Liverpool University where she first met Martin, who co-star Seema has turned to this series over concerns that she’s going through the menopause.
It wasn’t until 12 years on that the former uni friends had a chance meeting in a bar in London and love blossomed last year.
They moved in together in February into a renovated apartment within a former mansion in Bowdon, which became a “labour of love” as they choose everything down to the door handles together.
They are planning their wedding for next September, although they’re yet to decide if their nuptials will feature on the show.
Asked if the show has changed her life Hanna said: “Yes and no. Yes in a sense in that obviously now I’m on television and you immediately overnight become a public figure and people have got opinions on you and your life and your fiancé and your mum and your choice of wedding dress.
“You become somebody that people have opinions about. But we’re still ourselves. we haven’t changed as people.”
Martin added: “In my clinic I do a lot of talking to patients now I find I’m starting to run behind because patients just want to talk to me about the Real Housewives.”
Hanna caused a ruction earlier in the series during a discussion about jobs and qualifications, which saw her accused of “judging” her fellow Housewives. But she believes this came across all wrong.
“I get messages from students, older people, younger people so many people have messaged me to say it’s so refreshing to have a housewife that’s gone down that academic route and done it herself. I think I’m just more relatable than maybe some of the rest of them,” she told us.
“I respect each and every one of them, what they’re about and what they’ve done.
“It’s easy for us to say they’ve married a footballer. A lot of them have and a lot of them have gone on to have their own business. They’re not just dummies who are living off their husbands they are actually people who have got their own things going on and that’s what I’m trying to say to the girls.
“I’m not judging anyone. I’m just telling my story and how I’ve done it and they took it as she’s coming in and judging us all.”
Hanna says she’s formed genuine friendships from appearing on the show and they socialise away from the cameras with beauty entrepreneur Dawn Ward and her husband Ashley and Seema and her husband Sandeep.
Discussions haven’t yet been held about the next series but Hanna says she and Martin would like to return.
“We’d like to do another one so we’ll see what happens,” she said.
Hanna is looking forward to filming the famously explosive reunion show aired at the series which sees the ladies air their grievances with each other.
“I am actually looking forward to it because I feel like I’ve gone in, ruffled feathers and had to defend myself.
“You don’t see what the girls are saying about you. The reunion is a nice opportunity for us all to sit down and go ‘right why do you think that?’
“It’s a chance to confront certain people about certain things.”