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US TV Interview

'Giuliana & Bill' Giuliana Rancic Q&A: 'It felt right to share story'

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Giuliana & Bill

© NBC Universal

Giuliana & Bill is one of the most heartwarming reality shows out there, so we're thrilled that it's back with a new season in the UK this week. The show's covering an awful lot, too, from the couple's new restaurant to Giuliana Rancic's diagnosis of breast cancer.

We caught up with Giuliana to talk about the diagnosis, why the show's still got a lot of laughter, whether she's still planning to renew her vows with husband Bill Rancic, and whether the couple are still hoping to start a family...

First of all, congratulations on making it to a fifth season! What do you think is the secret of your show's success?
"Thank you! We love doing our show and we get such a great response, and I think that's because our show really is a reality show. What you see is all real and it's relatable and I think people appreciate that. There's so many reality shows out there that are scripted or staged and ours isn't at all, and I think you can see that."

This season might be a little different because it covers your breast cancer diagnosis - was it strange having that all documented on camera?
"I think I actually blocked out how much we documented. When we watched the first episode back, it was really hard, but I was pleased with the results and I'm pleased that our show may save lives. If by watching our show women think about their health and get regular check-ups, then it's worth it.

"But the show's not all doom and gloom. You also see how Bill and I try and make the best of every situation we have. We laugh a lot because we found laughter a great medicine. It really helped us, and sometimes you just have to laugh."

Did you ever consider cancelling the show after getting your diagnosis?
"At first we really weren't sure whether we should film for our show, but we have been so open in the past while trying for a baby and the response was so great that we thought we should do it. We signed up to do a reality show, and this is our reality. It felt right to share our story and hopefully make a difference to someone else's life."

You didn't really ask for it, but you're a kind of role model or spokesperson now. How do you feel about that? Do you ever just want a break?
"I actually feel really blessed that I can raise awareness of cancer. I can show people that if you find it early you can fight the cancer, get through the treatment and you can be okay too. It's very easy to be sucked into the negative, and you have every right to do that - I did that at the beginning.

"But after I came out of the cycle of grief I was able to say, 'What's positive in my life?' I have an amazing husband, I have a great career, I have a beautiful family, so I was able to focus on the positives in my life and I choose to focus on them rather than negative. If I can pass that positivity onto other people, and ensure women get regular health checks, that's a blessing."

GIULIANA & BILL


Have you been surprised by the public's response to the news of your cancer?
"The public response has been amazing and Bill and I are truly thankful for each and every message we received. Everyone has just been so positive and supportive, and it made such a difference.

"It has been so great to hear other women's stories and to know that I have touched people's lives in some way, or encouraged women to have a check-up, is incredible. We get such wonderful feedback from people saying they are thankful to us for sharing our struggles because it helps them feel less alone."

There must have been tough moments - did you ever ask to stop filming?
"The production team gave Bill and I handheld cameras to use when we were alone as a diary. So we would record how we felt without the whole production team there. It was actually quite therapeutic just to talk about how you're feeling at that moment, and obviously it was less intrusive."

A lot of viewers love your relationship with Bill - how has that changed in the last few months?
"Lots of people said going through something like this can make or break a couple and I think to a point it's true. Bill was just incredible through everything, and we're lucky because we're closer now than ever before. The reason we love doing our show is because we feel it brings us closer together and makes us stronger. Over the last few months our relationship has grown even more."

Are you still planning to renew your vows this year?
"For sure. We've been through so much, and I think maybe there was a reason this happened. Maybe we were just working so much and got caught up in life. This slowed us down and made us really appreciate what we want. We don't know where we're going to renew our vows yet. Maybe we could go back to Capri."

GIULIANA & BILL


Will we be seeing any more of your plans to have children? Where are you with that at the moment?
"We definitely still want to start a family. We've met with our fertility doctor, and we're looking at all of our options for having kids. We're waiting to get the green light that I can get pregnant, but if for some reason I can't carry children myself, then we're open to surrogacy; we're open to adoption."

How did Bill cope with having your parents come live with you?
"Having my mum around for me is incredible. She's a hardcore Italian who doesn't speak English, but when Bill was out of town she'd sleep in bed with me, on Bill's side of the bed, and he found that a little strange. But everybody loves Mamma DePandi!"

What else can we expect to see in the new season?
"There's a lot going on this season, and it's a rollercoaster of emotions. It's difficult at times, but there's a lot of fun and laughter too. I think this is our best season yet."

We'll get to see you opening your new restaurant, won't we - can you tell us anything about that? Were there any particularly memorable moments for you during that process?
"I think people think we're crazy for opening a restaurant at the same time as going through my treatment, but in all honesty it was a great distraction and it was so much fun. It was a lot of hard work and kept us so busy, but it was worth it. We're very proud of our restaurant."

Giuliana and Bill


Do you have any favourite moments from the season overall?
"I think this season as a whole is our best season yet. I think my favourite part of the season is the laughter between Bill and I. We are constantly making each other laugh and looking for the positive, even at difficult times. And I'm proud of that and the solidarity of our relationship."

What else is coming up for you this year - what are you excited about?
"The main thing right now that I'm focusing on is my website FabFitFun.com, which is all about living well on the inside out. We give fitness tips, you know, about great skinny snacks. We do everything and it's getting really popular. We've got hundreds of thousands of subscribers now.

"It's getting really, really popular and women are loving it. We're now expanding it into different markets and we've launched in Chicago and LA and New York."

Giuliana & Bill premieres in the UK tomorrow (Wednesday, April 18) at 10pm on Style (Sky Channel 253). The show continues in the US on Tuesdays on Style.

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