Lingerie model Danielle Lineker (neé Bux) was a single mother to one small daughter until she married Gary in 2009, and became a stepmother to his four teenage sons - the eldest being only 12 years younger than her.

Danielle talked to me about making the BBC Three documentary, My New Stepfamily, from her car as she picked up her stepsons.

What did you find most rewarding about doing the programme?

I think what majorly came out of it for me was that everybody has the same worries, once they find themselves in a stepfamily. Everyone has the same thoughts and feelings and goes through the same process it so I wasn't on my own. And it was quite nice to know that.

It takes time for a family to adjust, that was the main thing I learnt. It takes time for everyone to establish their roles within a family.

How long do you think it's taken you in your new family to adjust?

We still are now. Everybody gets on, everything works really well but you know, relationships are still being built and bonds are still being made. We're three years down the line but I'm still learning a lot and getting to know the boys as well.

You came from a stepfamily too didn't you?

I lived with my mum and my stepfather and my two half sisters and one half brother, growing up. I spent a lot of time with my father's mother so I saw my dad and his side of the family a lot, usually at weekends and school holidays. I was quite split really.

You said in the programme that you'd forgotten a lot of what that felt like.

Yes, I left home at 17 and I'm 31 now, so quite a long time ago. You do forget these things - things like packing a bag to go off to my grandmother's for the weekend and then packing another bag to go home and not wanting to go home because I went home to all the things like school and all the rest of it.

Those sort of things I spoke to Lauren about, the 12-year-old girl I spoke to in the film. She had the same anxieties of going from one house to the other and they're the kind of things you forget really. It was fine but there was that upheaval of moving house at the weekends and that's what it felt like sometimes - that I was moving from house to house.

And it was just the upheaval, it wasn't that you were unhappy in either home?

No, it was just packing the bag and sleeping in different beds. I have to say now in my later life, it hasn't done me any harm. I'm quite robust in that I could pack up and move somewhere and really not care as long as I've got Gary and Ella and the kids, I'll happily move anywhere. I think that comes from being a bit of a gypsy as a kid.

I liked the scene where you admitted to your best friend that you picked on your own daughter more than your stepsons, when they were equally at fault.

And my friend agreed! You do single out your own because it's just so easy to go for your own child, it's the easy option really. And that's the reason - I just don't feel it's my place to be telling off someone else's kids. But there's ways of doing it which is something I've learned. I did This Morning today with Denise [Robertson] and she hit the nail on the head. You say it half serious, half joking.

The boys have just got in the car now so they're going to be picking up on all these tips I'm giving you! (laughing) They'll be like, agh, she's only joking, she's not really telling us off!

Like I say in the film, it's like being a big sister really rather than a parental figure. Because they've got that, they don't need somebody else.

Did your daughter ever say to you, you're not being fair because you're telling me off and not the boys?

Yes, on occasion. But I think she's quite sensitive to the fact that she's mine and I can tell her off whereas you know, with the boys, I don't feel I can sometimes. I think she kind of knows, she picks up on that.

Do you think it took longer to feel comfortable with your stepsons because they are four teenage boys and you were working as a lingerie model?

I've got three teenage brothers so I kind of know what teenage boys are like. And at the end of the day I honestly don't think they really see me as a model. I think they just see me as their stepmum, the person who does their dinner and picks up their dirty socks. Like they don't see their dad as a TV presenter. You just don't do you, look at your dad that way?

And you never think of yourself in that light either so it's not something I ever thought about. They just take me on face value really. From the outside, yes, to the rest of the world it can look like that but when you're in your own situation, it's just not.

Do you feel the programme helped you mature into the role of a stepmum, with a bit more confidence?

Yes, I think what helped me was meeting other kids, and them being brutally honest with me on the way I should handle it. What was most useful to me was meeting the three Fox boys, because they're all teenage boys and they gave it to me straight whereas I couldn't speak to my own stepkids like that because they don't want to upset me or hurt my feelings particularly.

So speaking to them was like getting the word on the street really (laughing) and realising that maybe I am a bit out of touch with what's going on. I think I'm young because I'm 31 but God! Especially on the programme when I met Lisa from the magazine, that made me feel really old! She was using words I'd never heard of. So it was good to keep in tune with what's going on.

I felt this subject isn't talked about very much and when it is, it's in quite a negative light. We always hear stories about when it hasn't worked out. And like I've said, the Royal Family are a stepfamily now so we need to be talking about it.

Fiona Wickham is the editor of the BBC TV blog.

Danielle Lineker: My New Stepfamily is on at 9pm on Tuesday, 20 June on BBC Three. The programme is part of BBC Three's Adult Season and is available on iPlayer until Tuesday, 27 July.

As part of Adult Season, BBC Three is asking you to share your stories on what it means to be an adult on the BBC Three blog. Reggie Yates, Kirsten O'Brien, and Stacey Dooley have contributed videos with their thoughts on adulthood.

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by Celine

    on 8 Aug 2010 12:46

    I hope Danielle Lineker does not fall in the trap of being her stepsons friend, because she is not. I understand that she doesn't want her stepsons to dislike her. She will never be their mum, and they will never see her as if she was, but she has to gain their respect. For this, she must not let her stepsons walk all over her, just on the ground that she is not their mum. She does not have to be a nasty fairy-tale step-mother, but she does have to set boundaries.
    The show raised 2 matters: not only divorce and remarriage, but also the big age gap between husband and new wife, and the small age gap between stepmum and stepsons. This is absolutely not unsual, I know quite a few women in the same case. One of them even has a step-daughter who is older than herself. It might make it more difficult to be strict and have credibility but you must not fall in the trap of being friends, at the expense of not being properly respected.

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by Jade

    on 6 Aug 2010 00:22

    I will never understand the need (fame or not) that makes anyone feel it necessary to film their life experiences - I'm a step child, came home after a night out to watch any crap and found this - thank god I'm old enough to know better than this...

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by tjwrighty

    on 4 Aug 2010 07:30

    I believe that any programme that raises issues that effect many thousands of people in the UK can only be a positive step.

    So many families are now 'blended' and so lots of adults are becoming step parents. There is no 'manual' of how to cope with other peoples children and many, many people struggle with this. This results in unhappy step parents, unhappy second families and probably most importantly - unhappy children, being effect by circumstances they didn't choose.

    Regardless of whether she is an ex-underwear model, or footballers wife, what the presenter of this programme did, was bring issues in to the public eye. Highlighting, that step family dynamics CAN BE difficult to manage. This may have touched many step parents watching. I imagine they may have thought "I'm not the only one who struggles with this".

    Rather than making judgements on the presenter - I can see real value in airing this programme that effects so many of us in the UK today.

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by lesqualita

    on 23 Jul 2010 16:12

    What a lot of dross, wrapped up in "social issue" cover. Cheap, tacky programme made on a budget. Gary Linekar is not a foolish twenty something, he should be older and wiser. I have seen Danielle crop up recently on tv, is this a ploy to introduce herself on tv and gain work? I cringe for the first Mrs LInekar who has kept a dignified silence.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by Samantha Anstiss

    on 22 Jul 2010 14:52

    I commissioned the Danielle Lineker: My New Stepfamily documentary, because I was interested in the fact that someone with first hand experience of stepfamilies and who was in the public realm wanted to explore this issue – many celebrities would have shied away from this emotionally sensitive subject matter.

    Someone like Danielle is often the right person to lead a programme like this because they can draw from their own experience., and I think that’s what this programme showed. She is very frank about her strengths and weakness as a stepmum and that openness is engaging. So I’ve been reading with interest the wide range of views on the programme. Some of you have applauded the channel for shining a light on the serious issue of stepfamilies, but some of you are critical that the programme used a celebrity to front it.

    The programme is part of BBC Three Adult season, which includes a number of documentaries about the big social issues that face young people. Not all of the programmes are celebrity fronted. Under Age and Pregnant, for example, was watched by nearly a million viewers last night, and featured ordinary young people telling their stories. The Blind Me, Small Teen Big World and Alice and Her Six Dads look at young people exploring issues that affect their everyday lives, like disability and family life.

    We're trying to tackle the big social issues that face young people in their everyday lives as part of the adult season - whether it is mental health, teen pregnancy or family breakdown. Sometimes we use celebrities and sometimes we don't - we do what’s best for the show and what’s best for young people.

  • Comment number 36. Posted by Geoff

    on 21 Jul 2010 23:54

    Blood_Meridian: excellent use of sarcasm - I too majored in sarcasm until I was 13. Fact is, the celebrity angle *was* important to this programme - it did attract a larger audience - but there is nothing wrong with that. The Linekers are celebrities not just because of their looks, but because they are basically ordinary people who have been successful through their work - and who also happen to be eloquent and talk some sense. I would never choose to watch Katie Price because I don't rate her intelligence very highly (from the little I know of her). And no - I wouldn't have tuned in to watch some unremarkable families with their family counsellor; that probably would have bored me. It IS interesting to see someone you feel you know, trying to cope with the gritty non-glamorous problems of life. If the BBC followed your counsel - TV would be ever so educational, ever so dull and ever so unwatched.

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by Blood_Meridian

    on 21 Jul 2010 20:55

    Geoff, finally someone talks sense! I think you might be my hero! We're similar: I too prefer to take my cues on how to live my life from someone who typifies society as a whole like, say, an young underwear model married to an ageing, multimillionaire ex-footballer. I mean, would you rather listen to GARY LINEKER'S second wife or (God forbid) a few unremarkable, anonymous families and a family counsellor or two. BORING! How are they going to teach me anything if they aren't even famous?!1

    And, while I'm at it, the celebrity angle had nothing to do with it! I heard the Lineker family were pulled randomly out of a hat; it definitely had nothing to do with the possibility of the entire readership of every gossip magazine currently published tuning in regardless of whether they were step-parents/children or not.

    Reminds me of all the times I've heard 'Cynical Cedrics' whine on endlessly about the likes of Katie Price's and Kerry Katona's shows, but if it hadn't have been for them I'd know next to nothing about the intricacies glamour modelling or the very early history (read: before they worth putting on TV) of luminary pop band Atomic Kitten. Its educational, so get over yourselves you moaning bunch!!!1

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by talia

    on 21 Jul 2010 12:41

    I found this really interesting as it helped me address the problems i have had coping with my parents separation, and to be truthful i dont think i ever have. My mother spent most of my life bitching about how my dad never wanted us at his wedding and blatantly saying he didnt want us but would shot us over to his every weekend without fail. It showed the history does repeat itself as she was also from a divorced family and her mother did exactly the same thing and would tell her about all the affairs my grandad had.
    Recently i fell out with my dad and refused to talk to him because of all of the things my mam said about him, it seems she may have finally got her way as she hated us liking my dad at all but would still make us go every weekend so she could spend time with another one of her boyfriends that would no doubt end up in a failed relationship.
    To say that divorce does not affect you is a lie, i think it will always affect me but thats because of the way my parents handled it. Thanks to them both i have to adjust to the fact that i will never be able to have a steady relationship.
    My step-mother was a really horrible person but my dad put that down to her not being maternal and she was really posh, a total bitch at times if you ask me. The weekends we spent there was tidying her house so she could smoke away and do nothing while we entertained her son aswell.
    My dad has now moved onto would could be his second wife, the neighbour, yes that is more acqaurd than it was meeting my stepmother.
    My mother is as barbarric as ever and has been since engaged twice since the divorce of my father and is now with her current boyfriend. She could give any bad parent a run for their money as at 19 she cant wait for me to move out, well, then again at 15 she wanted me to get pregnant and move out. It is undecidable who is worse out of my mother and father.
    Im one of 5 kids, i have my two brothers, a half brother and a half sister and also a stepbrother, who may not be a stepbrother for much longer when my dad divorces my stepbrother and no doubtedly i gained 2 step sisters and a step brother and the neighbour as a stepmother.
    I spent most of my childhood crying for my dad, getting kicked out to my dads thanks to my mother and then her acting like she was mother teresa. Yes because mother teresa had no electric in the house because she spent it in petrol money going to see her boyfriend.

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by Geoff

    on 21 Jul 2010 12:31

    Well, looking at the above posts - what a dreary bunch of complainers most of them are! This was a perfectly valid programme to make, useful and interesting to thousands of families in the same situation. It was much more than "celebrity gossip" - it was educational for new step-parents, and that's all the justification it needs.
    The BBC receives our money so it has to make programmes to suit ALL tastes, on a huge range of subjects. You know full well that you will continue watching the Beeb, when it suits you - so why bother to threaten never to watch again!? The licence fee is a piddling small amount to pay for good public broadcasting with no adverts... ask any American how much they would like TV without ads!

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by Rvvm

    on 21 Jul 2010 10:32

    Seriously Beeb, you really need to stop making this cheap 'celebrity' garbage or your case for the licence fee gets thinner as each day goes by. I implore you as a company to wake up before it's too late.

    And who's idea was it to originally put this on the sports page? Utterly baffling.

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