Chris Hughes and Jesy Nelson dreamed of starting a family and having ‘lots of babies’ together before their shock lockdown split.
The Little Mix singer, 29, was the first person Chris called after being told by doctors the quality of his sperm has improved following years of fearing he may struggle with fertility issues.
In new BBC documentary Me, My Brother and Our Balls, Chris, 27, reassured his ex-girlfriend that they could have ‘three or four babies’, in scenes captured before the breakdown of their 16-month relationship.
Former couple: Chris Hughes and Jesy Nelson dreamed of starting a family and having ‘lots of babies’ together before their shock lockdown split
Speaking on the show, which is available on BBC Three iPlayer from September 30, Chris, said: ‘I’ve just got to tell her the good news. It’s been a worry for us both, so.
‘Oh Jessica, I have a lot of sperm and they’re very, very active. I’m really happy.’
Jesy replied: ‘Yay, so we can have lots of babies?’ to which Chris said: ‘I think we can probably have three or four.’
Fast-forward five months and Chris is a single man again, but says he’s happy Jesy, who’s now in a relationship with actor Sean Sagar, 30, remains a part of his fertility journey.
‘I’m really happy’: In new BBC documentary Me, My Brother and Our Balls, Chris told his ex that they could have ‘three or four babies’, in scenes captured before the end of their relationship
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, he said: ‘The beauty of Jesy being in the documentary is that it showcases a conversation that couples have. It’s very relatable.
‘Obviously we supported each other when we were together. I still support her now with things, whether I do that publicly or not, I still do support her anyway.
‘It’s just one of those things really. It’s great for the documentary because its real life isn’t it?
‘It was essentially a moment. We were having those conversations at the time – I guess it’s just that really.’
‘Relatable’: In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Chris revealed he ‘still supports’ Jesy, who’s now with actor Sean Sagar, and he’s glad she remains a part of his fertility journey
‘They’re very active’: After learning he has good quality sperm following years of fearing he may struggle with fertility issues, Chris called ex-girlfriend Jesy to reassure her of their future
The Love Island star was relieved following the good news, after previously undergoing several operations to treat his varicocele, which is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum and is a common cause of decreased sperm quality.
Chris doesn’t want to take any chances and has even given up wearing skinny jeans, a staple for male Love Island stars, to ensure his sperm count remains high.
He said: ‘The whole process, especially after the cancer with the fertility, my brother, my friends, and me we knew nothing. We were so uneducated on that whole side of things
‘Now I wear less tight jeans! I do more exercise, hot baths and sitting in saunas I never thought were an issue but that can impact the quality of your sperm and the production of it, so I’m aware of that.
‘The lifestyle issues, I always try and keep fit and healthy. There are so many little things that can impact it which now play in the back of my mind.’
‘Now I wear less tight jeans!’: Chris doesn’t want to take any chances and has even given up wearing tight jeans, a staple for male Love Island stars, to ensure his sperm count remains high
Brave: Chris’ brother Ben discovered he had testicular cancer after Chris urged viewers to check themselves by taking part in a live examination on This Morning in 2018
Sadly, Chris’ brother Ben, 28, is given less than encouraging news from doctors, which is disheartening for him and girlfriend, Libby.
Ben discovered he had testicular cancer after Chris urged viewers to check themselves by taking part in a live examination on This Morning in 2018.
What is a Varicocele?
A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum.
It occurs in about one in six males, but unlike varicose veins in the legs, it is more common in younger males, ages 15-25.
Like the leg version, varicocele is usually harmless, but not always – it can be associated with infertility problems by contributing to low sperm production and decreased sperm quality.
Source: UCLA Health
Prior to an operation to have his testicle removed, Ben went to freeze his sperm for potential use after the operation but soon learned his sample didn’t contain any sperm at all.
Chris said: ‘It was tough. The whole situation was tough but my whole family, we have a massive family and we’re all so close.
‘It was a situation where we could be supportive towards each other. Times are hard and it was hard for Ben especially.
‘I think people will watch the documentary and expect Ben to get some good news eventually but no good news came, he went from knock back to knock back.
‘In an average sample you get 20-30million sperm but Ben couldn’t even produce one single sperm, it’s staggering really. We are all there for each other and that’s the main thing.’
Chris now feels a strange sense of guilt after being told he’s producing healthy sperm, while his older brother may struggle to ever conceive with his long-term girlfriend.
He continued: ‘I feel like Ben is the one that wants children and I’m sat there with good quality sperm and he can’t produce anything, which was completely bitter sweet.
‘It was tough’: Sadly, Chris’ brother Ben, 28, is given less than encouraging news from doctors, which is disheartening for him and girlfriend Libby
‘Bitter sweet’: Chris now feels a strange sense of guilt after being told he’s producing healthy sperm, while his older brother may struggle to ever conceive with his long-term girlfriend
‘I know at the moment I’m producing a good quality of sperm so for the future it’s very encouraging for myself but when I got that result I didn’t feel I could celebrate and be happy about that.
‘One day I want to have kids of course, that’s the plan anyway – I just need to meet someone now…’
The documentary films Chris, alongside Ben and his mum and dad at their idyllic family home in the Cotswolds, where viewers will see a different side to the reality star.
Chris admits he feels more content in the country, surrounded by his farm animals and horses, than he does living his new life as a celebrity.
‘Freedom’: Chris admits he feels more content at his family home in the Cotswolds than he does being a ‘celebrity,’ but he still looks back on his time on Love Island with fond memories
But he still looks back at his time in the ITV villa with fond memories, and confirms his bromance with co-star Kem Cetinay is stronger than ever.
He said: ‘I am a good little jockey to be fair I have ridden horses all my life. I love animals – that’s when I feel at my best, it gives me that freedom.
‘I loved everything about my Love Island experience. Sometimes I sit and reflect and just wish I were back in there. I’d never stop my children from doing something like that.
‘Kem and I are still best mates. I went to his house the weekend and came home wearing all his clothes. I got drunk and borrowed his Soccer Aid T-shirt and shorts!’
Me, My Brother and Our Balls is available on BBC Three iPlayer from Wednesday September 30
‘That’s when I feel at my best’: The documentary films Chris, alongside Ben and his mum and dad at their family home in the Cotswolds, where viewers will see a different side to the star