Revealed: Actress who appeared on Love it or List earned up to £400-an-hour as the ‘UK’s number one Meghan Markle lookalike’ who feared work would dry up after Oprah interview
- Sarah Mhlanga, from Cheshire, appeared on Love it or List it with her husband
- Works as a Meghan Markle lookalike and previously appeared on This Morning
- Read more: Love it or List it viewers criticise woman whose husband had a stroke
An actress who appeared on Love it or List it also works as a Meghan Markle lookalike and regularly gives interviews to media about her job.
Sarah Mhlanga, from Cheshire, appeared on the Channel 4 show last night with her husband cinematographer Jabzz, but surprised viewers when their family also starred in a Lookers advert which was aired during the show.
As well as acting, the mother-of-two is also one of the leading Meghan Markle lookalikes in the country, and makes up to £400 per appearance.
Sarah started out as Meghan’s doppelgänger in August 2017, after a cashier at IKEA remarked on their resemblance.
She has also appeared in the media on a number of occasions in the past, including giving interviews to This Morning and the Mail on Sunday, and even once appeared on TOWIE.
Sarah Mhlanga, from Cheshire ,who appeared on Love it or List it also works as a Meghan Markle lookalike and regularly gives interviews to media about their similarities (left, and right, Meghan)
‘I didn’t think much of it until a month later when Meghan and Harry got engaged,’ she previously told Mail on Sunday.
‘I was featured in a newspaper article – and the floodgates opened. Offers of work came rolling in, from royal-themed parties to walkabouts, promotional work and TV appearances.
‘It’s all been a bit bonkers – I had no idea that looking like someone could be a thing. But over time being Meghan became second nature to me.’
‘I’ve got a wardrobe full of “Meghan” clothes and I’ve studied footage so I can incorporate her facial expressions and the little tics she has – like playing with her hair – into whatever I’m doing. I’ve been told I’m the No 1 Meghan lookalike in the UK.’
Mrs Mhlanga and her mother were even among 1,200 guests invited to watch Harry and Meghan arrive for their wedding at Windsor Castle.
Up until the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, Sarah said her schedule had been rammed.
‘In the run-up to the Royal Wedding I was doing one or two Meghan bookings a week and the phone was ringing off the hook to the extent that I was thinking about giving up my day job,’ she admitted.
Sarah started out as Meghan’s doppelgänger in August 2017, after a cashier at IKEA remarked on their resemblance
Sarah appeared on the Channel 4 show Love it or List it last night with her husband cinematographer Jabzz
In 2019, it was reported she was also occupation director at a performing arts school.
But the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic meant Sarah was unable to do her usual public appearances as the Duchess.
Meanwhile she also spoke of her fears for her work after the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ explosive Oprah interview in 2021.
At the time, she said she has been subjected to ‘hurtful’ trolling from people ‘using her as a punchbag’ to vent their rage at Meghan.
‘There are some people who feel like [Meghan is] waging a war on the royals, and people can’t access Meghan so they’re using me as their punchbag,’ Sarah told Closer magazine.
Many viewers were highly critical of Jabzz and Sarah after spotting them appearing in an advert for Lookers during one of the ad breaks (pictured, in the advert)
‘I get messages saying I’m attention-seeking and that I should be ashamed to represent Meghan. It’s so hurtful.’
She added: ‘I love Meghan, but now, after this interview, I’m worried people won’t want to hire me.’
Sarah told how she began receiving cruel messages on social media after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping down as senior royals in January.
But after their sit-down with Oprah, she said the abuse has stepped up, with one troll telling her she shouldn’t be a lookalike for Meghan because she’s ‘the most hated woman in the world’ and that she ‘deserves the same abuse’ if she pretends to be her.
Sarah admitted it ‘baffles’ her that people can feel such venom towards a person they’ve never even met, and worries she’ll now be ‘forced out’ of her job.
While watching Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah, Sarah said she felt very emotional and now has more sympathy for the couple.
The mother-of-two’s striking similarity to the duchess was first remarked on when Meghan was engaged to Prince Harry in 2017 – and she now works as a Meghan Markle lookalike
The mother-of-two has previously spoken to media on a number of occasions in her role as a Meghan Markle lookalike
Meanwhile the actress also once appeared in an episode of The Only Way is Essex (pictured, with Bobby Norris)
‘She’s been through such a huge ordeal and it was time she had her voice heard,’ she told Closer.
Sarah added that hearing Meghan talk about racism in the UK struck a chord with her, as a mother of mixed-race children who have been bullied because of their heritage.
Meanwhile Sarah and her husband also have a strong social media following, with 101.3K Followers on TikTok, where they often share playful videos with one another.
The couple appeared on Love it or List it last night, with many viewers struck after they also starred in a Lookers advert during one of the ad breaks.
It prompted some to speculate that the show was trying to ‘dupe’ them, with one commenting: ‘Love the show but tonights was disappointing…dodgy acting family, absence of them genuinely wanting to spend the budget, staged conversations and no space for Brian…he could have that loft space for his guitars.’
Another wrote: ‘Knew there was something dodgy about tonight’s family?! Feel mugged right off, they had no intention of spending money on love it.’
Sarah promoted her appearance on the show to her 11k Instagram followers, posting a behind-the-scenes snap from filming
A third added: ‘If ever there was unserious couple it’s these two.’
The couple explained how they met in church and married in 2012, and now have two children, Josiah and Mimi-Rae.
Meanwhile Sarah promoted her appearance on the show to her 11k Instagram followers, posting a behind-the-scenes snap from filming and writing: ‘For anyone who didn’t manage to sneak preview Love it or List it last week, the official airing is tonight on Channel 4.
‘We are so grateful to Kirsty @kirstiemallsopp and Phil Spencer for helping us realise that small things can make a huge difference in houses.’
Appearing on the show last night, the couple insisted finding a home which was close to good schools was top of their priority list.
Jabzz said: ‘When we moved here, we saw the house and we thought – there’s a lot we could do it to make it our home.’
Even presenter Kirstie Allsopp acknowledged how unusual it was that the family were appearing in an advert while on the programme
Many of those watching accused the family of being ‘dodgy actors’ and questioned if the programme had been staged
In the last five years, they’ve removed a wall to create a modern kitchen diner, installed bifold doors and tidied up the garden to create a family friendly space.
But because the living space was completely open plan, it often felt cluttered.
Sarah said: ‘This house isn’t working for us anymore, clothes appear everywhere and we desperately need a second bathroom.’
Jabzz said he loves the house, adding: ‘I think our money is better spent improving what we already have.
‘I do agree there are issues with the house, we need more storage and a second bathroom.’
Sarah and Jabzz also had a separate sitting room at the front of the house, which had recently become Josiah’s gaming room and office.
The couple explained how they met in church and married in 2012, before moving into their home in 2017 (pictured)
However Jabzz and Sarah both confessed they felt the home had become impractical for them and didn’t have enough storage (pictured, the office space)
The open plan extension which they added to the back of the home also often felt cluttered and poorly utilised
Meanwhile an attic bedroom was difficult to use due to a steep set of stairs leading up to it (pictured)
On the third floor, there were three bedrooms, while there was a fourth bedroom in the loft.
The couple said they had a budget of £45,000 to renovate the house to make it work for the family, as well as a List It budget of £550,000 to find a new home better suited for their busy lives.
Kirstie sat down with the couple, telling them there ‘wasn’t enough space for stuff’, adding: ‘It’s not practical. We want to make the most of this beautiful kitchen you spent a lot of money on, but a lot of this job is carpentry.’
Kirstie proposed a small extension to the side of the house with a utility and WC – and if the family decided to stay further, they could add an extra office for Jabzz.
Meanwhile upstairs, she suggested the family add in simple storage solutions.
She said: ‘This house, with the right storage, could be a revelation.’
The first stunning property which Phil showed the couple was £100,000 less than their £550,000 budget – but it did need modernisation
While Sarah said it looked ‘lovely’, the rooms were small and dingy, with the couple confessing it needed renovations made
Meanwhile it also had a country-style kitchen which looked out onto a family garden – but Sarah and Jabzz were unsure
Meanwhile Phil showed the couple their first property in the hunt – a charming four-bedroom semi less than 20 minutes from the children’s schools.
On the market for offers for £450,000, it was 23 per cent bigger than their current home.
Sarah said it had ‘curb appeal’, saying it looked ‘lovely.’
Meanwhile inside, there was a country style kitchen and conservatory and family room.
Upstairs there were four good sized bedrooms, with plenty of storage space.
Sarah said: ‘I love the conservatory and the garden, I can’t help but love the garden.’
The second property shown to the couple by Phil was a detached home which had been newly renovated
The detached four-bedroom home was on the market for £500,000 and offered almost 30 per cent more space than what they had at home
Four months after they first met Kirstie and Phil, the couple set about adding further storage solutions to their home, with a tight budget of £10,000.
Jabzz said: ‘When Kirstie first came round, she mentioned the main issue we had was storage. So we’re going with her idea of having more storage in the house.’
Phil’s second offering was slightly further from home, but he said he wanted to show the couple what they could get for their money by widening their search by a few miles.
The detached four-bedroom home was on the market for £500,000 and offered almost 30 per cent more space than what they had at home.
Sarah said she felt the property was a ‘dream house’, but Jabzz pointed out a number of flaws – including the smaller garden and the location.
The final property Phil showed the couple was a five bedroom property which they said seemed ‘very big’
The house was on the market for £550,000 and almost 50 per cent bigger than their own space – with all the living space they were after
The final property Phil showed the couple was a five bedroom property which they said seemed ‘very big.’
The house was on the market for £550,000 and almost 50 per cent bigger than their own space – with all the living space they were after.
However they didn’t like the size of the garden, and how much modernising was needed in the property.
Seven months after Kirstie and Phil first met the couple, they returned to see the changes to their home.
The couple had added a wall of storage into the extension to provide them with somewhere to hide away their mess – spending just £1,200 on the custom built units.
And upstairs, they put in some more built in flat-pack wardrobes.
At the end of the programme, the couple revealed they did plan to sell their property – but confessed they were in no rush to move, having added extra storage to the space
The couple made some minor tweaks to their home by decorating, spending just £5,000 to add some additional cupboards
After scaling back on their original costs, they only spent around £5,000 on carpentry and a bit of decorating.
And at the end of the programme, the couple said they were planning to ‘list it’ – but weren’t in a rush.
Sarah said: ‘We love the house as it is now, we have to find the dream house in the right location.’
Jabzz said: ‘Our kids are getting bigger, we definitely need more space.’
However many viewers were baffled, and even questioned the couple’s sincerity, when they spotted the family appearing in an advert for Lookers during one of the breaks from the show.
Meanwhile Kirstie even acknowledged that the couple would be appearing in the advert break, tweeting: ‘Oops! Our lovely family from this week’s Love it or List It in Cheshire have recently appeared in an ad!
‘And guess what….? It’s gone into our ad break, what are the chances?!’
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