Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Saturday, 10 April 2010 11:08 UK

Alex Reid talks fame and fighting

Alex Reid learning some Kalari Kicks in India
As part of his training Alex Reid learnt some Kalari Kicks in India

"I read rubbish about me all the time and that doesn't bother me," says Alex Reid.

The 34-year-old, who has been thrust into the spotlight over the past year, says he is only just getting used to being in the public eye.

"I have to come terms [with the fact] that I am a celebrity now - and that's weird."

Twelve months ago no one had heard of Reid. It was his whirlwind romance with former glamour model Katie Price, hot on the heels of her split from Peter Andre, that made him hot property in the tabloids.

Now, he is attempting to carve out a name in his own right with a TV series focusing on his martial arts career.

But is it possible to step out of Price's sizeable shadow - or is he just another disposable weapon in her continuing media onslaught?

Reid says the relationship is for real. His new bride has legally changed her name to Reid - although will still be known in public as Price.

Stories about his "fiery" arguments with Price are shrugged off.

"This stuff happens daily," he says philosophically.

"Ninety per cent of the time I laugh, but I am human. When people say [hurtful] things, it's not nice."

Despite general press hostility to the couple's relationship, they flew off to Las Vegas in February and tied the knot.

There is a private side to us and we want to turn it off sometimes. It's horrible, we can't go anywhere
Alex Reid

The ceremony came as a complete surprise to everyone, including their families, which is why the newly-weds have decided to get married again, this time in the UK.

Unlike Price's first marriage, Reid maintains, they will not be agreeing a six-figure photo deal with any glossy publications.

"It's not going to be anything to do with any magazines," he insists.

"I'm not anti-that, but when she did that with Pete she had no fun whatsoever."

"The number one stipulation I made was when we got married it had to be fun. I don't mind if there's magazine stuff, but if it's going to affect us having fun then no, there will be no magazine deals," he says, looking down at his wedding band.

Topless shots

Despite his new found fame and "quickie" marriage, Reid still manages to squeeze in training for his day job as a mixed martial artist.

Alex Reid
Alex Reid courted publicity dressing as Katie Price in public

He is scheduled to fight the UK's current Middleweight World Champion Tom "Kong" Watkins on 15 May and TV cameras have been following him in the build-up.

Alex Reid: The Fight Of His Life sees Reid travel all over the world, learning different fighting methods.

"The challenge for me is learning something that is a little bit different to what I do," he says.

Reid is adamant that he is a "competitor" and not a fighter, as he believes the latter word is "ugly".

Then he adds, without a trace of irony: "I don't want to fight, I want to make love."

Warming to his theme, Reid proclaims: "I'm a bit like Gandhi. Or Jesus."

Then, confusingly, he explains that he is nothing like either of them.

"They could just turn the other cheek. I can't. I need to defend myself and my family."


When he steers away from cod philosophy to talk about his career, Reid is back on steadier ground.

He says is proud of making MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) more "accessible".

"That's the gift I believe I have brought to the sport," he says.

"What I've done is bought this to the masses, I believe, because of my new celebrity status - which I find weird."

He takes his profession extremely seriously and says it helps him bond with people everywhere.

"It is my religion and because of that religion I can go anywhere in the world and fit in and pray at my temple which is a gym."

His TV show predominantly focuses on Reid's battle to regain his fitness levels, combined with lots of lingering topless shots.

But it is the reminder of Reid's fame, trumpeted at the beginning of each episode, that might make his martial art colleagues question his real motivations.

Katie Price
Katie Price has changed her name to Reid

But Reid is quick to brush this off, saying the show is just documenting his journey and "it makes good TV".

He adds: "Inevitably, that's my life. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I'm embracing what's been given to me, not fighting it, going with the flow.

"That comes from my martial arts, rolling with the punches."

In one TV scene, Reid is shielded from the paparazzi who have tracked him down to India.

It will be a familiar sight to viewers of Price's ITV2 reality TV show, What Katie Did Next.

Asked why he and his wife always run away from the paparazzi, but constantly pose for glossy magazines, Reid admits there are financial ramifications.

"Obviously with the magazines, well they pay and if they're going to pay a few quid then why not?" he says.

"But there is a private side to us and we want to turn it off sometimes. It's horrible, we can't go anywhere.

"The other day when I put the rubbish out in a dirty old tracksuit there was a pap in the bush hiding and the next thing the picture is in the paper, but my martial arts is what keeps me calm and centred."

Alex Reid: The Fight Of His Life starts on 12 April on Bravo at 2100 BST.

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