Sitting amongst piles of shoes and rails of our latest collection, in a venue that can only be described as something out of Boogie Nights, Jo Whiley DJ & Television presenter, the star model, talks on her long an illustrious career, her interactions with Chris Martin, what she really cares about and what a moment she will never forget.
What do you really care about?
I care about the rights of people with learning disabilities. I am very passionate about carers. I know how hard it is for carers and how they need all the help they can get.
Do you worry about what audiences think of you?
I want people to like me! I want them to like what I am saying and what I am playing. I think men and women alike care about what people think of what they are doing. Chris Martin from Cold Play cares passionately about what people’s perception of him and that is why he has worked so hard to get where he is now.
Is it true that Chris Martin (Coldplay vocalist) stopped a show for you?
That was a very funny moment, thank God I was at home and having a party and thank God I answered the phone and it was a girl who worked for Coldplay and she said “Quick quick quick, you are going to get a call and you need to answer the phone, it’s going to be Chris” and I went ‘okay, fine’ and then sure enough the phone went and all I could hear was his concert that was going on, and he did literally stop the concert and get everybody to sing Happy Birthday for me.
Tell me a moment in your career that will make me feel very envious?
For the last episode of the Live Lounge we wanted to go out in a flourish so they [producers] managed to convince Jay Z to come out to this tiny village where I live and the site of him sitting on a settee with my mom and my grandmother eating strawberries is one that I will never ever forget. He was so sweet, that he bothered to talk to my grandmother. He really cared.
How do you feel about things work wise?
I can’t believe I have been doing this for as long as I have and it was absolutely an accident. It is a dream, I can’t quite believe it.
Actor, Comedian and Writer
On not caring about criticism
It is hard. You have to care about it for it to be worth doing. That is an integral part of being a good performer. I think the more you do it, the more realise that some people will always hate it. I have had shows that have had 5 stars across the board and everybody is telling me it is brilliant, but there is this one review that didn’t think so.
As a performer you always zone in on the negative. It is good to get to a point in saying okay, the negative exists. I read a book called the Artists Way by Julie Cameron, that book changed my life because it made me realise that you don’t have to be good at something to do it, you just have to want to do it. It is only about whether you want to do it, the criticism doesn’t matter.
Learning caring as a child
When we think about how girls and boys are brought up, I think a lot of it comes from the fact that girls are encouraged to be more co-operative in their play and boys are more competitive. Women are a bit more likely to experience social anxiety, worries about what people think about them and men and women have different coping strategies.
This is massively important and shouldn’t be over-estimated. I suppose one of the thing that is tricky, if you are in a stressful situation due to external factors and then to be told to look after yourself that it is your responsibility I think can jar a bit. I think it is about getting the balance right, between us looking after ourselves but then also to look into the system we are in.
Blogger, Podcaster & Author of ‘Control, Alt, Delete’
TED X Moment
When it comes to fashion, it is just something that has to make me feel confident. I do a lot of talks and a lot of things that are on stage and a lot of things that are out of my comfort zone. So clothing plays such a big role in that. I have a gingham light pink shirt with ruffles that buttons up right to the top and I wore it to a TED X Talk that made me feel brave to wear what I felt like wearing, to out to bed the stereotype of women wearing pink. To stand up there and speak on things in an intellectual way. The worst for me is to blend in.
Caring for yourself
I do think caring too much is a feminine traits, we look after people more than we look after ourselves. It is like the gas mask thing, but your mask on before you help others. It is literally, you are no use to others if you don’t look after yourself. This is quite a new revelation for me. We need to put boundaries in place for ourselves, what do we put first and how we prioritise our time, helps one care more for themselves.
Join the conversation: