‘I still don’t feel safe as a gay man in Bri­tain

Gok Wan bares his soul on com­ing out, pub­lic life and why the UK still isn’t an equal place if you are gay…

Now (UK) - - The Big Interview - In­ter­view by Sarah Robert­son

Fashion stylist Gok Wan burst onto our TV screens more than a decade ago, help­ing women to love them­selves, lumps and all. For­get Trinny and Su­san­nah, he was the orig­i­nal makeover king who could make any woman – no mat­ter her fears – feel good about her bare body.

Now 43, Gok has done it all – apart from re­veal who he re­ally is when the cam­eras aren’t rolling.

The jovial man, who re­named boobs as ‘bangers’ in How To Look Good Naked, is still there. But when we meet at his beau­ti­ful Lon­don town­house, it’s ap­par­ent there’s a deeper and more se­ri­ous side to the pre­sen­ter.

He’s set to em­bark on a UK stage tour to bare his soul, warts and all, to au­di­ences around the coun­try, but first he gives Now a glimpse…

You’re about to go on a one-man tour, which is a to­tal change in di­rec­tion from your TV shows… The likes of Sarah Mil­li­can and Alan Carr are com­plete pro­fes­sion­als at it and the way they har­ness their script and take you on a jour­ney is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to what I’m do­ing, which is telling very funny sto­ries.

How did your new show come about? I’ve had so many ex­pe­ri­ences in life I just thought, ‘You know what? F**k it, let’s give it a go’. I’m 43 this year and I’ve got to do some­thing new. I feel like I’ve lived enough and seen enough to put to­gether a 90-minute show and, ac­tu­ally,

I had enough for a sev­e­nand-a-half hour show! Do you get naked on stage? No. But this is far more ex­pos­ing than go­ing on stage and get­ting your kit off. This is go­ing on stage and re­veal­ing what is in my heart and soul.

Who in­spires you, com­e­dy­wise? Dawn French. She’s ac­tu­ally a good friend and I re­ally re­spect her. I only saw her show once, loved it and af­ter­wards we had din­ner to­gether and I asked what was it like and she said she loved it. I told her I’m think­ing about do­ing [a show] and she was very sup­port­ive. What are your rider de­mands? I am known in the busi­ness to be the low­est main­te­nance per­son, to the point where I’ve had clients call my agent and ask, ‘Are you sure that’s all he wants?’ It’s be­cause when I was a stylist for fe­male singers, I’d look at their rid­ers and think, ‘Are you ac­tu­ally kid­ding me? This is ridicu­lous!’ I can’t say who, but some were so bizarre. Go on Gok, tell us what was on the rider? I can’t say what it was – it will give it away who it was – but it was so ridicu­lous and no-one else in the world would have that on their rider. [If I told you more] they would know I had dis­cussed it and that is mas­sively un­pro­fes­sional. I have a packet of Haribo on my rider and that’s it – sweets! When was the last time you laughed out loud? First thing in the morn­ing, I do a lit­tle laugh when I wake up – it starts my day with a smile and sets you up. Try it!

How do you like to un­wind? That in­volves al­co­hol of some de­scrip­tion – prob­a­bly gin! You DJ’D at Pride this year – do you think the coun­try has turned a cor­ner in terms of ac­cept­ing peo­ple as gay? No, I think we have a long way to go. I think liv­ing in Lon­don, it’s a cos­mopoli­tan place with

‘Peo­ple will al­ways need makeovers’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.