Vicky Pattison: Not everyone should be a reality TV star – you need a thick skin

Vicky Pattison has said that “not everyone should be a reality TV star” and that duty of care on such programmes should be taken very seriously.

Pattison, who rose to fame on reality show Geordie Shore and has also appeared in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Ex On The Beach, said that people who apply to appear on reality programmes need to be deemed strong enough before they take part, and that they need a “thick skin”.

An inquiry was launched by MPs this week into production companies’ duty of care to participants taking part in reality shows, which came in the wake of ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show being axed following the death of a guest.

I believe you have to have a thick skin, you have to be quite strong, because you open yourself up to the whole nation to have an opinion on you, and that's a very difficult thing to deal with

The conversation around ITV2 reality show Love Island has also heightened, following the deaths of two of its former stars.

Pattison told the Press Association: “I’ve been very open and candid about the care I’ve received through various reality TV shows, I can’t possibly comment in a broader spectrum; all I can talk about is my personal experience.

“Before I was put into any reality TV situation I met with a psychologist and I was deemed strong enough, well enough and mentally capable of being put in these high-pressure and often toxic situations.

“Afterwards, as well, I’ve received any after care that I’ve needed, and, though I’ve sometimes not made the best decisions on reality TV shows, that’s on me. I’ve always received the correct amount of duty of care as far as I’m concerned.

“They are just very difficult situations and not everyone should be put in them.”

Pattison, 31, added: “I don’t believe everyone should be a reality TV star.

“I believe you have to have a thick skin, you have to be quite strong, because you open yourself up to the whole nation to have an opinion on you, and that’s a very difficult thing to deal with.

“Some people can’t deal with that and those things that should be identified before people are exposed to these situations, and that’s something that should be taken very seriously.”

Pattison said that to put yourself on a public platform means reality TV participants “have to accept that people are going to have an opinion of you”.

Pattison said that one of her favourite things to do to battle anxiety and other mental health issues from being in the public eye is to exercise.

“I’m a huge fan of using fitness to fight the blues, I always have,” she said.

Pattison has joined forces with Fridge Raiders, who have conducted research that suggests that 65% of UK adults are more likely to achieve their goals, whether they are fitness-related or even about ticking off a bucket list dream, if they have a friend or another person to work on them with.

She said: “I believe that healthy body means a healthy mind, and it even boils down to something as simple as, if I’m planning to go for a run in the morning and I think, no, I can have an extra half an hour in bed because I’m not letting anyone down, it’s just me.

“But if I’ve got a personal training session booked, I’m more likely to go.

“I encourage people who are dealing with any sort of mental health issues to find a buddy, find a friend, whether that’s someone to train with or if it’s someone you can communicate your problems to – you should buddy up.”

Protein snack brand Fridge Raiders has launched a competition on their Instagram page, giving fans the chance to win a skydive alongside Pattison, which she said is “number one” on her bucket list.

- Press Association

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