This much I know: In conversation with Vogue Williams

Vogue Williams gives Hilary Fennell a glimpse inside her life and head.

I’m single at the moment, perfectly open to the idea of dating people.

Despite what some people may think, my life is totally normal. I don’t get photographed as I go about my daily business - only if I go to an orgnaised event.

As a young child I was camera shy, but I remember dressing up as a supermodel when I was 12. From then on I loved the idea of performing and being on television.

Growing up in Dublin, I was definitely an outgoing child. I was actually a bit of a brat. I was suspended twice for talking too much.

I ended up doing a degree in quantity surveying and construction. I wasn’t passionate about it but the qualification will come in handy if I ever want to build my own house.

I’m very disiplined and a real planner. I’m usually up by 7.30am, unless I have a lot of late nights in-a-row.

The series Fade Street was my big break into television. Prior to that, I was only known as a model. The highlight so far has been winning Bear Grylls: Mission Survive. I didn’t think I’d win. You are so tired and hungry and wrecked on a reality show like that, that you have no idea if you are being a ‘good’ survivor.

My latest series Vogue Williams on The Edge is very special to me. Especially the programme on ‘Transgender Warriors’. We spent a couple of weeks filming it during which I learned so much.

It helped me understand a whole community who you could say are where the gay community was about 20 years ago. In ‘Addicted to Me’, I look at the modern obsession with the body beautiful and the lengths people will go to to get it.

Home is mainly London at the moment. When I’m not working I go to the gym, spend time with my family and friends.

I’m really into food but thankfully I also love training. If I don’t train, I tend to get a bit skinny. I like to look toned and fit. Training is also good for my anxiety. I go running with my dog Winston every day too. He’s a beagle cavalier.

Anxiety is an annoying part of my life. Talking to my friends, I find that a lot of my peers suffer from anxiety too. Mine used to be a lot worse. About 10 years ago, when I was in college, I had to give a presentation about a bridge I’d designed and when it came to my turn, I almost couldn’t do it.

The anxiety around performing seems to be gettting better. If I go on something like the Late Late Show though, I would have a drink or two beforehand to calm the nerves.

The best advice I ever received is that whatever is for you won’t pass you by.

I took time off earlier in the year to write a lifestyle book. It’s all about healthy eating and exercise, full of my life hacks. I found that the maximum amount of time I could write per day was four hours.

I consider myself a positive person. You have to be, because if you are negative, you just get negativity back at you.

My worst fault is that I don’t take time to chill out. I do go out quite a lot with work, at least once a week, and I’d normally go on the tear once a week too.

My idea of misery is a holiday somewhere like Magaluf where you start drinking from the moment you wake up. I’d never be able for that.

My idea of bliss is what I do each summer - spending time in my mum’s house in Spain, reading and listening to music on the beach

If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Bill Murray because he’s so funny.

If I could change one thing in Irish society, I’d repeal the 8th Amendment.

The trait I most admire in others is honesty.

My biggest challenge has been my dad’s passing away when I was 25.

It would be depressing not to believe in an afterlife. I do believe in God, although I don’t go go to mass on a regular basis.

The lesson so far is that life is what you make it. You have to work towards happiness and towards the things that you want to make your life better.

In her new series Vogue Williams - On The Edge she investigates issues affecting the lives of her fellow Millennials, 9.30pm Tuesdays, RTE 2


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