She is all set to head into the jungle to host a top TV show – but Scarlett Moffatt admits that back in her home town she is even less famous than her drag queen mates.
Scarlett, 27, will host the I’m A Celebrity spin-off Extra Camp while Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby present the main show.
But the Gogglebox star turned jungle queen isn’t letting success go to her head – thanks to her long term pals from the North East.
“My best friends are all drag queens,” she says of saucily named Miss Cara, Tess Tickle and Emma Royd.
“I’ve been friends with them since I was 18. One night I went to see their show and I’d forgotten my ID.
“I look 12 anyway, so they didn’t let me in but my friend Tess ran out and said I was helping backstage. We’ve been friends since then – they’re genuinely lovely people.
“Everyone always knew who they were in my home town. They were bigger than me and I know that they just love me for me. More people know them more than me.”
“When I go to watch my friends in their drag show, they don’t pull me up on stage but I ask them to,” she added with a chuckle.
“I’ve always said I want to be in drag with them. My name will be Donna Kebab.”
Scarlett moved to London with her ex Luke Crodden in December 2016 but they split ten months later and she headed back up north.
She is single, lives with her dog Bonnie – and even owns a pair of wellies!
“I’ve moved up to a little village in County Durham,” she said.
“It’s a tiny community. They have proper flower shows and it’s really cute. I’d say it’s a country lifestyle. It’s really green. I feel really lucky. I’ve got this life and then when I go to London it’s ‘Scarlett -off-the-telly’ life.”
And she loves the laidback lifestyle.
“No one really wears make-up unless you go into Newcastle, so I’d stand out like a sore thumb and it’s nice to let your skin breathe.
“Plus so many pictures of me have been published without make-up it’s given me more confidence. Everyone’s seen what I really look like.
“When I was in the jungle I don’t think I brushed my hair for three weeks so everyone’s seen melooking fresh.”
Finding fame brought a big upturn in Scarlett’s finances but instead of shopping sprees she paid off her parents’ mortgage and treats loved ones.
“My mam says I don’t treat myself enough, I’m not really materialistic,” she said. “It’s mostly holidays for my family, last year I took them to Dubai.
“This year me and my drag queen friends are all going to Hong Kong for New Year. I never would have been able to do that before. I save all my money for holidays.”
Scarlett is delighted she can now return pals’ generosity – and she is grateful for the changes the last five years have brought.
“When I started my job as a disability adviser, by the end of the month I didn’t have a lot of money left.
“I couldn’t afford my bus fare sometimes, which was £6 return, so my friend Ivor used to give me lifts in.
“I really, really appreciate everything now. I don’t think I went to London until I was 21 and I still get excited when my train pulls in. I think when I don’t get excited any more something’s wrong. I’m pleased I’m still in my own little bubble.”
Although the reality star has enjoyed huge success, she has also endured tricky times.
Earlier this year, she was criticised after claims she went to a boot camp for her bestselling fitness DVD, which saw her lose more than three stone and go from a size 18 to 8.
Sicko internet trolls bullied her over her weight and Scarlett admitted on social media she was in tears at the cruel jibes.
But she still has no regrets about fame. “I wouldn’t change anything for the world. There’s no point thinking about the past.
“A lot of people dwell on if I’d done this or done that, but no one is Mystic Meg. I just try to stay positive.” Scarlett has far more genuine fans then trolls, thanks to her honesty about her crippling anxiety, which at its worst made her unable to leave her house.
“I’ve talked openly about suffering from anxiety to take the stigma away. A lot of people come up to me and say thank you and that it’s helped. They say it’s nice to not feel alone, some of them have even told me they went to their GP.
“So I’m going to carry on doing that. I feel I’ve made a difference, even if it’s a tiny one, in a positive way. The power of social media is amazing.”
Today, Scarlett is doing well. “I’m really, really good,” she said. “People have good days and bad days but as soon as you reach out for help it gets easier. I’m in a good place at the minute which is nice.”
And though not actively looking for love she’s open to finding it.
Scarlett Moffatt latest…
“I’ve been so busy with work I’m spending all my time with friends and family,” she said.
“But if I was walking me dog and bumped in to Mr Right I wouldn’t say no. I haven’t really got a list of attributes, they just need to be a kind person.”
“Marriage and kids? Right now I’m focusing on my career but never say never. I remember at uni me and the girls were saying when we’re 25 we want to have our own house and when we’re 30 this, but you soon realise life isn’t really like that.
“That’s when people get stressed – when they reach a milestone and realise they aren’t at a certain point.”
While she has lots more lined up, she also has a secret ambition.
“I love musical theatre and I danced for 17 years of my life so I’m going to start singing lessons after Christmas.
“I haven’t told anybody apart from my mam and my nanny.
“I really want to get into musical theatre. Who knows where life will take me, but I’m going to try.
“I’m just riding with life,” added the down-to-earth celeb.
“I’m winging it, pretending I really know what’s happening.”
- Scarlett has teamed up with Richmond Sausages to reward one deserving community with an ultimate Bonfire Night, voted for by the nation. To have your display transformed go to facebook.com/pg/RichmondFoods/posts
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