21 August 2017

Fearne Cotton: "Being authentic and really honest is the most valuable thing you can do for your own sanity"

I had the pleasure of interviewing Fearne Cotton the other day. She is an English TV and radio presenter, who has presented programmes such as Top of the Pops, Celebrity Juice and Red Nose Day telethons. She is a busy lady, and alongside her regular charity work she also has her fingers in many pies, such as clothing collections, cookbooks, self help books, and even homeware ranges.

I got to interview Fearne Cotton at the launch of her new children's clothing collection, in collaboration with Boots Mini Club. After checking out the clothes, of which there are plenty of pictures here, I got chatting with her on her life and parenting, how to keep a work-life balance, on being a working mum, even Celebrity Juice, and of course, her new kidswear collection. It was really interesting to hear from another working mum, albeit with a very different life to myself. I've interviewed other television presenters before too, and it certainly is a world of its own! 


Fearne Cotton with Wave to Mummy blogger



What is your average day like?

Oh my god, I'm not sure if I even have one really, but my days always start the same way, with my son shouting "Mum!", really early. He's usually the first up. I'll be up cooking breakfast, getting everyone fed and ready for the day, and trying to feed my self  and get showered when I can. 

My days vary. Some days I might be at home all day with the kids which I love. Going to the park in the summer holidays, or baking or seeing friends. Other days I might be doing something like this or writing or filming or any of my other projects. Some days I might be working in the morning and then not in the afternoon, so I  have no routine at all. And which is kind of lovely. I have never been a massive fan of routine, I quite like it spontaneous every day. It just takes a lot of organising to make sure that the kids are OK and that I can go do my things, so that's the only downside.

You are a very busy woman. How do you balance your parenting with such a fast-paced lifestyle?

It is hard. The biggest change was really from Radio 1 because I didn't want to be away everyday from the kids. Being a working parent has to work for you. Some people want to go back to work full on and other people would prefer to not work as much and be at home more. I am just trying to find my own balance for this. It works quite well now. I am at work quite a bit but also at home quite a lot so I'm just trying to juggle it as best as I can. Also, my husband is either away a lot or at home a lot as well so we try to make sure it all works diary wise and keep it all organised. It is definitely hard to balance and I think every working parent would say the same really. 

Do you have any tips for other working mums?

I think it would be just to not beat yourself up for not doing your best all the time. When you are at work you feel like you are not being the best mum, and when you are with your kids you worry you are falling behind with your work. Just go easy on yourself and don't put pressure on yourself. No one else is putting that pressure on you, it is all an internal battle. Just be kind to yourself really.


Fearne Cotton presenting her new kids clothing range with Boots

fearne cotton boots kids clothing range

black bobble beanie from fearne cotton boots clothing range



You seem to have a very organic and balanced lifestyle. How do you balance that with working in a really fast-paced industry like you do?

It is definitely strange as how I like to live my life is completely opposite from the way my industry works and operates. I definitely try to apply my own life mantras to work and try and keep it as calm as I can. But also, every now and again I really like embracing the madness of it all and diving in it, because I know when I get home it will be nice and simple there. We don't have a particularly bizarre lifestyle in any way. We like to do normal things, like go to the park, bake and cook. When you keep everything simple and very chilled out at home, all this other craziness seems more manageable. But yes, these are two very different worlds that coexist.

Has being in the entertainment industry changed the way you parent or the decisions you make for your children?

No, not at all. The only thing I've been conscious about has been not putting them out there in the media as well. If they want to do it one day off their own back that's absolutely fine, that's their own decision to make but it hasn't changed the way I parent in any way. I go to work and when I come home I'm just a mum doing my thing and I keep them very separate and I try not to mix it. My kids know I go to work and say "Have a great day, bye!" but when I come back I'm back to being a mum again. So I keep them very separate, these two worlds.

If your kids did want to go into the same line of work as you, what advice would you give them? 

I guess it would be just to keep being them. There is pressure to be a different version of yourself or try to emulate someone else in the industry, whereas I would say always just be you. The people that are writing about your life and people that like you will gravitate towards you because you are being real. Being authentic and really honest is the most valuable thing you can do for your own sanity but also for doing projects that are meaningful. So my advice would be just to be them and stick to what they believe is right, and not be influenced by everyone else around them.


white t shirt with sequin star from fearne cotton boots mini club range

clothing rack with sample clothes from boots mini club

birds motif t-shirt from fearne cotton kids collection


So, about your TV work. You are a host on the TV show Celebrity Juice. Has there ever been any game on the show where you have said "Nope, not doing that!"? 

Yeah, definitely there's been a few where Holly and I have both said "Absolutely not". They are usually something that involves us getting dressed up in a stupid outfit or something we just feel uncomfortable doing. We're game for most things and we throw ourselves in to most situations, and we don't take ourselves seriously at all, but there have been some games that felt just too far. It has happened maybe three times over the course of 17 series. One was where they wanted us to be in a hospital bed and pretend that we were giving birth to someone else and we would have fake legs up and a head would pop out. We were like "No thanks, been there and done that in real life!". So nothing particularly incriminating, just things that you are like "No, not happening!". 

Talking about your collaboration with Boots, how did you come about working with them?

It's kind of serendipitous because I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, since becoming a mum really. I've had a clothing range for women previously so doing something for kids was always a pipe dream. Boots Mini Club were also looking to work with someone else in a collaborative manner so we were both looking actively and had the same agenda. It has been really easy because of that. We were both on the same page and wanting the same thing out of it and we both had similar ideas to what we thought would work. It has been so lovely working with them. They have been so lovely and trusting but also giving and teaching me on the way. They have also been really happy to hear what I like and what influences I love, so it has been a real lovely easy-going relationship.

leopard print harem pants from fearne cotton kids clothing collection


What kind of practical input did you have in the collection?

I've been there since the conceptional stages and we have met up every couple of months. I've been through it, from the very first meeting of what we want to do here and how we want this to work to then colour palettes, shapes and sizes, to how affordable it would be, to looking at samples, changing the samples, to looking at new samples... I've been there for every bit. So it is something you do all year around, this collaboration relationship. I wouldn't want to do anything in any area of my career without feeling it had that authenticity and also being real. I don't want to put my name into things I don't believe in or be part of projects like that, so it is really important that I am there for every bit of the journey really.

If you had to choose one item from the collection, what would it be and why?

I would say probably the leopard print harem pants for girls, or they could be for boys too. They are just a dream pair of trousers, so comfortable and easy to put on kids. I love them as well, I've got an adult size pair and they're amazing. I love that print and they just go with everything, the cute little top, a jacket, a sweater. They are going to be worn to death. My daughter will wear them until they have holes in. For me they are at a great price point, great design, cute little yellow draw-sting tag, on-trend. They are everything that's going on in fashion world but they're accessible and easy to wear, and they encapsulate what I was trying to get the whole collection to be.


Fearne Cotton interview with Wave to Mummy


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So, there you go. Fearne Cotton is a busy working mum with little routine, but who balances that out with keeping a simple and relaxed home life. She's game for most things, but Celebrity Juice has had her backing off a couple of times. She likes to keep it real and authentic, and loved getting properly involved in the design of the Boots Mini Club Fearne Cotton collection.

As I went to the launch where I also interviewed Fearne, I got a couple of preview items from the collection too. Great quality (as Boots Mini Club clothes always are), and I liked the little practical elements like a slightly longer back and good stitching on decorations. The collection over all was very trendy and now, but also wearable and practical. My daughter especially loved the T-shirt with a sequin star she received at the launch and I've got my eyes on a teal dress with a print motif, as soon as it comes in the shops!





What would you have asked Fearne Cotton?  What do you think of the collection?





6 comments:

  1. Love fearne cotton! I could totally imagine having a giggle over a cup of tea with her!

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    1. She was lovely - I could certainly imagine that too :)

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  2. I love Fearne Cotton, she's really inspirational. Great interview - I love the advice she would give her kids. Being yourself is the best thing any of us can do
    Debbie

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    1. I was amazed at how many things she gets involved - I mean sure, she of course has professional help, but it is still incredibly impressive. Such a busy woman!

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  3. I like Fearne Cotton, she always comes across as very down to earth and that really came through in your interview. A couple of pieces in the new collection caught my eye will look out for it the next time I wander past Boots :)

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    1. Yeah - she really did, and I was pleasantly surprised how normal and grounded she felt. I loved the collection - I got a couple of pieces to take away which was lovely :) My fav of the collection was the teal dress btw :)

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