If there’s one person who was excited for 2020, it was Scarlett Moffatt. The Gogglebox favourite, who turned 30 in October, had been planning her birthday party since January. Obviously, thanks to coronavirus, that didn’t go entirely to plan. ‘Honestly, it was gonna be like a wedding day,’ she tells Grazia. ‘It was like a full weekend planned event.’ Instead, she pulled her party a month forward – having ten friends over before the restrictions kicked in for a glamorous unicorn-themed party.
First appearing on Gogglebox when she was 23, the UK has seen Scarlett grow up on TV and navigate the public eye – moving from a once a week appearance on Channel 4 to becoming Queen of the Jungle and then, finally, becoming a TV presenter in her own right. But now she’s turned 30, Scarlett tells us she finally feels like an adult.
‘My mum always drummed into us that her 30s were the best,’ she says. ‘Over the past three years I’ve been really been looking forward to becoming 30 because I feel like being 27, 28 or 29 is a really awkward stage. Half of my friends have families and kids. And then the other half don’t really know what they want to do and they’re trying out different jobs or going traveling. And so it’s this really awkward age group where I didn’t really feel like an adult, but I didn’t feel like a a young adult either. Well, I feel like I’m officially an adult now, even if I’m a kid at heart, I still feel like a grown up.’
Looking back, if Scarlett was to give advice to her younger self, she would tell herself to get proper representation to help deal with the press. ‘[I would say] get representation because I didn’t for a while and I got stung a few times. I think I was very naive in the beginning that everyone was kind,’ she tells us. ‘And then you soon realize that actually you are your business. And people can sometimes take advantage of that. And you’ve got to make sure that you’re responsible for how your business goes.’ Now, Scarlett has 2million followers on Instagram – but she’d also tell her younger self to worry less about what she posted on social media. ‘I think at the beginning I tried to transform myself into who I thought Scarlett on the telly would be – whereas now it’s just so much easier being yourself.’
She also thinks, since starting out in TV, that the industry has become a better place for women to be themselves – thanks to comedians like This Country’s Daisy May Cooper. ‘Because I think as a woman, you’re sort of pigeon holed – you’re either super glam or the funny one,’ she says. ‘And like there isn’t any sort of like middle ground. But then there’s people like Catherine Ryan and Daisy May Cooper and loads of other brilliant women have like shown that you can just be anything. There’s not many jobs where having a penis actually helps.’
In one of her biggest jobs yet, Scarlett is now hosting new dating programme Love Bites on ITV2. In a cooking show with a twist, the contestants try to win a date by using just their cooking skills. In a quick turnaround, thirty episodes were filmed after lockdown, with everyone following Covid restrictions. ‘Nothing seems strange,’ she says. ‘So all of the social distancing and things like that don’t feel odd because it’s a new show.’
Luckily, her own love life is going perfectly. Scarlett is settled with her boyfriend of over two years, Scott Dobinson, and over lockdown the pair hosted a podcast called Scarlett Moffatt Wants to Believe, where she tried to convince him that various conspiracy theories – such as the moon landing being faked – were real. (The day we speak to Scarlett is the same day the first episode of Love Bites aired, which happens to be Scott’s birthday. Scarlett said she worried about stealing ‘the limelight’ from him – but he didn’t care, as he was still really excited to watch her.)
The presenter says many of the contestants on Love Bites have never been on a date which wasn’t thanks to a dating app. And while Scarlett has never used them, she said her own boyfriend was fooled by a fake profile of her on Tinder. ‘What is funny is somebody made a fake profile of me on Tinder. And I didn’t actually know it about until I went out with Scott. And on our fourth date he was like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got a bone to pick with you – how come you never matched with me on Tinder?” And I was like, “It wasn’t me!”‘ She laughs: ‘It’s so funny that someone pretending to me didn’t even like my own boyfriend.’
As the TV industry continues to adapt schedules and filming procedures because of coronavirus, Scarlett at least hopes we’ll all be seeing more positive things on TV. ‘I think TV is going to get a lot kinder,’ she tells us. ‘I feel like there’s a lot of shows where people enjoy watching people argue or fight, but I think because the world’s a little bit crap right now – we all just need nice things. We all just need to be able to sit and watch the telly and forget about our troubles for an hour.’
Love Bites airs weekdays at 6pm on ITV2.
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