Gaby Roslin interview
- In 2005, Gaby toured the UK in the stage version of When Harry Met Sally and also sang and danced in the London stage version of Chicago.
So what's Celebrity Fantasy Homes about then?
"It's part property show, part chat show around and part therapy. The celebrities we have on the show really let their guard down. I think, because we're helping them and that they're on a personal journey anyway, they tended to open up to me more than they normally would on another television show. When you think about it, looking for a new home is a very personal thing, and to let me and a crew in with them was one thing, but for them to open up to me the way they did was just fantastic. I think we've created a new genre of television!"
You've always seemed like a people person. Was Celebrity Fantasy Homes easy for you?
"I always say what I'm thinking. I'm well known for it. Ask my friends. I just like being nosey too, so this series was perfect for me. I'm always asking questions that I think the viewer really wants to know the answers to, and that means asking everything to what's in someone's fridge to asking more personal questions. I came straight out and asked about David Gest's sexuality, because I just knew that would be one of the first questions the viewers would want to ask him".
Did you notice that there was a common denominator to the homes you were helping the celebrities search for? Did you pick up any tips on what makes the ultimate family home?
"No, not really. Each celebrity wanted something different from their homes. Lady Victoria Hervey wanted something different to Mica Paris. David Gest was looking for something different to Sherrie Hewson. So we do look at a lot of different properties, from flats in London to holiday homes in Spain. And, because each person is different, what makes the ultimate fantasy home is different every time".
One of the celebrity 'couples' that took part in Fantasy Homes was Right Said Fred siblings, the Fairbrasses. What were they like?
"I loved the Fairbrass brothers. They really should have their own show, because they're so brilliant. Theirs was a lovely story actually. Their mum is getting on a bit and they live in separate parts of the country, so the boys decided to buy a house where they could all live in together again and look after her, even when they're away on tour. They were so lovely. But all our celebrities were great, and they all revealed sides to themselves I don't think the public has seen before".
And what was David Gest really like?
"David Gest is the weirdest, funniest, most flirty guy ever. We just couldn't shut him up, and looking around Cambridge with him was a real hoot. He talks about Michael Jackson, British girls and loads of celebrity gossip. We got on so well and we're in touch even now after the show. And yes, his hair is real!"
You say that they revealed sides to themselves that they haven't revealed before. Tell us about some of the other celebrities you helped look for a new home and what they were like…
"Well, you look at Lee Sharpe. He's portrayed in the media as a bit of a playboy and a bit of a ladies' man, but when you actually spend some time with him he's a really nice guy. In fact, he was looking for a completely fresh start in Spain and a new home to go with it. We had such a laugh, and I think everyone will be surprised at how he comes across.
"Then there was Brendan Cole. Everyone thinks he's this macho guy from Strictly Come Dancing, but when we went along with him and his then girlfriend to flat hunt in London, he was such a sweetie. He probably won't thank me for saying that!
"I think the most personal we got was with Sherrie Hewson. She was looking for a holiday home in Spain and brought her daughter along too. Sherrie revealed some really personal things for the first time on camera that not even her daughter had heard before. It was very emotional".
Where would your fantasy home be?
"I'm a Londoner born and bred so I love the city and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but I do have family roots in Zimbabwe and it's a beautiful country. I think it's shocking what has happened there, and I'm thankful some of my family aren't around to see what has happened to their country. They would be heartbroken. As far as a happy home is concerned, I'm lucky to have my husband and children with me and we've made our home happy by being ourselves".