In May last year, my business and non-sexual life partner Ruth Rogers rang me squealing in a most un-Ruth Rogers like manner (she is usually, irritatingly, the epitome of cool).
“We just had a call from Maverick TV! Gok Wan. GOK WAN wants to work with us!!” she said.
“What, THE Gok Wan?” I replied, rather stupidly (I am bereft entirely of anything approaching Ruth’s coolness).
Of course, it was THE Gok Wan, as opposed to the veritable hoards of his fellow British celebrities who share his name.
And so, the day of filming approached. The arrangement was that Maverick would gate-crash a Body Gossip film shoot. Hence, when Gok made his entrance the only people who didn’t get to fling themselves on him in star-struck delight were Ruth and I, who were trapped filming in a room hotter than the surface of the Sun. (Tip: When arranging a film shoot during an unseasonably hot Spring, in a noisy urban side street (meaning windows cannot be opened) ensure the venue has air conditioning.)
Lynsey Tash, our inhumanly capable right hand-gal and Organiser Extrodinaire burst into the sauna-cum- studio. “GOK IS HERE!” she exclaimed, breathlessly. Ruth and I suddenly took on the demeanour of startled meerkats. “But it’s ok. He’s happily chatting to everyone and playing with Danielle’s camera”.
“Oh” we thought. Somehow, we’d imagined Gok might swoop in wearing a cloak-like pashmina and oversized sunnies, demand a room temperature cappuccino with extra foam and sit sullenly and impatiently in the corner until filming commenced. Yes, we knew that on screen he is charismatic, funny, caring and animated, but, we reasoned, surely no one has enough reserves of energy to be like that all the time?
Turns out, the Gok you see is the Gok we got. Which happily confirms that the entire female population of Britain are completely correct in their unwavering loyalty to him. When I shook hands with Gok the first thing he said to me was “Wow! Aren’t you tall? I’m not used to not being the tallest person in the room” at which stage Ruth pointed out that I was wearing utterly ridiculous shoes (as per usual) and he said “power heels! Why not?”.
The entire experience was reminiscent of those situations where you meet someone you really like in a bar, get a bit squiffy and proceed to compliment each other incessantly to convey the part-genuine, part-wine-induced feelings of love growing strong in your bosom. Accept there was no alcohol involved (thank goodness, or I may have humped his leg).
Of course, in my previous incarnations as a model and musician, I met my fair share of ‘slebs’. I’d adopted a rule: The less famous the celebrity, the more likely they are to be a knob-head. Which Gok, as someone who cannot walk down the street without being harassed by scores of screeching girls in a way that immediately conjures the word ‘Beatlemania’ , totally bore out (totes famous, not a trace of knobheaddery).
A couple of days later, Ruth and I met Gok outside Parliament as part of an elite, ninja* team of body confidence experts who would help him teach the country’s largest ever body confidence lesson. (*note, none of us, to my knowledge, were actual ninjas. It just seemed like an appropriate sort of word).
Gok came bounding up to where Ruth was trying to coax me across some cobbles (I was wearing stupid shoes. Again) and greeted us like old friends. Which I suppose we were, if one defines ‘old friends’ as ‘people who have spent a day sweating profusely on one another’. It was only as we were debating that eternal conundrum - ‘does David Bowie have some sort of sock/codpiece stuffed down his leggings in the film Labrynth?’ - that we realised there was a camera about 3 inches away from our respective faces. Only Bowie knows whatever happened to that footage.
Over lunch in the canteen, I had a sudden realisation. I have a crush on Gok Wan. Which is, of course, totally inappropriate considering the professional nature of our relationship and the fact that I have one too many X chromosomes to be his type. Up close, Gok is beautiful. He has eyes which make your soul melt like brie in a microwave and a flawless, caramel complexion which makes you want to lick his face.
“Erm, are you alright, Natasha?” he asked. I realised I was actually staring at him. Mouth slightly ajar, head cocked to one side, chin on palm – Which is what I do when I love someone a little bit. “Yes, yes fine” I replied silently adding “PLEASE DECIDE YOU’RE NOT GAY AFTER ALL AND WANT TO MAKE ME YOUR WIFE!”.
I’m sure I’m not the first girl whose heart and loins have been touched (metaphorically, not literally. This isn’t a kiss and tell) by the fabulous Gok.
What I can categorically say is this: My suspicions that the slightly snooty young man I met in a North London pub about a year ago was a liar and a bit of a twat when he proclaimed that he had “worked with Gok” and that “he was a NIGHTMARE”, were totally founded.
Gok is as sparkly, starry, glittery and exuberant as you’d expect. He is also humble, self-effacing and exudes genuine warmth. To see footage of Ruth and I being seduced by his loveliness, tune into Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth – Tuesday 7th Feb, 8pm, channel 4.