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Ashley James on zero sugar wine, Celebrity Big Brother and #noretouching

We caught up with the star to find out why she chose to campaign for Slim Wine, a zero carb, zero sugar wine brand. The blonde beauty also talks to Celebrity Secrets about her Made in Chelsea days, and why she doesn’t believe in retouching

What’s the thinking behind zero sugar wine?
‘It’s encouraging people to enjoy the things they like in life, without feeling guilty about it. A lot of the time, zero sugar foods mean you are sacrificing on taste, but I love wine and I can say it does taste really good. There’s a red, white, sparkling rose and sparkling white.’

Do you think it’s something that could take off as a trend?
‘I hope it’s not just a trend, but a shift in lifestyle. If brands are able to find healthier solutions so that people don’t have to worry about what they’re eating, I think that’s great (apart from cheese, cheese has to remain cheese!) I’ll never feel guilty for eating cheese.’

What’s important about the message of the Zero F*cks Campaign?
‘It’s based on research that 87% of women in the UK feel guilty on a daily basis. It makes me feel really sad that girls feel that under pressure to look a certain way.’

What was it like being in the first all female line up of Celebrity Big Brother?
‘I feel really proud to have been included in that all women line up, but I was terrified at first and I hadn’t told a lot of my friends. Looking back, it was great to have had the chance to live without technology and really get to know people. I made some great friends, I’m actually staying with Ann Widdecombe in Devon this weekend and she told me to bring my swimming costume!’

What was your favourite moment?
‘Reading the letter from my parents, definitely. They’re very private, countryside, working class Northerners, so they were horrified that I was going on the show and told me they wouldn’t watch it. So when I got that really nice letter from them it was lovely because my parents aren’t usually emotional.’

What are your memories of being on Made in Chelsea?
‘It was so long ago now. It was the most amazing and most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Coming from a normal life to being thrust into that world and around people that have agendas was hard. It was my stepping stone so I’m grateful for it, but I’m glad I’m no longer in all that drama anymore. When you don’t like someone in real life you can stay away from them, but on the show it’s orchestrated that you bump into each other. Relationships were tough on there as well.’

You’re still good friends with Steph Pratt, do you see her often?
‘The last time I saw her it was when she was with Jonny and I met him for the first time, before going into the Big Brother house. That’s why in the house it was awkward for me at first. I didn’t want to be involved in the drama and told him it wasn’t personal but that I’s keep my distance. But now we are good friends, he’s a genuine guy so we get on. He’s just shy at first. Steph and I both love cheese and wine, so we often go to a place in London for a catch up.’

You went to Coachella this year, what was it like?
‘It’s the most magical place. Great music, great weather and palm trees! To see Beyonce and Destiny’s child was amazing – I felt like I witnessed a bit of history! Coachella can be quite posey but you can quite as easily ignore that part of it.’

We’ve noticed you advocate #noretouching on Instagram. What advice would you give to any girls that may be reading this and feeling insecure about their bodies?
‘Everyone has imperfections. You can spend years hating those imperfections and willing them to leave you, but you can’t change your body. If you end up becoming too obsessed with a fitness regime or a diet then you are setting yourself up to fail. Love your body and its flaws and accept yourself. When I go on holiday and sit on a beach, I always think there are so many girls that are beautiful, whether they’re a size 18, 6 or 12. Even the models feel insecure and wish they look like they did in their pictures, so don’t beat yourself up.’

Could you tell Celebrity Secrets one thing that not many people know about you?
‘When I was 3 I almost drowned in a milk tank. My dad is dairy farmer and I tried to get the milk myself (I was trying to be all independent at the age of 3) and I fell in! Unsurprisingly, my dad couldn’t sell the milk that day.’

Ashley is part of the Zero Squad, for Slim Wine’s new ‘Zero Sugar, Zero Carbs, Zero F*cks’ campaign, encouraging women to abandon pointless everyday guilt and embrace life’s pleasures without compromising. Find out more at slimlinewine.com

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