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Celebrity Secrets chats to – Harriet Rose

Editorial Feature

The radio host and presenter on coming out, experiencing homophobia – and which celebrity she’d like to date and why.

Recently you celebrated and helped shout out about Pride Month – what is it you love about the event and why?

“Pride month is always such an exciting time for me because I love nothing more than celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture. I also love it because I get to see and learn so much more about our community, hearing the wonderful stories from other LGBTQIA+ folk.

I interviewed many LGBTQIA+ icons and hosted panels as part of various queer celebration series on social media. I got to speak to Laverne Cox, Emily Hampshire and Munroe Bergdorf – it was amazing! Connecting with people all over the world to celebrate the community was most definitely a highlight. Despite the current circumstances, it’s great to see the community still connecting – even if it was virtually.”

You co-hosted Under the Duvet for the latest series of Love Island. What was so good about the show?

“It was fantastic working with my co-host Chris Taylor, getting all the gossip from the islanders on what went down as and when they were evicted. We were also joined by some iconic past islanders, who spilled the beans on what they were enjoying about the show. Although we didn’t get under the duvet physically this year, we did get up close and personal metaphorically with all the best juicy gossip.”

What did you love about this year’s show?

“Everything – I think we were all in desperate need of what Love Island brings to its viewers – fun, sun and frivolity! TV has been so important at bringing us together during the pandemic, so I think it was the perfect excuse to get lost in the Love Island world. I also loved vicariously living through the contestants who were able to freely date and have fun!”

Love Island received some backlash recently over the show rejecting the idea of same sex coupling up due to them being a ‘logistical difficulty’. What’s your standpoint on this as a queer woman?

“I would love to see more LGBTQIA+ representation, so fingers crossed that we’ll see it in future series. The more queer representation there is the better.”

When did you come out – and what was your family’s reaction?

“I came out at university; I was surrounded by a lot of people who were open and free with their sexuality, and it helped to open my eyes to the fact that I was queer. When I started dating women my family were incredibly supportive – and have been ever since. My sexuality has never been an issue for them, and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful. I fancy who I fancy, and it doesn’t matter who that is to the people closest to me.”

Have you ever encountered any difficulties due to your sexuality?

“I’ve experienced homophobia in lots of different ways, and I don’t think there are many people in our community who haven’t. It’s tough to give a definition on how to deal with each situation, and my reaction definitely varies, but I tend to try and approach the situation from a standpoint of educating others on what I don’t feel comfortable with.

However, I also think it’s important to highlight, as a white cis queer woman, that I am in a privileged position and don’t experience the same kind of prejudice as many other folks in my community. So, the most important thing for me is to try and be an ally to the whole LGBTQIA+ community – and an important way to combat negativity is to educate and amplify the stories of the LGBTQIA+ community, which is something I feel really strongly about.”

What do you look for in a partner?

“I want someone who can make me laugh and keep me on my toes; someone who I can have a really good conversation with. I love to talk as anyone who knows me will know, but I also love meeting someone new, so I can really learn about them. I tend to spend so much time focusing on work that it’s great to meet someone that can bring new perspectives and interests to me.”

Are you dating anyone right now?

“Nope, I’m very much single and ready to mingle.”

If you could date any other celebrity who would it be?

Now that would be telling… but it’s Gillian Anderson. Why? Because she’s Gillian Anderson!”

Who’s the nicest celeb you’ve ever interviewed in your career?

“Honestly there have been so many, plus it’s incredibly rare to interview someone who isn’t nice. Post Malone was one of the earliest and kindest people I’ve ever interviewed. I also recently hosted a panel with Laverne Cox and she was both sensational and kind. I was honoured to chat to her.”

What’s the best thing about your job as a radio presenter?

“I love working on Kiss because Jordan and Perri, the breakfast show team, are two of the most wonderful people on the planet! The fact that I am able to chat for a living still blows my mind – I get to talk to some of the biggest icons in the world and also hopefully bring some light to people’s early mornings. It means the world to me that I can really be myself with millions of people listening.”

And what’s the worst – are you in bed by 9pm and out the door at 4am?

“Now that I have mastered the art of napping, the early mornings aren’t so bad. I still end up working late some nights, so you have to get used to being awake with just a few hours of sleep. My sleep pattern is a mess, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

How are you finding living life with all of its Covid rules?

“When the lockdown initially started all of my work stopped completely, because a lot of what I was doing at the time was in-person, DJ-ing or hosting events and interviewing. I was living alone as well, which did take a toll on my mental health, but I was lucky to be surrounded virtually by so many wonderful friends and family. It also gave me the drive to do as much as possible from home, so I started a series interviewing people from the bath and did loads of DJ sets and Instagram live interviews. I got the Kiss job in the middle of the summer and felt very lucky to be working. Being part of a team helped me feel not so alone, knowing we were connecting with so many people every day.”

You turned 32 in August. How did you celebrate?

“If there was anything I’ve taken away from the pandemic it’s that I want to be surrounded by my closest friends – and that’s just what I did! I blew up some balloons and invited my nearest and dearest over. We had a few drinks and I of course invited my cat – but he was too busy to come.”

Finally, please tell Celebrity Secrets one secret no one else knows about you until now…

“I like to talk to my cat in Spanish!”

Listen to Harriet with Jordan and Perri every weekday on KISS Breakfast from 6am to 10am – and catch Harriet as host of the Gay Times Queer Me Out: Chasing Tales podcast.

To see your company in any upcoming features we are arranging please email laura@hurstmediacompany.co.uk or editorial@hurstmediacompany.co.uk

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