Interview with Kaye Adams and Nadia Sawalha

Category: Press Pack Article

Kaye Adams

Why did you agree to join The Circle with fellow Loose Woman, Nadia?

Given that 2020 was a year you had to slog your way through, I felt I just wanted to do something different, to sort of jog myself out of a pretty negative mindset. It sounded a lot of fun. For me, it was a brilliant way to get locked in a small space with Nadia and have her cook for me for a week, so as far as I'm concerned, I've got a private chef for a week, so it's a win/win! It's something different, something fun, something out of our normal kind of comfort zone, and we both felt that we wanted to take a leap into something.


Does the theme of the show interest you?

So much of our communication is around social media now, isn't it? I mean, it's an essential part of the way we communicate, it's the way you present yourself to the world. My kids are 18 and 13, not that they are particularly social media minded, but I think everyone now has a social media presence, and they have to think about how they present themselves. It used to be with kids, it would be how you walked in a room, and you shake the person's hand, and you look them straight in the eye, all of that kind of thing that my mum would have advised me. That's only one element of how you present yourself these days. Nadia's much better than I am. She is truly enthused by social media, and she kind of works it. She enjoys it. She gets a kick out of it. I don't mind it, but it's not at the forefront of my mind. Maybe I'll change. Maybe I'll become some social media obsessive in the future. I don't know!


You’ve decided to catfish as Gemma Collins, what was the thinking behind that?

Just because it'd be fun! We have both met Gemma on a number of occasions and whenever she's on Loose Women to be interviewed, you always know that there's going to be lots of surprises. She never, ever responds the way that you think that she's going to. She takes you on this kind of rollercoaster of frustration, exasperation, and then, ‘oh, god, actually, she's quite sweet’, and then she's funny. She's got the full range of emotions. It's just great to be able just to jump into The GC and act out a little bit. We're genuinely doing it out of a sense of affection. It's not in any way to try and take the mickey or undermine her. It's for fun.


Will Nadia dress like Gemma to be in character?

Oh yes, she's been ordering kaftans off Amazon like crazy! She's actually going to be a pain in the ass for a week! I'm beginning to rethink the whole idea!


How are you feeling about being locked with Nadia for six days in a flat, no access to the outside world?

To be honest, not a qualm, really. We just get on in a very strange way. I don't know what happened, because outwardly, we're very unalike, but we just kind of rub along together. I mean, who knows? We may have a phenomenal set to and a fight. I don't think so, though. We do tend to just sort of complement each other. I'm not worried about that aspect. I don't like the idea of not going out for six days, but Nadia loves it, she's a real cave person. She could stay in her own little cave or nest forever, but I'm not. I like to get out, so I might get a little bit restless, but in terms of being locked up with her, that's fine.


How will you entertain each other?

We just talk drivel, and we talk from morning til night. It's a fabulous ability to do that. We're also quite good at being in the same space and not having to talk to each other as well, so, yeah, it's not something I worry about, funny enough, and I would with most other people in life. I don't particularly with Nadia. We'll be playing Charades endlessly. She loves a parlour game, does Nadia.


Is social media a force for good or evil?

To be honest, I've been on a bit of a sort of journey with this one. I think maybe four or five years ago, I was very much of the opinion, ‘come on, embrace it, it's the modern form of communication’. In terms of our children, we have to educate them, we have to speak to them. Everything has its down side, and I used to say if we go back to when man discovered fire, people could cook, people would heat themselves, it would save lives, but equally, it could also destroy life, so you've got to look at it from both sides. You've kind of got to look at social media in the same way. It has its down sides, but it can be managed. In recent years, I am a little bit more cautious of it. I would have to say that I kind of credit Stacey Solomon with a lot of that. Obviously, she is the social media queen and very successful on social media, both in terms of popularity and making it work for her. She's very cautious of it, and she is very knowledgeable about the extent to which we can be manipulated, and how it is big business. I am much more wary of not so much social media but the extent to which social media can be manipulated and exploited and how we can be exploited as a result, so I view it with extreme caution.


Do you get trolls and, if so, how do you deal with it?

I've got a radio show in Scotland, so mainly I get, what do you call it, trolling? A bit of stick, let's call it that, as a result of that in terms of the political situation, the constitutional situation. You know what I'm saying? That's my main source. Apart from that, it will be very random. I've gone through stages, I've ignored it completely, I've blocked, I've engaged, I've got upset, I've not got upset. I've been around the houses with the right way to deal with it, and my current ploy is if there's a comment that I think that I can work with, I'll post a little gibe. Even then, I think what's the point?


Social media can be fun as well…

Yeah, I was laughing at Nadia earlier on because she'd done some Instagram post where she's lip-syncing Kim Kardashian, with whom she's utterly obsessed. She was in her walk-in closet, which is overstating it big time, in her scanties, lip-syncing Kim Kardashian. I'm just looking at it and thinking, "Do I really know you?" It was quite hilarious, I have to say. Yeah, so these are little moments.


Have you ever been starstruck by somebody that's followed you on social media?

I don't want to say anyone in case they'll stop following me! I've never gone and checked who's followed me, to be honest. I love it when I see people have a little outburst about who has unfollowed them, and so many people have unfollowed me, I go, ‘Get a life!’.


The series is for Stand Up To Cancer, what does the charity mean to you?

The year was completely dominated by coronavirus, and I think we all know that many, many charities really, really struggled to get their message out, and because of the need to deal with coronavirus, a lot of cancer treatments and services were put on hold. There's a great deal of concern about what the long-lasting impact of that is. This year more than any other, we really need to remind ourselves of these long-running challenges that we have that are not going anywhere. For those of us who are fortunate enough only to be dealing with coronavirus, we know how difficult we found it, but when you think of some of the people who were dealing with other health challenges, and cancer in particular, on top of the pandemic and all the restrictions, I mean, that's really, really heartbreaking.


Are you good at being on top of your health and checking yourself?

Yeah. I am always quite conscious of these things, but going back to the last year, breast cancer screening services, bowel cancer screening services are two of the main ones and they were down, and that's a real concern. Funnily enough, a couple of days before lockdown, in Scotland, from the age 50, you get a little home kit for bowel screening, and it arrived, and there was no point in me doing it, because I knew it wasn't going to be processed because of the lockdown. How many people will be in that situation? Inevitably, there will be people in there who have a positive diagnosis that wasn't picked up as early as it could have been.



Nadia Sawalha

How does it feel to be joining The Circle?

It’s so exiting to really think about what we're going to do, and how we're going to play it! I love the idea of playing somebody else and hanging out with Kaye, we are like two mischievous sisters. I also love social media. I love it. For a long while, I was one of those, "What's all this social media rubbish?" And, now, it's a huge part of my life. I have a very busy Instagram and YouTube channel with all sorts of things going on including my family reality show, so whenever I'm not at Loose Women, I'm working on my social media seven days a week. I'm just fascinated by it.


How excited were you to do it with Kaye rather than on your own?

I wouldn't have done it on my own. I hate doing things on my own. I think it comes from coming from a big family and being an actress. All of my favourite jobs have been the ones where I’m in cast and I don’t enjoy presenting on my own either.


You’ve decided to play the game as Gemma Collins, why?

The funny thing is, we both thought of her separately at exactly the same time. I mean, she's a hugely popular person. I think even people that hate her, love her. Even when she behaves outrageously, it's funny. How she gets away with the diva-esque persona, I'll never know. It’s going to be a challenge! The thing about playing the GC is, she's a very complex character. I've met her a number of times on Loose Women. She's just got this incredibly strong presence. She owns the room. She comes in, “Alright?" and then she's checking to see who likes and who doesn't like her, but she's very, very funny. To get all of that across in text is very difficult. Kaye is very witty in the written word, but then I've got the problem of trying to get her out the Glaswegian vernacular and into Essex. The thing is, Gemma has massive tantrums. She does. So if there's somebody else in the apartment block that knows Gemma, they are probably going to set her up as a test. For example, if they don't think we are Gemma, and they test us to see how she would respond, if we respond in a tantrum way, then that could put everybody off us and think, "Oh, we don't like her." So we’ve got to be authentic in case there's somebody in there that actually knows her. The good thing about her is she does have two sides to her; Gemma and The GC, so I think that's quite a good little secret weapon, because if we say something and didn't sound like last time, we can just decide if it’s Gemma or the GC talking. It’s almost like playing two people.


Will you flirt with any hot guys in there?

That's the other thing, if there's a young, good looking person in there, the flirting. I mean, she goes full out, full out, "Do you want to come around mine? I'll massage you, you massage me." I'll have to do that stuff because it will be very difficult for Kaye. She has no game whatsoever [she jokes]. Also, I think another part of the game plan is to bring out the Auntie Gemma, because whenever I’ve seen Gemma on her show with her nephew, she is very lovely, she adores him. Her face lights up when she talks about her nephew, so I'll channel some of that. If there's somebody struggling, I will try and tap into that and show the lovely side, and then make everybody laugh at us.


How you feeling about cat fishing people?

It’s so crazy that it wasn’t that long ago that that word didn’t exist. Now it’s something we all know and avoid. I said to my kids, "Do you ever use these face apps?" You know, where you change your face. "Oh, Mum, that's just not on. That's just catfish." It's true. I was thinking about how not so long ago, this wasn't even a word. People didn't even know what it meant, and now it's so much part of our language, isn't it? But I'm not worried at all in this context. We will do anything to win. Kaye's very competitive, so Kaye will want to win. Actually, for me, it's not about winning, because I've never understood winning. It's about staying in long enough to enjoy playing. That's more of the thing for me.


Is there anything about the theme of the show that scares you?

I'm scared at not being able to use my social media! I'm probably more addicted than my kids. I do have a terrible phone addiction, so not having a phone does worry me. Also, not being able to go out for walks. I love to walk every day. I am a bit worried about feeling a bit trapped in a room being watched 24/7. I suppose the biggest worry, though, is being blocked on day one, because I want to have a real go at playing Gemma.


How are you feeling about living with Kaye?

Kaye and I have known each other for 20 years now, and the last time we lived in Manchester together was before we had kids and when we were first in Loose Women, so actually, when I arrived in Manchester, I got a bit emotional. I was like, "Oh, my God, I want to be young again, getting pissed.” Most years we go to Spain for a few days, and all we do is talk 24/7. We usually have about five or six hours sleep, because we're talking all the time, so I have no doubt we'll be fine. We do bicker. We are a bit like two old ladies sometimes. It's always all her fault, by the way. But I'm not worried about that. That’s the great part of it, hanging out with Kaye.


How do you think you'll entertain yourselves?

Well, I think game planning. I'm going to try and get her dressed up as GC and get the accent and stuff, because I think it's important, and it will just make me laugh. Cooking. Kaye will go to the gymI don't know how I'm going to last without Selling Sunset! All these things that are very different between me and Kaye. She would never, ever, in a million years watch something like that. I might force feed her TOWIE, surely that’s research?


Will you show off your cooking skills?

Yeah, I always cook, because Kaye's the most terrible, terrible, terrible cook. We did a cookbook together, actually, a couple of years ago, Disaster Chef. It was me trying to teach her how to cook, and she's still a terrible cook. She's got a few things under her belt now, so maybe I'll get her to cook, who knows?


Do you think this is going to show a different side to you two both?

We're pretty authentic on Loose Women. I mean, obviously, when you're on Loose Women, you're being your best self, aren't you? I'm meeting friends for lunch, and I'm being really nice, but we've done a lot on social media together as well. Every Friday, we do a live walk to work to Loose Women, we're not embarrassed to be seen without our makeup or anything. We've never been shown living together before in anything, so that will be new, but be prepared we are totally unfiltered and bicker a lot. As I’ve said before, we really are more like sisters.


What do you think about social media?

I think like everything in the world, it's a multitude of things. I think we've become so binary, haven't we? Everything has to be one thing or the other. I have had enormous nourishment from social media. I follow some great accounts. The whole body confidence thing that I work on all the time, I've learned so much from much younger people. I absolutely love it. I never listen to haters. I don't listen to trolls. I don't respond to trolls. There have been very, very few in my life, very few. I mean, we've got over 115,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel, over 350,000 on my Instagram, and I could count on one hand the amount of times people have been unpleasant, so I actually do have a really good experience and I am very thankful for that. I do think I'm a bit addicted. I definitely spend too much time on it. My kids want to take my phone off me. I think that's why they're so glad I'm going on The Circle. They said, "Mum, you can have a break from your phone!”


Do the trolls never upset you?

Anyone being mean isn't nice, but it's like would I ask somebody at the bus stop what they think of me and let it worry me? No, so I have this quote to always come back to, I just repeat in my head all the time, ‘Those that mind don't matter. Those that matter don't mind’.


Do your kids feel the same about trolls?

Yeah. They're really good, because sometimes they say to me, "You know, Mum, it's alright for you to say that, and I know it's the right thing to say, but you are a 55-year-old woman, and I'm not there yet.’ And it's really important I understand that because I can brush things off very easily, and I mustn't expect that they can. The thing I never want to be is bitter, so I try and do stuff with a good heart and that, I think, is the challenge for parents with children and social media. It’s trying to get them to let go of stuff, but with a good heart, not with a bitter heart, not with a hardened heart thinking, ‘Well, that's the world, and the world's horrible’. It actually isn't. There are so many more good people than bad people, and I truly do believe that.


Have you ever been starstruck by somebody that's followed you on social media?

Well, we were really chuffed to bits when Millie Bobby Brown did. We do movie reactions and trailer reactions and stuff, and my youngest was obsessed with Stranger Things. We all were, and she did this reaction to the trailer, which we filmed, and we posted, and she just burst into tears, because she was so excited. She goes, "I need to know these people. I need to...", and then Millie Bobby Brown sent a us a private film saying, "Oh, hi, Kiki," and Kiki collapsed when she saw that, and then she started following us! Kate Beckinsale, who's my female crush, followed me, so that was pretty cool.


Have you had a chat over social media with Kate?

Yeah, we have a mutual affection for each other for sure. I can't wait until this is over and we can actually meet, but yeah, I love her. I think she's everything that I would want my girls to be. She's really smart. She's really funny. She's got that great self-deprecating humour. She's brilliant!


This series is for Stand Up To Cancer, what does the charity mean to you?

Well, I haven't really been affected directly with cancer in my family, but I did a trek of the Himalayas year before last for Coppafeel, and I've made three really close friends from that who all have breast cancer. I didn't know as much about what it's like to go through breast cancer until I met these women, because I tend to think of it as they have it, and then they have their treatment, and that's it, but it's so gruelling for years after. The treatment they will be on for the rest of their lives is very, very tough treatment. One of my friends posted on her Instagram the other day that they're now saying they think maybe one dose of radiotherapy could do the same as 15 doses, and she had 15 doses of it. It is so important that more research is put into this. The fact that now they are talking about maybe not everybody needs chemotherapy in the way they previously thought and to have more targeted chemotherapy, there’s still so much to learn and so much to do. It’s very personal to me because of these three incredible friends of mine, so I'm really, really glad to be a part of trying to raise cash for the charity.


After the last 12 months it’s more important than ever…

Everything just collapsed. There is nothing as important in the world at the moment, it seems, than COVID, and friends of mine have been taken off trial treatments and had scans postponed time and time again, and I feel really sad about that. Some friends of mine are very, very scared about not getting their scan, so now there's people being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, generally, you have two to three months if you have pancreatic cancer, and people are being told they've got to wait four months for a scan. It's very, very important at the moment, more so than ever, I think.