Laura Whitmore: ‘Marianne And Connell Would Be Great In The Love Island Villa’

'If he went to Casa Amor, he’d definitely come back with someone else.'

laura whitmore

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Laura Whitmore has been busy in lockdown, that’s for sure. The presenter has been working from home on her 5live radio show and CASTAway podcast - and her short film Sadhbh has just started to hit virtual film festivals. But, in between all that, like the rest of us, she has been watching lockdown classics like Tiger King, I May Destroy You and, of course, Normal People. ‘I'm a big fan of [the author] Sally Rooney,’ the Irish presenter says, talking to Grazia over the phone. ‘But I totally got on the bandwagon because everyone was speaking about it on social media, so I had to watch it. And I had to laugh, I loved it - it's just so Irish.’

But how does she think the ill-fated Marianne and Connell would fare in the Love Island villa? ‘They would be great in the Love Island villa,’ she laughs. ‘I think it'd be brilliant because they're exactly what you want because they're on a journey. Like Amber and Kem the year they did it and Siannise and Luke [from this year], they had a journey - [Siannise] wasn’t even who [Luke] was coupled up with at the start and then they ended up together - and I feel Marianne and Connell are like that, like they’re together, they broke up. Can you imagine... they’d be definitely dating other people.

'If he went to Casa Amor, he’d definitely come back with someone else and then she's heartbroken again all over again,' she adds. 'And then they’d probably win the whole thing.'

And now, coming out of lockdown, the former MTV presenter is now championing up and coming musicians for Virgin Money’sEmerging Stars programme, helping new artists reach the all important next stage of their careers. The scheme - which was announced today - features R&B and soul singer Aaron Taylor, emerging popstar Dylan who is managed by the same team as Ed Sheeran, and indie rock band Mosa Wild.

'I remember when I started at MTV over 10 years ago and one of the first interviews were Katy Perry andEd Sheeran{ =nofollow},' the ambassador says. 'And it's really funny now seeing who they are and who I thought would be the next big thing who were equally talented, but they just didn't make it.'

And money, she says, is a big problem for many musicians starting out. ‘I didn't realise until I was working in the industry that sometimes you don't get paid to do support slots,' Laura tells us. 'I guess it’s seen as an opportunity and sometimes people have to pick up that slot and sometimes the gigs [musicians] really want to do don’t pay much money at all. It's hard to get to a certain level - to start making money from it, you have to go through a lot of times of not making money.' If artists have a fund, she says, like the Virgin programme provides, then they can afford to take more opportunities which aren't going to pay as well.

laura whitmore rising stars

And then there's also the problem of racial and gender diversity in the industry. Festivals regularly come under fire for not booking diverse line-ups, which caused The 1975's Matty Healy to say he wouldn't agree to play an event if it didn't have a 50:50 gender line up split. 'It's very hard to go into an industry when you don't see someone out there that looks like you. And it's really difficult when it doesn't look like there's a space for you,' she says.

'I actually just finished a great book by Patti Smith,' she adds. 'And I remember her saying she didn't want to be the muse but a lot of women were the muse with the band as opposed to actually being the person creating and writing the music. I think it's great to have role models like that.' I think, like Laura, we're all hoping for a more inclusive industry in the future.

READ MORE::a[Laura Whitmore On Motherhood And Her New Short Film Sadhbh]{href='' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener noreferrer'}

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