Reggie Yates: “Geordie Shore should be erased from the planet because it’s so awful”

The Voice presenter and BBC Radio 1 DJ on learning the ukulele on YouTube and why The Sopranos taught him how to make pasta

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Geordie Shore. It should be erased from the planet because it’s so awful. I feel disgusted at myself for watching it, but I can’t help it. I love it as much as I hate it.


Which TV series would you like to bring back?
I wish The Sopranos had never ended. I’ve started watching it from the beginning again and it’s still incredible. I’ve learned how to make pasta properly off the back of it.

What makes you blush?
If I’m watching TV with my sisters or my mum, anything sexual makes me feel incredibly awkward; you don’t want to be in the room with your mum when someone’s getting it on. That’s weird.

Is there anything that makes you reach for the hankies?
There were scenes in The Wire that really, really got to me. I used to have Wire parties in my house – 15 of my mates would come round and we’d watch two or three episodes in one sitting. I used to steel myself so I didn’t look like the only big girl.

Do you wake up to music?
I don’t really listen to the radio at home. Call me a control freak, but I like to know what’s about to be played when I’m waking up because it needs to be the right record. So I compile my own playlists: a wake-up playlist, a go-to-sleep playlist, a sexy-time playlist

Are you a musician yourself ?
No. I’ve promised myself that this year I will learn an instrument. I want to start with the ukulele because it’s cheap, easy and I can learn on YouTube.

Your new series follows a group of Tourette syndrome sufferers who find respite in music. What are your hopes for it?
To change people’s minds as to what Tourette’s actually is. So few people have any experience of it. I think that this show – the fact that we have six young people with Tourettes, and very different types of the syndrome is going to open people up to what it actually is and how they might react if they were to encounter a sufferer first-hand.

Who was your first crush?
One of my earliest memories is playing with my toy A-Team van when a music video for Smooth Operator came on TV. I remember asking my dad: “Who is that woman riding a horse on the beach?” “That, son, is Sade.” That was when everything changed.

Did you always want to be on TV?
I didn’t always want to be on TV, but I always wanted to enjoy work because I saw how much my mother, who was a hospital secretary, didn’t. When I got my first acting job –  aged eight in the sitcom Desmond’s – my mother told me I needed to open a bank account and I was confused. I thought: “You can get paid for this?” From that point on I knew it was something I wanted to do.

Who’s left you starstruck?
I have met a lot of famous people and the only one who has left me starstruck and idiotic was Ian Wright because I’m a big Arsenal fan. I was just this big embarrassing ball of excitement. Thankfully he didn’t remember it the second time I met him when I was a lot cooler.

Do you ever Google yourself?
I have done and clicked the image tab, to see if things are any better, as there are some really horrible photos of me on the internet.

Were you surprised?
Oh yes. There are fewer photos of me with braids and a c**p moustache, which would be a good thing.


Reggie Yates presentes Tourettes: Let Me Entertain You – tonight at 9:00pm on BBC3