As Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw readies himself to host the station’s annual Teen Awards, he’s addressed the perils of celebrity and its potentially toxic influence on teenagers.
“Fame is a tricky one,” says the X Factor judge in the new issue of Radio Times magazine. “If you’re Amy Winehouse and famous for writing great songs, that’s great but it blows my mind that so many people engage with someone like Kim Kardashian. She’s got nothing to say, no opinions on anything. I’d hate teenagers to think that’s the way to be happy because it’s not – it’s fake.”
So which celebrities does he look up to? Perhaps surprisingly, Grimshaw counts headline-grabbing singer Miley Cyrus among them.
“For all the rolling around in her knickers, she actually has a conscience and founded her own charity for transgender youth. When she hosted the MTV Video Music Awards this year she got all the kids to come on and speak. Just putting transgender teens on TV to middle America is very powerful.
“And after spending the morning with Adele [Grimshaw had the first play of her new track Hello earlier this month] I would say her as well. She’s 100 per cent into being herself. I think that’s something quite heroic – to be cool with yourself.”
On that note, Grimshaw says he has always felt confident about his own sexuality: “I never felt as an adult that I even had to come out. I only feel like you’re coming out if you’ve been married, or pretended you were straight… I never had any false thoughts in my my brain.
“There were no bulletins to be delivered because it was all I ever knew.”
Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine on sale Tuesday 3rd November in shops and from Apple Newsstand
BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards are on Sunday 8th November at 3:00pm on Radio 1 and 5:30pm on CBBC