Olivia Attwood: ‘I’ve had to stop d-cking around’

TV queen Liv talks to Charlotte Oliver about facelifts and finding her voice

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by Charlotte Oliver |
Published on

We’ve got a bone to pick with Love Island's Olivia Attwood, having just watched her brilliantly unflinching documentary series The Price Of Perfection. While witnessing a live facelift, she comments, “It resembled someone stuffing a pitta bread” and now we’ll never look at houmous the same way again. Still, it’s testament to our love for her that we’re still smitten, despite the fact that she’s now ruined our late-night kebab order.

And how could we not be? When we greet the TV queen, it’s like being reunited with an old friend, with hugs and enquiries about what we’ve been up to aplenty. We’re not the only ones who love Liv. Over the past seven years, the 32 year old has become a best mate to her 2.1million social media followers, regularly giving them advice and laughs. In turn, she has given us a front-row seat in the wild ride that is her life.

Not only has her career rocketed, she’s also gone from self-confessed party girl to a loved-up wife and dog mum. We even got an invite (via our TV screens) to her and footballer husband Bradley Dack’s sumptuous London wedding last June.

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"Sugar? No, I'm sweet enough" ©Marco Vuttir

Now, the star’s added another string to her bow – and another direct channel to her fans – with her podcast, So Wrong, It’s Right. “This just feels like the right time,” she tells us ahead of its release. “I feel like I’ve finally lived enough life to deliver the podcast I want.” We’re all ears…

How would you describe the pod?

It’s not your typical celeb podcast. Yes, we will have celebrity guests, and I’ll talk about pop culture, but I also want to talk about life and offer productivity hacks, food hacks, and more. I want people to come for the laughs, but also take something away from it. I just feel like there’s a whole side to me that my followers might not know. I’ve lived quite a few lives, and every mistake I’ve made has got me to this point. I want to share that.

Are you the person friends and family turn to for life advice?

I think so. Weirdly, I’ve gone from being the ultimate wild child to being one of the most reliable, predictable people in my family and social circle, which is quite an evolution. But it was a conscious one. I said to myself, “OK, being a reckless party girl is fun, but there are things I want to achieve, and I’m not going to achieve them if I keep dicking around.”

olivia attwood tv show
trying some bum-enhancing techniques on the price of perfection ©ITV

We’ve all seen you evolve, but was there a turning point?

I think it’s been gradual. Before Love Island, my life lacked direction. Then, coming out of the villa, everything was a whirlwind. I went straight into filming a reality show – and I realised that I liked making people laugh and sharing my life. I also realised that you can’t make TV if you can’t stick to a schedule or be reliable. Once I knew that, I started to slowly change my approach to things.

Your career has been on turbocharge ever since. Does it feel surreal?

It does. I’m so grateful to be busy, but sometimes, when you’re this busy, you don’t realise what’s going on. But last night, I was in my hotel bathroom and I heard my voice on the telly. I popped my head out and it was an ITV advert with a clip from my show. Underneath, it showed the thumbnails of all the shows I’ve done in the last few years. I was just like, “Wow, that’s f**king me.”

What’s the secret to your success?

I’m definitely relentless in my pursuit of my goals and I like to work hard. In life, there is luck, but you also make your own. When I was out partying, getting in late, not eating right, and being in and out of relationships, I was a lot less lucky, and a lot more went wrong. So, when you actively put in the right steps, you get luckier.

olivia attwood podcast
liv recording her pod

Speaking of hard work, were you squeamish witnessing all those surgeries for The Price Of Perfection?

I’d watched a lot of surgery programmes before, so I knew I was OK with blood and needles. Some of it was obviously way more intense than expected, but I am a bit of a geek about that stuff. The surgeons are so talented. They’re literally slicing someone’s face open while they’re chatting to you. The worst thing was the smell – you just can’t describe the smell of burning flesh.

You’re famously open about your own “tweakments” – does it frustrate you that some celebs still aren’t?

I get why people stay quiet, because we’re so quick to condemn. There’s this weird social paradox where, when you open up and say, “I’ve had X, Y and Z done”, people suddenly feel like social norms don’t apply. You can tell someone you don’t like their boobs or bum, just because they paid for them, which is horrible. Then, especially if you’re a woman in the spotlight, the narrative just becomes all about that and it’s hard to move on. I don’t think celebrities owe us the right to tell us what they’ve had done. What I don’t like is when people do things like get a Brazilian bum lift or liposuction, and then they sell a workout video. Or they get Botox and say, “This cream froze my face.” That’s where you owe the public transparency.

You’ve witnessed everything from surgery to live sex shows for your documentaries – is it hard to keep a poker face when you’re in the middle of that?

Of course, there are moments where we have a little giggle, especially as I’m a natural giggler when I’m embarrassed. But there’s something so vulnerable about people letting me in, which I really respect. The last thing I’d ever want is for it to seem like I’m judging or mocking them.

You’re also now a regular on Loose Women. How are you enjoying it?

The first few times were surreal. I was like, “This is so grown-up”. But I really enjoy it. I get to work with amazing women, who are all seasoned broadcasters with a wealth of knowledge, so I’m just a sponge soaking everything up. The other day, I was chatting to Gloria Hunniford about the people she’s interviewed, like Audrey Hepburn, which is insane. It’s an education, but it’s also a lot of fun.

It seems the natural next step is your own morning show, à la Lorraine Kelly...

I’d be crazy to say no if someone asked. I don’t know exactly where this broadcasting career is going to go, but I’m open to everything. Right now, I’m paying my dues and learning how everything works. Then, hopefully when the time is right, I’ll be ready for something like that.

How about Olivia Meets Her Match? The fans are calling for another series…

It definitely will be back at some point. I love sharing my life with the viewers, and I know that there’s a demand for it, but it’s just a question of fitting it all in. I’m going to have to start doing night shifts.

Some of your OG castmates just appeared on Love Island: All Stars. If you were single, would you have gone back in?

Yeah, I think I would have found it too hard to say no. Also, it would have been fun to go back as this adult version of myself. I honestly don’t know what made me scream so much when I was in the villa. I haven’t raised my voice like that for years. So, I do wonder, if I went back in there, would I revert to the old Olivia? Would anything be able to tick me off like that? Maybe after six weeks, it would, but I definitely had a shorter fuse back then.

Can you relate to that old version of yourself?

I actually think I understand that Olivia a lot more than I did back then. I was just really impulsive, going in hot off the back of a break-up, and I was really over-opinionated. I had this confident act as if I didn’t care what people thought. But actually, I think that confidence whispers, so I was just screaming and shouting because I wasn’t sure of myself. In your twenties, you’re working out who the f**k you are anyway, and it was quite a pivotal moment in my life. I’d just had a break-up, I’d been a Monster [energy drink] grid girl for six years, where your identity is totally stripped down because you all have to look the same. It’s just I went through that whole “Who am I?” moment on national TV.

Part of that self-discovery was settling down with Brad. What have you learnt about love over the years?

This is so cheesy, but relationships are work – though that doesn’t mean they should be difficult. If your relationship is literally draining the life out of you, and you’re upset and struggling, that’s not what it should feel like. When I was younger, I felt that, if there wasn’t that drama or anxiety, there was no passion or lust. I don’t regret anything, but I definitely wasted a lot of energy in my younger years crying over people who weren’t right for me.

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How has the first year of married life been treating you?

Well, we got married and then Brad signed for Sunderland, so he lives in the north-east during the week, and then I’m mostly in London filming. Sometimes, it’s two weeks where we don’t see each other, other times, we might get two or three nights a week together. It’s not as much as we’d like, but we make it work. Obviously, it could be worse – soldiers get married and then have to be deployed! Now, when we’re together, the time is more precious. You don’t expect to be married and then spend so long away from your husband, but there are good sides to missing someone.

It’s your first anniversary in June. Will you be celebrating?

We’d better be if he wants a second one!

Olivia Attwood’s So Wrong, It’s Right is available from Thursday 29 February wherever you get your podcasts

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