WE live in an era of healthy lifestyle gurus preaching about super- foods – yet the only fruit and veg you’ll find Emily Atack endorsing are ones that go with a cocktail.
The actor, 30, refuses to tone down her love of booze, and credits her newfound passion for cocktails for getting her through lockdown, where she “didn’t touch a human being for two months”.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Emily says: “While other people were ordering paint by numbers or learning the piano, I was buying cocktail shakers and stunning, top-of-the-range ingredients to really get my cocktails on point.
“I’m definitely not going to come out of this saying I can now perfectly do yoga and all that stuff. I stuck to what got me through it.
“I also danced around the living room in my pants and didn’t wear a bra for about two months — but I’m back in bras now.”
Emily is a loud and proud party girl and although it’s not the done thing for young celebrities with big social media profiles to embrace alcohol, she feels it is important to paint a realistic picture of herself.
She explains: “I want to be responsible and be a good role model for young girls but at the same time I’m not going to bulls*** anybody.
"If I want a drink I’ll say, ‘I’m gagging for a drink’.
“I’m a good person, I’m kind and compassionate and a bit of a p*head. Alcohol has always been a big part of my life.
“As a young woman who lives in London I may drink a bit too much at times, but I do drink responsibly. I’m never lying on a pavement somewhere, I’m never throwing up or disgracing myself.
“I enjoy that it brings us all together at the pub and as an accompaniment to food.
“I definitely don’t enjoy it to get absolutely out of my mind. I’m just really open about the fact alcohol can be a really wonderful thing.
“But I’ve had to cut back wine as it gives me a fat head — I look like I’ve been stung by a bee.”
Emily’s honest approach has certainly worked for her in recent years following a change of direction.
After her breakout role in smash E4 comedy The Inbetweeners as Charlotte Hinchliffe, which turned her into a lads’ mag pin-up, she admits she bowed to the advice of snooty drama execs.
She transformed her appearance, dying her hair brown, losing both weight and fake eyelashes and toning down her ladette charm in a bid to be taken seriously as an actor.
But her life-changing experience on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity in 2018 made her realise the public liked her exactly for who she is.
She switched back to her natural self, landed her first solo comedy tour and now The Emily Atack Show on ITV2, where she will play a mix of characters who will appeal to all ages.
Her new series, which starts in the autumn, is a real coup given that the sketch-show format has been dominated by men in recent years, with the few exceptions being her comedy heroines Catherine Tate and Katy Brand.
Emily says: “I love the world of comedy. We are heading in the right direction and I think there are more female comedians out there.
“But my thing is I want to bang the drum of, ‘Yes, I have blonde hair, big boobs, false lashes and fake tan but just because I look a certain way doesn’t mean I can’t write something great and create something that everyone can enjoy’.
“People like me have been stereotyped in the past. I am a Love Island watcher, I love reality TV and takeaway Domino’s pizzas and that’s the kind of life I grew up in, I am that kind of girl.
From school crush to her own series
EMILY’S TV and stagesuccess has been more than 13 years in the making. Here is a look back at some of her career highlights, including being locked in that snake pit . . .
2007 – Heartbeat
Starred in one episode of the much-loved ITV series playing Cathy Dee, who married Stan Sparrow. Stan was found dead the following morning.
2008 – The Inbetweeners
Emily’s breakthrough role as blonde bombshell schoolgirl Charlotte Hinchcliffe, who every schoolboy in the series wanted to date.
2010 – Dancing On Ice
Following the success of The Inbetweeners, Emily landed lads’ mag covers and this first reality show gig. She finished seventh.
2015 – Dad’s Army
Played Daphne, the girlfriend of Private Joe Walker, in the big-screen remake of the cult BBC sitcom, in her first major film role.
2018 – I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!
Finished runner-up to King of the Jungle Harry Redknapp in the ITV hit. Her friendship with actor John Barrowman was one of the highlights of the series.
2019 – Emily Atack: Adulting
Given her own reality show on the W channel, which focused on her preparing for her first solo comedy tour and turning 30.
2020 – The Emily Atack Show
First sketch show sees her show off hilarious impressions including Holly Willoughby and Gemma Collins. It will air on ITV2 this autumn.
“I really want to show that, and break the barrier, that just because I am blonde and very vocal about how much I like to party, it doesn’t make me stupid.”
The other aspect of Emily’s life she is very vocal about is dating.
She is currently single following her split from film producer boyfriend Rob Jowers in September, having enjoyed romances with celebrities in the past including One Direction heart-throb Harry Styles.
But she had no luck bagging the man of her dreams in lockdown, though not for the want of trying.
She explains: “I had a couple of Zoom dates and realised I need the tactile vibes. I’ve got to have the physical connection.
“I spoke to a couple of pleasant people but Zoom dating ain’t for me.
“Once social distancing is over I’m straight back to the hugs and the physical chemistry you have with someone. You can’t beat it.”
Emily says her love life has not been littered with devastating break-ups where she’s been cruelly dumped. Far from it. She is the one who usually pulls the plug.
She explains: “I’m single by choice because I chose to end previous relationships that weren’t right for me.
"I’ve only been single for nine months and that’s a really nice time to be by yourself. This is the longest I’ve ever been single.
“I’ve always been in relationships so I know I don’t struggle to get a boyfriend. I’m just choosing career and fun and all those things at the moment.
“I’m 30 now and I’ve never been on my own before so the past nine months of being on my own was an important thing for me to do.
“Before lockdown I had been dating but I haven’t met the person that I want to leave the party for, as in, it gets to midnight and they’re like, ‘Let’s go home’.
“It takes a lot to drag me away from a party so he’s going to have to be really, really fit.”
So who exactly is her “really, really fit” dream man?
She says: “I’m hugely jumping on the bandwagon here but who doesn’t love Paul Mescal from Normal People? I was obsessed with it and I’m definitely not alone in that.
“I see the good in everybody, so for me it’s not just about one thing, but I like it if they can make me laugh and are nice to their mum.”
And her big turn-offs?: “You can’t be calling me up constantly asking who I’m with. I have to have my freedom. I need a guy to not try to crush everything that I am because sometimes I might be a bit too much for men.
“I am confident and I’m very talkative and I need somebody who can keep up with me.”
Covid-19 resulted in the postponement of her second Emily Atack Has Left The Group stand-up tour — the follow-up to her sell-out debut Talk Thirty To Me.
The subject matter highlighted hitting an age where a cosy evening in was becoming increasingly favourable over a night on the town.
But after months alone in lockdown with nothing but her home bar for company, Emily accepts she will have to tweak the script when the rescheduled show finally starts in September.
Emily, who has teamed up with Laughing Cow for the cheese-spread company’s campaign to help people get through lockdown by encouraging laughing in the face of adversity, adds: “I’m going to have to re-write the whole thing. All I want to do now is go out and go wild.
“My whole thing is as you get older you slightly like to start cancelling plans, rather than go out.
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“I got to a point of thinking that if I’ve got plans with friends, I like it when they say, ‘Shall we do it another day?’ and I’m ‘Yep’, and I reach for my pyjamas and pop the wine open.
“But I’m a party girl and as much as I do enjoy staying home in my pyjamas, it won’t be long before somebody twists my arm and tells me to pop my false eyelashes on and get out there because they’ve just seen a load of lads walking to the pub.
“I’m there like a shot.”
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