Do you feel like you already know Edith Bowman? I bet you do. Edith is the kind of person who makes you feel instantly at ease with her friendly, relaxed personality, the kind of person who you'd love to go for a drink with on a Friday night. She arrives on set with us at The House of Wolf in Inslington with an armful of bags containing shoes for her shoot but immediately spots our selection from Bionda Castana and declares; "Wow, they're better than mine". Edith is the Scottish radio DJ who is equally at home on a TV screen, hosting a music fesival or interviewing mega stars on the red carpet. One look at her career history and you'll see that she's worked hard to make it to the top breaking into the industry by sending a showreel to MTV, which she ended up co-presenting with Cat Deeley, and from there she has presented Top of the Pops, had her own show on BBC Radio 1 and was the winner of the celebrity version of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy (yes really!).
At House of Wolf Edith looks completely at home in the quirky surroundings with a rock n roll edge. The ground floor features a stage where a band or a DJ will be playing come Saturday night, there's an cocktail bar with an apothecary style sign above it proclaiming 'Prescriptions' plus a fainting room hidden behind a bookcase and to finish off opulent rooms with decorated mirrors and 3D wallpaper. As she swaps from sleek and sexy leather skinny jeans from J Brand to sugary sweet pink knits, it's her confident, playful personality that shines through as she jokes "It took me a while to nail the pretend laughing shots for the camera." As we pack up everything from the day, shoes, hats, accessories, Bobbi Brown make up and hair products from RealHair Edith proclaims, "Well, that was easy" before revealing, "I'm off to interview Lily Allen next." Of course she is, just a normal day at the office for a girl who has interviewed everyone from Julia Roberts to Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. As we both agree we both love Lily Allen, Edith's gone in a flash, taking it all in her stride. Here we chat career tips, making eye contact with Leonardo DiCaprio and the importance of being yourself.
DONNA IDA: You got started in TV through sending a showreel to MTV - what advice would you give to others trying to get into the TV/radio industry?
Edith Bowman: Try and be original but more importantly be yourself, don't try and be what you think someone wants you to be. That is totally transparent and you'll very rumbled pretty quick. Also keep your mind open to doing different things and have a few strings to you bow.
DONNA IDA: Music is so important to you as a DJ - how do you describe your music style? What do you sing in the shower?
Edith Bowman: I think the most important thing about being involved in music is to have an open mind. Don't have your opinion clouded by preconceptions or press as most of the time it is lies or a spin on something. Take the music at face value and be honest about it. I am a big fan of singing in the shower and have a specific back scrub brush thing I like to use as a microphone. But no one else needs to know that or more importantly hear that.
DONNA IDA: Where are your cool London hot spots?
Edith Bowman: I'm not really a follower of cool. It's the same for everything with me whether that be clothes, music or restaurants. I like something because I like it, not because it's cool to like it or someone has told me to like it. There are loads of venues that I love and not just in London. Everything from The Social to King Tuts in Glasgow to The Troxy out by Whitechapel way. Bars, I don't really go to bars that much, I love a good restaurant, especially one that does cocktails. You can't top La Bodega Negra for great cocktails, amazing food and awesome atmosphere. Or Roka for fantastic sushi. Or my local The Stag for a great Sunday roast and pub quiz.
DONNA IDA: What are your top tips for a successful radio/tv interview?
Edith Bowman: Know your stuff. Read/watch and listen to as much as is possible and listen, listen to what they are saying so you can have a conversation.
DONNA IDA: You've interviewed every Hollywood star from Leonardo DiCaprio to Angelina Jolie, who was the most memorable and why?
Edith Bowman: Leo was pretty memorable for a number of reasons. With stars of that calibre you expect it to be monitored by a large entourage. Everytime I've had the pleasure of speaking to him, he's always been so laid back, comes in on his own, makes eye contact with you and engages. He's fantastic.
DONNA IDA: How do you wear your jeans? What is your favourite brand or style?
Depends on the day. I'm a big fan of a boyfriend jean, a little baggy and a little faded with a little rip here and there. I also like a good black jean, so classic and can get you through anything. I also love a white dungaree, timeless and classic. Brands I like are J Brand, Citizens of Humanity and IDA.
DONNA IDA: Who is your fashion icon?
Edith Bowman: Wow, I have a few you know. I think my icon would be a mix of them all. Kathleen Hanna who was the front woman of Bikini Kill mixed with Dianne Keaton and a bit of Jane Birkin.
DONNA IDA: Describe your style highs and lows?
Edith Bowman: I'm not one to dwell on lows, life is too short and there are enough people in the world relishing in negativity. Highs for me, I love getting dressed up. My wedding dress last year was pretty special. My friend Charlie Brear made it for me and she has just started doing her own ready-to-wear line which is to die for. I always look forward to what I get to wear to the BAFTAS and I'm wearing this great trouser suit from French Connection for an event i'm doing with Nick Cave next week so I'm hoping that is a high,
DONNA IDA: What advice would you give to a younger you?
Edith Bowman: Write it all down.
DONNA IDA: If you were a drink, which one would you be?
Edith Bowman: Jack Daniels and Coke. My dad has said to me on a number of occassions, 'you'll turn into a JD & Coke.'
With special thanks to Edith Bowman, Nathan Fuller at Public Eye Communications, Hannah Edwards at Bobbi Brown, Ronnie Woodward at realhair, Natalia Barbieri at Bionda Castana, Grace Ryan at House of Wolf.
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