Celebrity Interview: Bianca Gascoigne
Andy Greeves speaks to glamour model, DJ and television personality Bianca Gascoigne about her fondness for her home county of Hertfordshire...
A COMMON accusation levelled at those who have lived in the same area for any great length of time is that they often take what is on their doorstep for granted. Not so in the case of Hertfordshire born-and-bred TV-star Bianca Gascoigne however. The well-travelled, 24-year-old has always maintained a genuine affection for her home county and claims to be ‘loving life’ here to this day.
‘I moved around a bit when I was young because of my step-dad’s career,’ says Bianca, step-daughter of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne. ‘I spent time near Glasgow when he (Paul Gascoigne) played for Rangers and also Rome when he was with Lazio. Hertfordshire has always been home for me though and I still absolutely love it here. I’ve been fortunate to see lots of places, especially around Europe, but there are fewer nicer places than Hertfordshire.’
And she should know. Bianca has lived at various addresses across the county that read like a Hertfordshire episode of Location, Location, Location.
‘I’ve lived in Hertford, Ware, Stanstead Abbotts, Broxbourne, Hoddesdon and Dobbs Weir,’ smiles Bianca. ‘I certainly feel as if I’ve had the full Hertfordshire experience, even though I’m only 24. I’ve stayed in the area because of its brilliant connections to London and because I think the county is so beautiful and friendly. There’s fantastic countryside, cute towns and villages and most importantly, my mum is originally from the area, so there’s the family tie too.’
Bianca Gascoigne first came to the public attention in 2006, when she starred and won the ITV reality show Love Island. On returning home from Fiji, the then 19-year-old was inundated with various modelling and TV roles, which included appearances on Gladiators Celebrity Special, Celebrity Coach Trip, Big Brother’s Big Mouth and Snog, Marry, Avoid.
Her reputation as a party girl hasn’t always endeared her to the public, though at 21 she went on a show called ‘Make My Body Younger’, which saw her undergo medical tests to show the affects her drinking and partying lifestyle had on her body. The results shocked her into some serious lifestyle changes and she says she has ‘toned down’ her late night partying ever since. Indeed, as a trained DJ, most of Gascoigne’s nights out now are mainly for work purposes.
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‘My goal is to one day play one of the Ibiza super clubs – that would be awesome,’ she says.
Despite her good looks and a career in the public eye, Bianca most definitely has a vulnerable side. ‘All through my life, I think people have confused my shyness with rudeness,’ she laments. School was a mixed experience for her, made all the more challenging given that much of her family life was played out in redtops as step-dad ‘Gazza’ was at height of his football fame.
‘I had two very different school experiences,’ says Bianca. ‘Primary school was a very happy time for me. I went to a little school called St Mary’s in Hoddesdon and what I remember most is having lots of friends, enjoying playing games and just being in a bit of a bubble really. It was a very innocent existence.
‘Secondary school was a complete contrast. I absolutely hated it. There was a lot of resentment of me because of my surname and because people thought I was stuck up, without ever taking the time to talk to me. It was a lonely, horrible time and I was glad to move on.’
Fortunately, Bianca says she has put those bad school memories behind her and is also building confidence through her current vocation.
‘When I started out DJing, I must admit I was very nervous, but as with anything, the more I did it, the better I became,’ says Gascoigne. ‘I’m no longer worried about getting up in front of other people, in fact it’s something I enjoy. It’s great to set myself challenges and achieve them.’
Gascoigne cites her two main passions in life as ‘music and fitness’ and adds that she is a keen supporter of a number of charities, including Refuge – an organisation set up to stop domestic violence. When she is not appearing on TV or DJing, you are most likely to find Bianca out and about in Hertfordshire.
‘I love going to Hertford Town especially,’ she says. ‘It holds so many good memories for me growing up there and going out in the evening there for the first time in my teens. Plus I really like the shops, restaurants and bars there – it’s one of my favourite places in Hertfordshire.’
She is also looking forward to watching a new celebrity special of Coach Trip later this year. Bianca appeared on the show last year and travelled to the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany to film. ‘That (Coach Trip) was a new and fun experience for me,’ she says. ‘Some of the highlights of my trip included water zorbing and taking a beer bath of all things.
‘I’m really interested to see the next Celebrity Coach Trip. The combination of personalities I have heard that are going on the programme, such as Michael Barrymore and Wagner (from the X Factor), sounds completely bizarre and you know that will make for compulsive viewing.’
Bianca is set to return to our screens in the Autumn herself with a new reality TV series. ‘I’ve just finished filming, but the programme hasn’t been launched yet, so all I can say is watch this space,’ she says.
Whatever concept this series takes on, her bubbly personality and her previous experience of reality shows will sure hold her in good stead.
Bianca Gascoigne has her own official website, which can be found at www.officialbianca.com and you can also follow her on Twitter @biancagascoigne.