The ZOO Q&A: Reggie Yates

You've spent a lot of time doing kids' TV. How do you stop yourself swearing?
It's like a switch, a bit like being around your mum and dad. You know you can get away with saying "arse" or "crap", but you're never going to use real profanity. Mind you, when someone's throwing gunge over your head, not screaming "shit" is a bit difficult.

Brats pestering you for autographs must be another drawback...
Sometimes. But we get paid very well to do what we do, so it's fair enough. I don't feel I have the right to complain about it. Scribbling on a bit of paper only takes two seconds.

But you must know celebs who don't have that same attitude?
"Celebrity" is such a horrible term. I don't count myself as a celebrity, because I don't go to those sorts of parties. I've dated some famous people and there are well-known people whose houses I go to all the time - but no-one knows about it because I don't entertain that lifestyle. If you go to all those weird clubs in Central London, you become a part of that world. And the minute you do that, you're asking for trouble.

But you do have some celebrity mates?
Of course, but that's just because I've made friends with people I've worked with. I've got mates who play in the Premier League and for England, but I know them through work. If I worked in Tesco on the fish counter, I'd probably be mates with the guys who worked on the meat counter - it's the same thing.

So who are they?
I'm not saying. If I told you, what good would it do? People would probably just say, "What a wanker." That's what I'd think if it was me reading it, anyway.

Every job you've had, you seem to have worked with Fearne Cotton...
I've been working with Fearne since I was 13, so she's like family - I call her "Big Sis". It's not often you get two people working together with that chemistry, so radio and TV producers seem to want to use it.

Ever had any sexual chemistry?
Hell no! To me, she doesn't even have a vagina. It doesn't exist. Whenever people say Fearne's fit, I think "Urrgh - no!" She's a pretty girl, but sexy? Nah! You obviously haven't heard her burp. I've never heard anyone burp like Fearne. When we go on air, I have to switch off my swearing and Fearne has to switch off her burps! She can hold her booze, too - she's able to put them away, trust me. She's just one of the lads when she's around me.

You started out as a garage DJ on a pirate station in London. Do you ever worry you've lost your cool edge?
Not at all. I've not got anything to prove to anyone. I did Celebrity Fame Academy because it was for charity, but I've never done any of those other stupid reality shows. I've been asked to do Big Brother, but it's not for me. I'm not a celebrity, so I'd never do a show like that.

How did being in Doctor Who, as Martha Jones' brother, change your life?
I didn't realise what a big deal the show was until I was in it. Suddenly I had people waiting for me outside the Radio 1 building. I'm a season ticket holder at Arsenal and the week after my first appearance on Doctor Who, everyone around me wanted a photo. I'd been sitting with these same people all season! I even got a mention in the programme!

Are you off the show now?
Yeah, pretty much. If Martha doesn't exist, neither do I. I haven't been told officially, but Russell T Davies - the show's writer - always sends Christmas cards, and my last one said: "Thanks for your help." I guess that was my exit notification!

Did you get anything going with Freema Agyeman?
Not at all! I met her fella before I met her. She's from West Africa like me and she reminds me too much of my big sister!

Are all the fit women you know like sisters to you?
Hey, don't get me wrong - I'm doing all right for myself!

Speaking of which, is it true you're going out with Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child?
I knew you were going to ask me about that! She's a mate - that's it. People struggle to believe it, but why can't I just hang around with a beautiful famous woman? I don't get why people make such a big deal of me being with a mate. If you saw me hanging around with my mate who plays for Arsenal, you wouldn't think I was gay!

The learndirect Careers Advice service is available seven days a week from 8am to 10pm on 0800 100900 or 24 hours a day online at

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