Interviews

Various interviews from the world of celebrity.

Why There Is More To Wendy Williams Than ‘Talk-Show Wendy’

We are living in an age of instant gratification where even businesses are guilty of concentrating on the sprint rather than the marathon. We also convince ourselves that successful people are lucky or born with an exceptional talent. But dismissing someone’s work ethic as luck is quite possibly the biggest insult there is.

In a world of shortcuts, the harsh reality is that there is no secret sauce to cook up a dish of success. As for all those online courses and eBooks that promise to help you get rich quick, the inconvenient truth is that it’s only the author that is going to make money fast.

The truth that nobody wants to hear is that the only path to greatness requires hard work and dedication. The countless hours that it takes to master a skill and the sacrifices along the way that it takes to make it possible. Or as my teenage son tell me, it’s all about the grind.

However, the story of how individuals are investing 10,000 hours to master a skill rather than binge-watching TV shows on Netflix is one that is seldom told. For example, Wendy Williams is best known for her long-running daytime Emmy-nominated talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.”

However, there is no such thing as overnight success. When running on the comparison treadmill, many choose to conveniently forget about how Williams built a fan base throughout a 23-year career in radio.

Rather than comparing herself to others in the industry, she decided to use her unique and authentic voice to build her brand. An audience of over 12 million people allowed her to become one of the most popular personalities in radio.

Wendy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November of 2009 and became one of only a handful of women to achieve the honor. The nurturing of relationships with an audience builds a trust that should never be taken for granted.

A part of what I love about my show is the connection I have with my audience and fans, whether it be in the studio, or while they’re watching at home. – Wendy Williams

Refreshingly, despite enjoying phenomenal success with an Emmy-nominated daily talk show, she is keen to show the world that there is much more to her than talk-show Wendy. Although from the outside people might see an actress, comedian, entrepreneur, designer, or New York Times best-selling author, Wendy Williams is much more comfortable being seen as a mother and a businesswoman.

As someone who is continuously looking to engage with her audience, the launch of a behind the scenes entertainment and lifestyle app called Wendy Digital makes perfect sense.

There seems to be much more to the app than just indulging users with a daily fix of pop culture. For example, the ‘Shopping’ section is again designed to genuinely connect with her fans and allow users to browse and purchase Wendy’s outfit of the day or learn more about the moisturizer she uses.

I recently interviewed Williams on my podcast, and she takes her responsibilities in this feature very seriously. It’s not just about brand partnerships, but a strong focus on what Wendy Williams genuinely likes and recommends.

Williams told me how her audience often picks up on the tiny details from the show and will regularly bombard her with questions such as what is that nail color you wear? Or what do you use on your skin for it to look so great? The app enables Williams to have those conversations with her audience and address these questions directly.

In many ways, Willams was a pioneer by building a career on being authentic, open and honest. But now everyone is doing it, she told me. As a result, she is determined to push the envelope by creating a digital platform to connect with her audience.

Essentially, technology is enabling Williams to leave the makeup, and false lashes in the TV studio and broadcast live from her mom cave. It was evident from our conversation that engaging with her fans and allowing them to follow the rollercoaster of emotions in life whether that be laughing or crying is incredibly important to her.

Now through my app, I have a brand new platform where I can continue to engage with my fans, and be able to share more behind-the-scenes intel into my life outside of the show – Wendy Williams

In a digital world, audiences are now increasingly turning to YouTube stars for authenticity and hosts they can relate with. Viewing trends suggest people are turning their back on polished, fast edited and contrived TV shows that feel fake. However, Williams has built a career on simply being herself, and this seems to be her secret recipe for success.

In a world where everyone is trying to be like somebody else, it’s incredibly refreshing to see Wendy Williams has built a hugely successful career by doing what she does best. Being herself.

 

Interview: Barney Harwood

Barney Harwood is an English television presenter and actor, probably best known for his work with CBBC, on shows such as Blue Peter and Prank Patrol, while also helping compose the theme tunes and incidental music for the latter and one of his other shows, Bear Behaving Badly.

Barney is also a very keen gamer, so after meeting him at the BAFTA video game awards, we tracked him down, to find out more about his love of gaming.

Q. Where did your love affair with gaming begin?

“When I was about 9 years old, I was bought a commodore 64 with two games. Booty and Paperboy! I have a problem-solving brain that likes puzzles and so started with platform ‘find the key to unlock the next level’ stuff and progressed from there!”

Q. The best thing about coming from Blackpool is?

“Having an appreciation for a well cooked chip! They simply can’t do it down south! They use alien potatoes that don’t like to be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle! The best thing about coming from Blackpool is being able to go home to the best chippy I know!”

Q. PES or FIFA?

“FIFA every time! It’s like the Canon vs Nikon debate, though, once you choose one, you stick with it!”

Q. What’s your console of choice?

“PS3! The only reason I would own an Xbox is for Halo (this is, in fact, why I own an Xbox).”

Barney keeping it real with Top Trumps.

Q. What do you think of the PSN hacking debacle?

“It’s the world we live in! People are always gonna find a way of hacking into a system that uses credit cards! I feel sorry for Sony actually!” (more…)

Interview: Getting our geek on with Insert Coin Clothing…

The humble T-shirt has come a long way in the fashion stakes over the last few years. Walking into a pub with something off the shelf from what the high street determines is cool this year is all very well, but can be classed as a little soulless as it shows nothing about you and who you are.

A wise man once told me that the bible says “blessed are the geeks, for they shall internet the earth”. Which might explain why people now like to get their geek on by displaying artistic designs from companies like Threadless or Last Exit To Nowhere.

However at last a company called Insert Coin Clothing who have put together a collection of unique designs, inspired by the world of video-games. They proudly state that “No ridiculously massive prints of Mario or Space Invaders here; just cool references to cool games, that let other fans know what you like and that you’ve got great taste when it comes to gaming and clothes.”

With geek chic being all the rage, and us loving the chance to wear a unique t-shirt that only those in the know will understand, we tracked down Dan from Insert Coin for an interview. Keep an eye out later for our upcoming competition, with one reader winning the tee of their choice.

Q. Where did the inspiration for the Insert Coin’s concept originate?

“Well, we always wanted to get cool video-game tees, but everything was so obvious. When we did find some tees that had slightly better designs, they were terrible quality. So we thought ‘we can do better’ and so we set ourselves a set of standards; in quality of design, quality of tee and customer service. All our designs are from our favourite games, all our tees and hoodies are made to our own specifications from scratch (we don’t use cheap off the shelf items) and we will do everything we can to make sure our customers have the best experience when they buy stuff from us.” (more…)

Interview: The Icarus Kid (Dan Crowdus)

Dan Crowdus is the mastermind behind a new album called ‘The Icarus Kid’ that brings the classic sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System to the dance floor. Dan abandoned his lifelong aspirations of becoming a video game developer to fully focus on his greater passion; music performance.

Following a move to Seattle, he began playing with bands and DJing house music at nightclubs, which provided a solid foundation to blend these worlds together into a live show that twists and warps familiar themes into entirely new soundscapes.

An endless obsession with software and technology has given birth to a deviously programmed live setup, including full keyboards and a synchronized LED light show that responds to live events.

Upon hearing the album we tracked down Dan to chat more about this fantastic concept. (more…)

Interview: OJ Borg

If OJ Borg looks or sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because he has rather sneakily infiltrated your everyday life without you even realising it. His voice may have accompanied on your journey via the medium of your car radio on stations such as XFM, Kerrang! Absolute Radio and has even been the continuity voice on Channel Five.

The face you will have seen many times on the BBC Lottery Programs and fight fans will know him for being the post-fight interviewer for Cage Rage promotions on NutsTV, and not forgetting Cage Fighter for Sky Sports, which is an MMA panel show.

After a recent interview with Iain Lee for This Is My Joystick, using great cunning and stealth OJ Borg tracked me down on Xbox Live for a dual, which led to us meeting up at this year’s Eurogamer Expo and an interview with the man about his love of gaming.

(more…)

Interview: Iain Lee

Iain Lee is a jack of all trades comedian, television and radio presenter, which many of you will remember from Channel 4’s “The Eleven O’clock Show”, “RI:SE”, and gamers will fondly remember the show Thumb Candy.

I dragged Iain away from writing his gaming column for MSN and presenting for Absolute Radio to discuss his love of gaming, LOST and the fact he even has his own iPhone app.

Q. Where did your love affair with gaming begin?

“The first game I was ever obsessed with was a Popeye cabinet in some crappy little bar in Spain. I don’t know if that was the first game I ever played or not, but it was definitely the first one that I became totally addicted to.” (more…)

Interview: Jon McClure (Reverend and the Makers)

 

Jon McClure is probably best known as the Reverend, the lead singer of Reverend and the Makers whose hits include “Heavyweight Champion of the World” and “Open Your Window”, which many of you will know from a certain football game soundtrack. He also has a number of side projects such as Mongrel which features Lowkey (UK Hip-Hop Artist), Andy Nicholson (Ex-Arctic Monkeys Bassist), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys Drummer), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles Bassist), Joe Moskow (Reverend and The Makers) and Jagz Kooner.

He is a close friend of Alex Turner, lead singer of Arctic Monkeys, who McClure met on a bus in their native Sheffield but what many don’t know is Jon is a huge fan of football games and even runs his own 32 team tournaments. Luckily I managed to snatch a few moments with the outspoken frontman to talk about his love of gaming for This Is My Joystick.

Q. You were the first person to play Football Manager 2010 outside of Sega Sports Interactive as a games tester, how did you get involved?

“I just went down to Sports Interactive to see what they do and really enjoyed it, I picked up loads of useful tips, I’m the fucking Daddy at it now, but after twenty-odd seasons it has started to get a little boring.” (more…)

Interview with Rufus Hound

Rufus Hound has been a very busy chap over the last few years as a familiar face on the stand-up circuit, and gamers out there may remember him from the gaming show Playr.

A few of you may recall seeing him on the Glastonbury Festival coverage, Top of the Pops or Celebrity Juice but he is probably best known for being the Blue Team Captain on the TV series “Argumental” or for dressing up as Cheryl Cole and dancing to Fight For This Love for 2010′s “Let’s Dance” for Sport Relief.

Rufus is also a keen gamer and comic fan, so we hunted him down for an interview and luckily for us he obliged. (more…)

Hello Games: The Interview

Following on from yesterdays feature on Hello Games and their new game Joe Danger, we were lucky enough to grab the four friends living their dream for an interview about life, the universe and just about everything.

Q. Was it scary stepping into the unknown and walking away from established developers and going it alone?

“It’s pretty much the scariest thing you can do. Genuinely, I mean I really loved the games I worked on and the people I worked with, and that’s really hard to leave. I think most people know, trying to make a new game is one of the hardest and probably silliest things you can try to do, so it’s fair to say we were nervous and still are. It’s tempered by a fair measure of excitement too. Depending on the day we’ll wet ourselves for one of those two reasons, excitement or fear.” (more…)

Interview: Dan Maher (XBL’s MrPointyHead)

 

Daniel Maher, AKA MrPointyHead, is responsible for overseeing the publication of content across the Xbox LIVE homepage in Europe, i.e. Spotlight, Game, Video, Music Marketplace and, of course, Inside Xbox..

Most Xbox 360 owners will be used to seeing him alongside SuperKaylo on SentUAMessage on the Xbox dashboard with their amusing videos, so are delighted to grab him for an interview with This Is My Joystick.

Q. Where did your love affair with gaming begin?

“France. I can’t be more specific than that because I was 2 at the time. My mum plonked me in front of a Pac-Man machine, then bought me a Spectrum 48K soon after (possibly because she was fooled by claims that it was an educational device). The rest, as they say, is boring.” (more…)