Gok Wan knows his way around a woman's body

Gok Wan knows his way around a woman's body

Tell us about the World of Difference campaign that you're working on at the moment?

We've finished the campaign now, now 500 competition winners all go and work for their charities. It’s a drive that Vodafone’s been doing for 10 years and I’ve been involved for two and every year several months of preparation goes in where I go around the country making people apply for a placement. The placement involves two months full-time or four months part-time paid work for a charity of your choice. All of my little chickens go to work and they’re going to do lots of good. Thousands of people are going to benefit and it’s all a bit marvellous really.

Like you said you’ve been involved for two years, why did you want to get involved with this?

Well, when you’re on the television you constantly get asked to work with chairites and it’s really hard to work with all of the charities that ask you, and ofcourse we all want to give back. So this is my chance every year to give something back and work with 500 different charities and get some awareness out there and hopefully have my liitle part in helping tens of thousands of people who use these charities and for me it’s too much of an opportunity to miss, really. You can’t really say no to it can you? It’s great I do enjoy it, it’s lots of fun, really good people, really good for your own morals, social ethics, things like that. It’s not selfless of course, because charity work should never be selfless. I get a lot out of it and hopefully they get a lot out of me doing it as well.

You’ve got your new programme, what’s this about?

I think it’s called, Gok: How to make the perfect Chinese. The title changed quite a few times. It comes out in… Erm, I’m not too sure when it comes out, I think it’s March. It’s quite cute, it’s got my dad in it.

So, what’s the show about?

Well, cooking mainly. It’s all about food, about secret Chinese recipes, all about my family’s recipes. It’s a half an hour cook show, there are six of them. Basically me embracing my Wok on camera, me showing everyone how to make good, honest and healthy real Chinese food instead of the greasy stuff that we’ve become accustomed too.

What made you want to do this food show, rather than your usual fashion and self confidence shows?

Well, the thing is before fashion there was food really. I was brought up ina restaurant, I’ve worked in catering my whole life up until I was 20 full-time almost, I was a chef for my dad for many years. It was a skill that he taught me. So when Channel 4 asked me to do a show, I ummed and ahhed, but then I thought why not really? It’s something that I can do, not many people know that I can cook and that I’ve cooked professionally before so I thought I’d give it a bit of a go. Whether or not was a I do another series I don’t know, but it was lots of fun making this one.

So, you’re not turning your back on fashion and self confidence are you?

Are you kidding me? No way. It two-month sabbatical and I’ve had that now making a cooking show. No, never. It’s not like I’m going to be the new tele chef or anything, I don’t want that at all. It was lots of fun and it was great working with my dad in the kitchen again, it was very interesting and it was great for my confidence as well. I’ve added another string to my bow and when you go out there and teach people, like the campaign that we’re working on at the minute, a bit like this you give back and you show people what you can do. It makes you feel very good about yourself.

What was it like working with your dad again?

It was amazing, it was lots of fun.

Was your dad apprehensive about being on TV or anything?

Well, I’ll let my dad answer that question himself.

You’ve got your latest collection for TU at Sainsbury’s out now, what was the inspiration behind that?

1950s glamour, body sculpting, looking at the female silhouette and making people feel a little more confident with colour this season, although I did put quite a bit of black into the collection this time. It’s got some great reviews so far, everyone’s been really nice about it. So that’s goof fun and there’s all of the tricks that are hidden in the clothes as well.

It was definitely 50s Hollywood starlet glamour. It was more the starlets off-screen on their down-time.

Have you got a favourite piece from the collection?

When you’ve done the collection you don’t want to turn around and say you have a favourite piece because then you’ve got favouritism so it’s really hard. But I have to say the pencil skirt, we worked a lot trying to get the perfect fit and we did achieve it.

What’s your favourite trend of the season?

Well, the 1950s of course. I love it, it’s my favourite era of fashion. So I always get really excited when I see those little key notes coming through from the designers.

What’s coming next for you?

Well, I’ve got the cook show. I’ve got another show that I’m piloting and then I’m gearig up for next year’s Vodafone campaign.

So, what’s going on with the campaign for next year then?

It’s going to be the same thing. What I’m trying to do is she whether I can push it so far with everyone that I can have a thousand placements. It might take me a couple of years to get there, we only have 500 at the moment.

Getting involved with this campaign, what does it actually provide you with?

It provides a massive amount of confidence. I think a lot of us take for granted what we do every single day of our lives. Whether your interviewing and communicating with people or whether you’ve got a trained skill like accountancy or marketing all of us do something everyday and being able to take that into a charity and teach other people and show them what you can do will only give you an incredible rush of confidence and so everyone gets a massive amount out of it.

Gok’s tips on confidence in the workplace: 

Everyone finds interviews nerve-wracking so try updating your interview outfit with some new accessories, such as a fabulous silk scarf, so you feel great and know that you look a million dollars, even if you’re feeling a little apprehensive.

Feeling valued in the workplace will do wonders for your confidence. Volunteering for a charity is a great way to give back to your community, meet new people, and offer your skillset to the often under-resourced third sector.

If you’re feeling nervous to get back into the workplace, remember that challenging yourself to try something new can be really rewarding. You won’t be an expert at any job when you first start, but soon you’ll start to realise how much you’ve learnt and how you’re able to do things that couldn’t before because you didn’t dare to try.

Sometimes it’s easier to assume a “work persona” when you have a big presentation to do at work, if you’re feeling worried. Think about someone you know whose confidence you admire, and channel them when you’re in the boardroom – acting confident will make you feel more confident!

Have pride in your appearance for any work interviews, take time to style your hair and choose your outfit. This will help you relax and concentrate solely on what you are talking about. 

Femalefirst Taryn Davies


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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