My Therapist Ghosted Me star Vogue Williams — ‘People who spend their time trolling are not the kind I’m worried about’
‘Nothing’s helping me any more,” Vogue Williams says with a laugh. We’re commiserating over having children who are bad sleepers. Both of us are disciples of children’s sleep expert Lucy Wolfe. “I got five hours last night,” she says, shaking her head, which is being worked on by a hairdresser as we speak.
t’s her youngest, Otto, now seven months old, who is keeping her up. But she must stop talking about it, she says. Fans of the podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me will know her co-host, the comedian Joanne McNally, has banned her from talking about sleep. “I’ve literally sleep-whinged all morning,” Vogue says.
She has three children under four: Theodore (four), Gigi (two) and Otto, who was born on April 18. “I think we went too quick with all the kids, because we are deep in the trenches,” she laughs. It’s notable, though, how even on those most exhausted of mornings, when the tiredness of being up all night with a baby hits, what Vogue turns to is exercise, rather than, say, bed or scones and coffee.
Her trainer, John Belton, with whom she works out online from her home gym every morning, once described her as a corporate athlete, of a professional standard in her approach to exercise. For Vogue, exercise is the thing that helps her cope.
“I think some people view being in the gym as a task. I don’t see it like that. I really enjoy training. I do a half an hour with John, and then I might go for a little run or a walk.
“Even when I’m away it doesn’t change. We’re going on holidays on Saturday, and Spenny says, ‘OK we’ll go play tennis this night’; there are all these hikes that we’re going to do. It’s just something that we really enjoy.” Spenny is, of course, her husband, Spencer Matthews, co-host of her other podcast, Spencer & Vogue, and brother-in-law of Pippa Middleton.
Vogue was always sporty, she says, but now working out helps her manage what is, by any measure, a full-on life. On the biographical details her agent sends before we speak, her current endeavours listed include podcasts, a children’s book, a workout programme on an app, a new television show, another fashion collection, and her Bare By Vogue fake-tan range.
Asked how her dedication to fitness helps her with the pace of life. she says: “Oh, massively. Mass-ive-ly.” It helps with any anxiety she might suffer. For instance, “if I have a really stressful week at work or, like last night, I barely got any sleep”. She hasn’t had a chance to train today, as it’s photoshoot day for her new collection with Irish leisurewear brand New Dimensions Active, but she will “be doing bits and bobs on the set because it just puts me in a different mind frame”.
The collection came about after the company sent Vogue a gift of some of their gym gear. She loved it, and decided she wanted to work with them. “I am approached by brands the whole time. Not a week goes by without someone coming to me with an idea, a collab or something,” she says. “But this is the first time I approached a brand to work with. Never happened before, but I loved the brand from the start. I remember ringing my manager before lockdown and saying I want to do a gym collab, and I want to do a gym collab with them. Their stuff is so good.”
There was a previous gym gear collaboration with Lucy Nagle, that was more stuff you would wear out and about, Vogue explains. But this is very much made to stand up to a workout. “I wanted it to be really cool gym wear. Working with the team has been amazing. They took everything I said on board. It was a real back and forth.”
In recent years, thanks to My Therapist Ghosted Me, we’ve seen a side of Vogue many didn’t necessarily expect. She and co-host Joanne often say people didn’t realise Vogue is funny. I wonder what that has been like for her, that sense of ‘Oh, Vogue’s actually sound’.
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“It’s nice, to be honest, because I think if you listen to the podcast, that’s actually what we are like. Like when you’re looking at somebody on Instagram, that’s not really what they’re like. It’s such a short amount of time in their day. Even if I put up 20 videos, that’s still only 15-second videos; it’s not that long in someone’s day.” The podcasts are around 45 minutes, a far more telling duration.
She laughs and says she understands why people might have thought she was an idiot.
“I was looking for old Halloween costumes, and I was going back through my Instagram. Oh my god, I was such a loser. I get some people saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t realise you are the way you are’. It’s nice.”
You get the sense of someone who, generally at least, wears these things quite lightly. She has her family, and her friends, her work that she clearly thrives on. Beyond that, what people think doesn’t matter. There are exceptions, of course. She pushed back angrily, and understandably, at recent trolling over the appearance of her youngest son, then about four months old. But she says age has helped in terms of not caring about what others say or think, that it has got “massively” easier to not care about whatever criticism she receives.
“I literally, for lack of a better word, couldn’t give a shite. Honestly, I’ve gotten to that age. I have such a nice group of followers on Instagram, and we’ve such an amazing group of people that listen to the podcast. That’s all I care about. Because, like, I’ve got my family, I’ve got my friends, I’ve a nice group of people that surround me. Of course there are going to be people who have issues with me, but people who spend their time trolling others in the Daily Mail are not the kind of people I’m worried about.”
She muses aloud that maybe she gets some of this attitude from her husband Spencer. “Because it never bothers him. He doesn’t care.” It’s also the point of life she is at. “I think maybe it comes with age for me. I’m so settled, and happy within my own life.” She’s 37, she says, rolling her eyes, “Godddd.”
In a recent episode of the podcast My Therapist Ghosted Me, Joanne talks about how confident Vogue is. For her part, Vogue tells me: “I found it fascinating when she said that, because I would never have looked at myself like that. Like, I look at Spencer and think he is like the epitome of confidence. But I would never have said that about myself. I always second-guess myself.” She allows that she is relatively confident but adds: “I would say she [Joanne] exudes confidence when she’s up on stage. But I guess you’re confident in certain aspects.
“Joanne always says if we ever fall out, we’re going to therapy,” Vogue smiles. “We don’t fall out; we’re massively different in so many ways. She’s just a great person to be around. She’s really, really good fun. But, like, we try to ignore each other a lot,” she admits, as they need to have things to talk about for the pod. “We keep the podcast as natural as we can. That’s why we get such a heavy edit,” she smiles. “Because we go on rants, and then it’s like, ‘Jeeeesus Christ, cut that out.’ I listen to it back and I’m like, ‘OK, cut that’. And then, because Joanne will get away with more than I would get away with, I kind of give her the option — ‘D’you want to cut that?’ She’s usually like, ‘No, it’s fine’,” Vogue says.
Why does Joanne get away with more? “I think it’s because she’s a comedian, and I’m viewed more as mom, wife. They kind of go for some of the mad shit that I tend to say,” she smiles.
There is nothing she won’t talk about, Vogue says. “Because if you start saying, ‘No, don’t say that’, you’re just cutting yourself off. It has to be a naturally flowing conversation. And to be honest with you, I’m kind of half-joking when I say we get a heavy edit. There are just some bits that in any conversation might drag on, and I’m like, ‘That’s a bit boring’.”
She’s happier to be open with Joanne than with her husband, she says, describing how she hates when Spencer brings up sex on their own podcast. “I’m like, ‘Shut up’, when it gets too personal. ‘Don’t talk about that.’ But with Joanne, it’s always funny.”
Vogue’s family make regular appearances in the conversations on their Ghosted podcast, and of course, on her Instagram feed.
Vogue’s older sister Amber is her best mate, and lives with them in London or in their Howth house when they are in Dublin. “Amber’s absolutely wild. She’s the type of person who walks into a room and everybody wants to hang out with her. She just has that energy. She’s so much fun to be around. She’s the kind of person you’d want to bring to a party to impress people, to be like ‘That’s my mate. I brought her’.”
Their parents separated when Vogue was about seven, and around 27 years ago, her mother married Neil Wilson, their stepfather.
“I was an absolute nightmare for most of my teenage years, which most girls are, but I was really a nightmare. My mum and I weren’t great friends when I was in my teens but now I’d call my mum all the time, and I’d say we’re really, really good friends.”
Her parents were strict when she and her sister were growing up, she says. Neil, her Scottish stepfather, is a regular topic of conversation between Vogue and Joanne, as is Vogue’s father, Freddie, who died in 2010.
“My stepdad was strict. Thinking about it, he was in a high-powered job. But I always put it down to him being Scottish, I don’t know why,” she laughs. “Now he’s really mellowed, and I get on really well with him. I never thought I’d get to that point with him, because he was trying to control us as well. He was the one who pushed us, like education was super important. He got us to go to college. He gave me the work ethic I have today.”
Vogue also says: “He took on my mom with three kids. To take on somebody with three kids who turned out to be absolute monsters, as he likes to call us…” she laughs, shaking her head. “I always joke that he’s my back-up dad, because my dad passed away. Neil has always been around, he’s a constant in our lives; it’s like he’s my dad.”
Vogue was about 25 when her father died. “He was a mad yoke; he was great craic. We used to go out with him every weekend. I spent a lot of time with him, because I lived with him for a while as well when I got kicked out,” she laughs, recalling the time her mother kicked her out of the family home when she was growing up. “He was the easier parent.”
Of her own husband, she says Spencer’s mother claims the two of them are very similar.
“Which I disagree with,” Vogue hisses for emphasis, laughing.
“He’s very easy-going. We just take the piss out of each other all the time; it’s a very Irish relationship.” They enjoy the same stuff, she says, hanging out with their three children, going to the gym or for a run together. “He’s out of the house all day. He slags me, because when I hear his motorbike, I get excited. I do, actually, that’s so sad, But I know it’s quite nice as well that when I hear him coming home, I’m excited that he’s home.”
Photography: Mattia Pelizzari; Assisted by: Wesley Nicastro; Styling: Orla Hopkins; Make-up: Ashley O’Rourke; Hair: Carla Rose
The New Dimensions Active X Vogue range contains six core pieces designed and crafted with love by Vogue Williams and the New Dimensions Active team. The NDA X Vogue collection launches on November 28 in the New Dimensions store, 47 Grafton Street, Dublin, and online at newdimensionsactive.ie