INTERVIEW: Scott Mills
BBC Radio One’s award winning DJ Scott Mills, came out in 2001 telling the Guardian that he “would like to be accepted as a normal bloke who is gay and is on the radio and television.”
The Gay UK’s Domenico Sansalone sits down over tea with Mills to discuss his recently published autobiography Love You Bye and discovers why this normal bloke loves Rihanna but hates Paris (the city, not Hilton).
TGUK: What inspired you to write your autobiography?
SM: A publisher came to me a year and a half ago and said, “do you want to do a book?” Initially, I said no because I just thought you see so many autobiographies out there and you think why have they done that, they’re 10? He said to me to go away and think about it and I did and I kind of collated a few little stories and thought there’s some quite good ones and quite a lot has happened. You don’t realise until you stop and think about it, how much has happened. So eventually, I said yes.
TGUK: How full on was writing the book?
SM: I wouldn’t do it again! I found it quite hard to write a book. The original one that I wrote, I showed to Radio One and they were like, no it’s crap. So that kinda knocked my confidence a bit. Then I decided to re-write the whole thing and I had about two weeks to go until the deadline. So I just decided to write it in the way that I would speak and from there it was one hundred percent better. It’s good now because there are some funny bits. Now it sounds like me but I found the whole thing a bit of a head f**k.
TGUK: So you’re not going to pull a Jordan or Geri Halliwell and write multiple autobiographies?
SM: Jordan’s done loads, like seriously? I remember, she came into the studio to do my show one time and she had just released the latest one of many Jordan books and I asked her as a bit of a joke to read some excerpts from it. Luckily for her it wasn’t live. She was going ‘and then I slept with him and it was great” and then she’d say “see I wouldn’t have written that” and I’m thinking sorry I thought you’d written that yourself!
I love that Geri Halliwell has had enough to say to write two. I love her! She’s proper mental, isn’t she?
TGUK: Did you read any other celebrity autobiographies as research?
SM: Yes, I did. I’ve often been guilty of reading them anyway because I love a bit of trash. Do I want to read Sharon Osbourne’s book? Yes, I do! I’ve been on a lot of planes and read a lot of good ones. I thought Chris Evans was really good. I find people that have got something to say and have done stuff are more interesting than reading a book about, no offense, an X Factor winner, because that’s not that interesting to me. One Direction will look back and think I wish I hadn’t written that book.
TGUK: Have your friends and family read the book yet?
SM: They have. I found that the weirdest part. I was less worried about my friends reading it because they actually know a lot about it but there are some stuff in there that I don’t think I have ever told my mum about. I’m kind of dreading ringing my dad because I think he’s just read it and there’s nothing bad in it but there is some stuff that he might be uncomfortable with. I’ll make that call later…
TGUK: What did your boyfriend think?
SM: I think it was quite difficult for him to read about ex-lovers. I think to read it, as the current boyfriend, is quite hard. So yeah, he was a bit funny about that. I fully prepared him but there is a lot to think about.
TGUK: So no wedding plans yet?
SM: It’s not that I’m against it, I just can’t imagine myself getting married. I don’t know why? It’s not that I would never do it. I actually think that if I saw a couple other [gay weddings] then I would think, okay I get it now. It’s just I can’t visualise it in my head.
TGUK: Rupert Everett upset a lot of people recently by saying he can’t imagine anything worse then two men raising a child together. What are your views on that?
SM: I don’t know why he said that? I wouldn’t expect him to say that. The more my life goes on, I can imagine children more than getting married. I’m really good with kids.
TGUK: Speaking of celebrities, who has been your favourite celebrity to interview?
SM: I actually think, Rihanna. She works f**king hard. I’ve interviewed her more than most in the last three years and every time she’s always incredibly professional. She always has something new to say and something interesting to say every time. I have a girl crush on Rihanna.
TGUK: What male celebrity do you have a crush on?
SM: Ryan Gosling, I’m crushing on him a bit.
TGUK: Who would you like to interview that you haven’t yet?
SM: Madonna, I think she would f**king eat you alive. I think I want to do it whether it’s enjoyable or not just to say that I’ve done it. One of my friends said that Madonna told her, “you’re going to have to do better than that,” after she asked her first question. I’ve spoken to several people who have interviewed her and they said it was horrendous.
TGUK: Our previous interviewee, Patricia Kaas wanted to ask you what you think about Paris?
SM: I’ve been and I absolutely hated it. I know that everyone is like, it’s beautiful and it’s the most romantic place in the world. I don’t get it? I don’t understand why it is? I find it confusing and expensive and not pleasant to be in.
TGUK: We also have some questions from our readers. Do you have any dating tips?
SM: Hilarious! I don’t think I have ever really been on a date. That’s not true, I went on a blind date once, which was the worse idea ever. You know when your straight friends go, “you two are both gay you’ll be great together!” I had this awkward date with this guy where we literally just sat at this restaurant and I was trying my hardest to make conversation and I had nothing to say at all. We had nothing in common. So I don’t really have dating advice because I don’t really feel like I’ve been on a date.
TGUK: How did you meet your boyfriend?
SM: I met my boyfriend through friends, which is much easier.
TGUK: You talk in the book about your struggles with anxiety and alcohol. How have you gotten through some of the darkest periods of your life?
SM: I seem to have this inbuilt thing of just being able to carry on. That’s a really hard question. With the depression and stuff, it helps to talk to people who have had that as well because it’s actually quite comforting. Sometimes you feel like you’re the only person in the world that has that. So I’ve found that talking to people you trust is the easiest thing and most comforting thing.
TGUK: Can you come back to Southampton?
SM: I’m actually going this week. I’ll be signing the book at Waterstone’s West Quay. I have to say the gay scene there is awful. I mean seriously, they had a club and they shut it down.
TGUK: You’re in pretty good shape but you struggled with your weight in the past. How did you turn that around?
SM: I was never really bothered about it and then suddenly I became really bothered about it. I think it was when I moved to London and I just realised that there weren’t as many fat people. In my early twenties, I went from being really fat and then went completely the other way and went on loads of weird diets and now I just want to be healthy and look all right and not feel big.
TGUK: Now that you have started doing more television, are you suddenly more aware of your appearance?
SM: Massively. I do a fair bit of TV and because I am my own worse critic and I’ve seen myself on TV a couple years ago and I thought, f**k I wouldn’t have put myself on TV looking like that!
TGUK: One of our readers called you so handsome so the boy-next-door look is working for you. Now that you’ve published your autobiography, what’s next?
SM: I’m busy hosting my Radio 1 show and I’m also in talks to do a documentary about gay bullying. There is so much [bullying] happening with Twitter, it will be interesting to take a look at that.
Scott Mills autobiography Love You Bye is on sale now. Scott Mills is also on BBC Radio 1 weekdays from 1PM – 4PM