Fearne Cotton: “I was much more guided by other people’s advice in 2009”

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Happy Place founder Fearne Cotton has been on quite a journey with Stylist since we launched in 2009. Here, she talks to us about just how much her life has changed in the past decade (spoiler: it’s a lot). 

Fearne Cotton has long been a friend of Stylist. In 2017, the broadcaster and founder of Happy Place graced the cover of our art issue, channelling some serious pop art vibes. She also guest-edited Stylist.co.uk for the day last March. Most recently, Cotton chatted to us about her new jewellery collection with notonthehighstreet. And, she is one of the 10 past cover stars who is starring in this week’s 10th anniversary issue. So we’re delighted that she told us all about what she was doing when Stylist was first published in 2009.

From former fiancés to a Foo Fighters obsession, life has definitely changed over the last decade…

I was about to…

I was 28 and working at Radio 1, doing the mid-morning music show and the Live Lounge – it was amazing every single week. I guess I wasn’t far off planning a wedding to my ex-fiancé, which went wrong! I was in the prep stages of that, which is really weird.

And I lived in Ladbroke Grove. I really wanted to be in the thick of it back then. I was going out to lots of gigs and drinking a lot, going on holidays with girlfriends. It was a very crazy time, looking back, with a lot of travelling back and forth to America.

Now, I really don’t want all of that. So I live in Richmond where it’s quiet and nothing really happens. It’s so blissful and so much easier.

I was reading…

Oh god, 10 years ago? In my 20s I was all about autobiographies – I would read anyone. I don’t remember specifically whose, but I would read all of them, because I was obsessed.

Now I read a lot of fiction, but I was very opposed to it back then. I’ve always loved The Four Agreements, I’ve read that so many times, so I probably read that then.

Weirdly, this sticks out – when I was in LA, I read Sharon Osborne’s autobiography and loved it. I actually probably read every musician’s autobiography throughout that time, too.

I was wearing…

My style was OK in 2009. It was better than my early 20s, when it was downright awful. I think I was probably a lot more into fast fashion, I would always have the latest thing on, or I was really experimental – I still am now, but I guess in a different way. When I’m at home now, I just wear jeans and jumpers, like chilled stuff. So I was a lot more up for dressing up because I was going out all the time, whereas now I never go out (thank god).

Fearne Cotton
Fearne Cotton starred on the cover of Stylist in 2017.

I was obsessed with…

Well I was definitely in my Dave Grohl phase, because I would interview him quite a lot so I was like “he is God” in my head. I was definitely very obsessed with him.

I was listening to…

My music taste hasn’t really changed that much, it’s evolved through the genres. But definitely the Foo Fighters – I went to so many gigs, I’d go to one every other night. And, obviously, because I had the Live Lounge, I’d witness these incredible mini gigs all the time. So bands like Haim, Kings of Leon and Coldplay.

I wish I’d pay more attention to…

My intuition and doing things that I really believed in. Now, I don’t do anything that I don’t categorically 100% want to do, believe in or think is worth my time. Because I have a family, there’s no fucking about. This goes for my career and my personal life: unless it’s something I desperately am like “hell yeah” it’s a “hell no”.

Back then, it was me thinking “oh well, I should be doing this” or “this person said I should be doing that”. I was much more guided by other people’s advice. Whereas now, I just go by my gut and think “this feels right”. I wish I’d paid more attention but then maybe I wouldn’t have learned the lessons I have. So you have to go through the shit. 

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