Every now and then, something happens to FHM that’s so excellent it makes us feel like everything is right with the world...
Stepping out of the spring sunshine into a studio where MTV presenter Natasha Gilbert is turning up Rihanna’s What’s My Name? and dancing about in her undies is one such thing. She spots us, pops on a nightie, and tells us that she too is excited about England turning its back on being wet and dismal.
“I’ve been fighting with the darkness for a long time,” says the 25-year-old. “I’ve been using one of those light boxes, and I don’t know if it’s mind over matter or if it actually works, but I’m much happier in the evenings now. I used to get really tired and not go out, like a mole.”
Since September 2010, Gilbert has been presenting the MTV programme Bang, in which she larks about with a 19-year-old chap called Ash on a Sunday evening.
Search for ‘Natasha Gilbert presenter’ on YouTube and you’ll stumble across a showreel which includes her singing It’s My Party by Cyndi Lauper into a Rampant Rabbit. “That’s what Bang is like,” the Londoner explains. “As a joke, for Christmas, Ash bought me the vibrator and brought it on the show. I thought I’d give him a treat and told him I was going to take it home, and the next week he was like, ‘Did you use it Tash? Did you use it?’ And I was like, ‘I used it loads Ash, it was great.’ But I chucked it away, obviously.”
As well as Bang, Gilbert’s fronted Blackberry Presents Brand New For 2011 and HD Essentials for MTV, and covered London Fashion Week for Premier TV. She got into presenting via modelling, which she got into via a family tragedy. “It’s a bit of a sad story,” she says. “My older brother died of cancer when I was eight and we had a photographer come over from the local newspaper who told my mum that I should do modelling, and I started doing children’s stuff.”
Is this the bum of an almost sports scientist? Yes.
She landed a gig at Nickelodeon aged 10, then took acting courses at Central Saint Martins and the Central School of Speech and Drama as a teenager, then did a Sports Science degree at Leeds for a year before transferring to Westminster for two years so she could model for Agent Provocateur, Elle, ID, Paul Smith and Jasper Conran while studying.
But it’s the days at Nickelodeon she remembers most fondly. “I met Sarah Cawood,” she gushes. “I thought she was the coolest girl in the world and decided presenting was what I wanted to do. I met her recently and told her she inspired me and she was like ‘Go for it girl!’”
Natasha always got on well wih other presenters.
What a hero. Which other presenters have you met and liked?
I’ve met Fearne Cotton a few times, and Cat Deeley used to go out with my boyfriend’s best friend so we used to hang out. She told me what to do for my next showreel, to do a minute to camera, a minute talking about something exciting and a minute interviewing someone. Did it help? I didn’t do it! I just smiled sweetly and said “Thank you so much”. I’m terrible. If someone tells me to do something I won’t do it.
What would be your ideal presenting job?
A show like The Graham Norton Show or The X Factor or anything where I can interact with people. I love a live audience, seeing everyone getting involved, feeling people’s emotions.
Doesn't do stuff other people tell her to. So, time for some reverse psychology then?
If you were given the option of being a supermodel or presenting The One Show, what would you do?
The One Show, hands down. Presenting is my main focus. Modelling is a bonus and it’s great but not my career. I’m actually working on my own show which is a version of Streetmate, that Davina McCall used to present. Last week it was St Paddy’s Day and I was interviewingnpeople on Carnaby Street and I found a guy and a girl who were young and single, interviewed them, sent them for a drink and just waited and watched. They didn’t kiss but they held hands. It was very exciting.
Do you like being the centre of attention?
Ever since I was young I’ve been in front of the camera shouting “Get me, get me”. I’ve got middle child’s syndrome and I’m the only girl so I always had to fight for my attention.
Fighting for attention. Succeeding.
Ever done anything really mental to get attention?
God yes. I was at Exit Festival in Serbia once, and at about 5am I decided it would be a good idea to get on the dance stage in my hotpants and little top and was like, “C’mon everybody!” I was up there for five minutes before security dragged me off. I’m always blagging myself into VIP nights.
During Paris Fashion Week there was a party and, this is awful, but I went up to the bouncer and said “You know I’m an MTV presenter?” and he let us in and gave us free drinks all night.
Does it work in London?
Totally. Once I got into Annabel’s [in Mayfair] and Prince William was there, so I shimmied over to him and he was drunk and going mad and dancing on this sofa and I got really close to him but didn’t get to dance with him because of the security. It was hilarious, he was totally having it large. He was grabbing pillows and playing air guitar on them, on this sofa, all on his own.
Do you like male attention?
I’m not a fan, actually. I like banter and a lot of my friends are guys, but I’m not out there wearing short skirts, trying to get attention.
Apparently, bad chat up lines can be OK.
Are men good at approaching you?
Not really. They just come over with their bad chat up lines. But it’s sweet and funny, especially if they’re laughing and I’m laughing. I actually approached my last boyfriend.
You went out with Mick Jagger’s son James, we hear...
For about six months. I went on holiday with Mick Jagger. I met James at acting school and I didn’t know who he was and then after two months he asked me if I wanted to go on holiday, on a private jet, to the Caribbean. We stayed in Mick’s home on Mustique. So I was on holiday dancing with Mick Jagger, in a club, and James was like, “Can you not dance with my Dad please” And I was like ‘What the fuck?’ It’s Mick Jagger!