'Let's all talk more': Emma Willis says women in TV aren't bitchy, they're just happy to talk

Emma Willis is the queen of a power suit and Saturday night TV so it’s no surprise that her style credentials have led to her landing her first clothing collaboration with Next. And what a collaboration it is: ranging from banging bikinis to pyjamas that can slot into your everyday looks, Emma is serving up some serious style.

Here, the 43-year-old mother-of-three with a killer TV CV (is there anything she can’t do?!?) gives GLAMOUR’S Josh Smith a tutorial in hugging, yes really! “I love a good hug. You really have to get in and make it a long lingering hug. Properly get in – but don’t strangle them!” Noted! Plus, Emma discusses the changing position of women in TV.

On the collection…

The funny thing is that I am not a fashion designer – obviously! Next and I have worked together for a couple of years where I selected my favourite bits and all that jazz. One of the first fittings I ever did, Charlotte from Next came over to my house and there I was stood in my knickers and bra saying, ‘I would love to do a range of pyjamas!’ It all started with that! I proceeded to go upstairs, empty all the pyjamas I loved out of my drawers saying, ‘what if it felt like this and was accessible to everyone!’ She just looked at me like, ‘this is the first time I have ever met you!’ It then turned into this capsule collection where I have designed pieces that I have always wanted. I am not always walking around the house in my underwear – she’s just really easy to be around! It’s based around classic pieces that will last and that you can mix and match. The shirt on the pyjamas, for instance, I actually want to wear as a shirt. I have always said if I feel comfortable in clothes, I feel more confident – hence the power suits!

On her empowerment mantra…

The thing I live by is: trust your gut. So far it hasn’t failed me. There are times when I haven’t listened to it and I’ve gone, ‘sh*t! I blood knew it!’

On bringing out the power of everyday women…

I think with Delivering Babies it was important for me to highlight the job that they do. I had seen my mum do it for so long and saw how hard she worked. It was also a job that I thought I would do, I thought that would be my path in life until this weird thing happened. I am very lucky to do the things I do like – do a clothing line for Next and go live out a life I always thought I would have. I am getting to dip into my alternative universe but have this really fun day job where I go read words on telly and be really silly. The way I grew up, things like this didn’t happen to people like me. So, I just think I have to make the most of it whilst I can. For me, I have to have a genuine love for something, or I feel like I look like a fraud or a fake.

The changing position of women on TV…

There feels like there are more women on telly now. When I think back to when I was watching TV when I was younger, I can’t really come up with as many females as I can males. From a behind the scenes point of view, the teams are made up of more women now. At the beginning of my career it felt quite male dominated. The Voice, for example, is pretty much all run by women. It’s really nice because the automatic, default setting is, ‘oh I bet that’s a bitchy environment to work in.’ But actually, it’s not! They are all bloody lovely! But is it bitchy? Or are women just happy to talk. Let’s all talk a little bit more.

On everyday sexism…

A lot of people ask me, ‘how do I do it.’ But how do I do it? I do it with a lot of help! A lot of people don’t have that, so how do they do it – that’s the real question! I don’t think Matt (Willis) ever gets asked that question! He’ll be like, ‘well Emma does it all, because I forget and leave the children at school!’

Watch the full video above as Emma reveals whether she can actually see and why she’s too scared to do Strictly Come Dancing!

Emma Willis for Next is available now


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