THE INTERVIEW: Arielle Free
When we said 'a toddler can do more in one unsupervised minute than most people can do all day' - that toddler hadn't met Arielle Free.
With a schedule that most of us would find gruelling, Arielle sees her six day working week as a luxury. DJ, TV Presenter, Festival Presenter, Podcast Host. 2am finishes and 5am starts - does this Scot ever stop?!
The answer is, no. We get the down low from how to be a greener festival goer to all the 'pinch me' moments throughout Arielle's career...Starred in Harry Potter. Check! Introduced Elton John on stage. Check! Missy Elliot favourites your tweets. Check!
And there's even more... get the inside scoop below.
When you're not waking up the nation each weekend on CITV’s Scrambled - where can we find you?
This year has been a mixed bag of places you can find me popping up! This winter I’ll be returning to the Gfinity Elite series championships, which is like the champions league of video gaming. I host the Rocket League series meaning each Saturday morning I’m live for over five hours helping to anchor and steer the broadcast.
This summer I was given the opportunity to jump behind the desk at Radio 1 and I’ll be back to cover again in November and December.
I have a new podcast project which I’m currently working on and that will be launching in early 2019.
Across December you’ll mostly find me djing the best of the Christmas and New Years Eve parties.
They say “never work with children or animals” – working in children's tv, do you have a funny story to share?
Series two of Scrambled someone thought it would be a good idea to have two pointer dogs appear on the show. They belonged to the location owners. The dogs were beautiful and amazing, but they became terrified when their paws hit the plastic flooring, they couldn't understand why their feet were causing such noisy tapping! They ended up freezing on the spot and shaking. Safe to say we decided to give them a cuddle and let them go back to their happy home.
We've heard you're a trained ballerina, after having started off in dance, how did that develop into being a presenter and DJ?
Dancing, presenting and DJing all stems from my love and obsession with music. I started dancing at around eight years old, just at a Saturday class and it turned out I wasn’t too bad.
I got into a full time Dance school in Scotland and came down to London to further my training. By the time I’d graduated from Uni I’d done everything I wanted to do with dancing. I started to focus on presenting as it gave me the perfect outlet to geek out about my favourite new bands.
I always worshiped the likes Zoe Ball, Zane Lowe, Sara Cox and Annie Mac growing up and I had been doing radio production and presenting courses alongside my dancing. I started DJing properly when I became the drive time presenter of Ministry of Sound Radio. I was already Djing but not to the standard of a club DJ so I got my head down and practised, practised, practised.
I think my sets benefit from my dance background as it all comes down to rhythm and getting people dancing, so I’m grateful for the path my life has taken to get to where I am now. They all support each other. If I could sing or play an instrument I would've been in a band. Unfortunately I wasn’t graced with any singing skills, ha ha!
Is it true you starred in Harry Potter when you were younger? What was that like?
I crashed the auditions for the Beauxbatons which appear in the fourth film Goblet of Fire. I was a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I got the job and spent eight months filming on it. It was one of the best jobs I've ever done and the one that everyone always wants to ask me about.
The level of British acting you have on that film is unprecedented. It was incredible just to watch the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman acting right in front of your eyes.
When you were a kid, What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to present the breakfast show on Radio 1 like Zoe Ball and Sara Cox. I idolised them when I was younger. I also wanted to be like Shirley Manson and front my own rock bank like Garbage or Blondie.
Who were your childhood heroes?
Gosh there are loads. I used to be obsessed with Fearne Cotton and Lorraine Kelly. But also loved Bowie, The Spice Girls, Prince and all the old faves like the Rolling Stones. It was a mixed bag of broadcasting heroes and bands/artists.
Which females inspire you?
My mum. She was a single parent brought up my brother and I whilst having to juggle a part time job and work her way up through a company where she started as the admin lady. She's just about to retire early having made herself a board member, a kick ass vice president and now plans on travelling to as many places around the world as she can. Talk about inspiring.
What is your fave piece in your wardrobe?
A gold ombre palazzo trousers jumpsuit from Asos. I wore it for my 30th birthday and looked like Clara Bow had has an accident with a disco ball. It is perfection! Any of my sequin pieces I'm extremely proud of.
Sounds amazing! You're a self confessed glitter and sequin queen! Who are some of your fave eco glitter brands or eco cosmetics brands?
I love DustnDance. They’ve got a great range. Mermaid Cave are great for eco friendly gems not just glitter, The Gypsy Shrine has started to do eco-friendly glitter and also Glitterbox UAE, have incredible glitter mixes trust me they are AMAZING! They have a whole eco-friendly range that sparkles like no other.
VO5, Asos and Urban Outfitters have all released eco friendly glitters too, so I’m glad big companies like that are changing their processes and acknowledging we need to cut back on plastic as much as possible.
You have hosted stages at Glastonbury and Bestival to name a couple – what was your most rocknroll moment?
I’ll never forget Missy Elliot telling me she thought my sequin hoody was dope. She then started following me on twitter and sometimes favourites my tweets. Craig David shouting me out in his set was pretty badass too. I’ve too many to mention and also no one likes a name dropper, ha ha!
Who is your favourite act that you’ve introduced on stage?
Introducing Jamie T at Bestival was a personal fave as I have loved him since day one. Introducing Outkast, Solange at Glastonbury, Elton John and Missy Elliot are just some of my ultimate faves.
I’ve been lucky enough to watch these huge artists from the side of stage and also meet and chat to them backstage.
We’ve seen a big movement towards festivals becoming more eco-friendly – do you have any tips for being a green festival goer?
1) Take your own water bottle - most festivals have taps now for you to keep refilling and security let you take them into the arena.
2) Pay for a decent quality tent and keep reusing it rather than pitching and dumping it after each festival. If you plan on leaving it behind after the weekend, roll it up and hand into the volunteers or tent drop off so they can be given to charity etc.
3) Avoid using face wipes, baby wipes etc - they're just a huge no no for the environment.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Ooooh good question. Favourite place I've visited would be Havana, Cuba.
My favourite place is being home with my whole family with a game board and glass of wine.
My favourite festival place Glastonbury.
What do you love most about your work?
The variety! I tried working in an office and hated every second. I love that I can be Djing until 2am one day, getting up at 5am for a shoot the next and then travelling onto a new location for the next adventure.
So many people asked if I was knackered doing the Love Island podcast as it was six days a week? It was the opposite. I was buzzing that I was getting to work six days a week solidly for two months and was still being able to do my festival gigs on my day off.
It’s such a luxury to be able to work that much in my industry. Also how many people do you now who get paid to be gunged on TV? It’s the best job in the world.
What's been your career highlight so far? (Other than getting to work with Kem Cetinay)
Covering Dance Anthems on Radio 1 in the summer. It was the scariest and most incredible moment for me as that has always been the dream. I’ve loved Radio 1 since before I can remember and to actually make it on air and broadcast live was unforgettable. A proper pinch me moment.
There are so many moments though.
- Djing to 30thousand people in Hyde Park this year and have them all sing a long to Atomic Kitten
- Shutting down the tent at Isle of Wight Festival as so many people were trying to get in for my set
- Presenting on stage at Glastonbury
- Being in Harry Potter
- Chosen to host the official Love Island podcast
- Presenting ITV’s flagship kids tv show for the last four years
Every single moment in my career I’ve loved and I'm so grateful for.
You can follow Arielle on Twitter here.