Chelsea’s Louise: I neglected my body


Louise Thompson from Made In Chelsea was affectionately known on the E4 structured reality series as “Porg”.

(Person of Restricted Growth.)

But what the reality star lacks in height she more than makes up for in personality – a factor that has kept her popular with viewers since she joined the show for its second series in 2011.

While she may never have been far from drama on screen, behind the cameras, Thompson says she has become considerably more sensible over the last two years.

“I completely neglected my body,” she tells BBC News. “I used to smoke… I used to eat a lot of pizza because I was drinking a lot as well, so I was always hungover.”

Her book deal, when it was announced, was greeted with scepticism from some quarters. Grazia accused her of jumping on the “influencer” bandwagon.

But, Thompson argues: “Over the last couple of years I’ve made a lot of changes to myself, really simple but fundamental changes, and I’ve completely transformed as a person.

“People probably wouldn’t have looked at me and thought, ‘Oh you’re really out of shape’, but it’s not just the physical changes that I’ve made, it’s the mental changes too.”

Image copyright Hodder & Stoughton

Such changes have led to the release of Thompson’s first book – a mixture of recipes and workouts called Live Well With Louise.

“When I first started writing it, about nine months ago, I wrote a 40,000-word manuscript with lots of anecdotes and my whole life story, so it’s had to be whittled down a lot,” she explains.

The 28-year-old is an advocate of a balanced diet and lifestyle, with everything in moderation. Anyone who follows her on social media will know she’s partial to the occasional burger.

“I’ve never stuck to a diet – I’m all about balance, I love food,” she says.

Some might argue that Thompson, unlike some people, has the kind of lifestyle where she has the time and money to cook healthy food regularly.

“I understand that a lot of people don’t have a lot of time, so they’re not arduous long recipes which are going to take hours,” she says.

She’s one of a plethora of celebrities who have taken to releasing recipe books or fitness DVDs in recent years as certain exercise and diet trends such as clean eating have become more fashionable.

It’s a far cry from the Britpop era of the 1990s in which Thompson grew up – a period where celebrities were better known for their bad behaviour than healthy living.

“…but also for being really skinny, like heroin chic,” she picks up.

“Everyone idolised really skinny guys and girls, and then everyone wanted to be really ripped and maybe have a big bum and a toned tummy.

“Trends change, but what’s refreshing is now people are a lot more open-minded.

Image copyright Hodder & Stoughton

“It’s cool to have flaws and love your flaws, and accept the body you’ve been born with, because there’s only so much you can achieve.”

She adds: “I think we need to stop putting so much pressure on our bodies being perfect, as long as you’re maintaining a healthy weight, don’t get upset.”

For anyone that hasn’t seen Made In Chelsea, it is “basically just watching people live a really glamorous life in Chelsea and central London”, as Thompson puts it.

The series is one of several shows, along with Desperate Scousewives, Geordie Shore and The Only Way Is Essex, that were commissioned around a decade ago in the sudden surge of “structured reality” shows.

But Chelsea has out-lasted many of the others, and won a TV Bafta in 2013 for best reality and constructed factual.

“People love to hate it, don’t they?” says Thompson when asked why the show has lasted so long.

“There’s a whole array of people with different personalities, some of them you hate, and it makes you feel better watching someone that you hate. It’s a weird sadistic part of human nature.”

Viewers may love to hate the “posh” stars of the show, but Thompson’s fellow cast member Georgina Toffolo endeared herself to the public, winning the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity.

Thompson thinks the public are less worried about class these days.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Millie Mackintosh, Louise Thompson, Lucy Watson and Binky Felstead accepting the TV Bafta for Made in Chelsea in 2013

“I do think the classes in general are all changing,” she says.

“There used to be like, the aristocracy and the upper class used to be really kind of separate, but I think everything is merging a lot more, and there’s a real mixture between the classes, boundaries are being broken.

“Just from like people that I know, it’s not like if you’re a Lord or a Lady you have to marry another Lord or a Lady, people are mixing it up.”

Thompson remains a cast member on the show but is sitting out the summer series this year – and says age has played a part in that decision.

“I’m not in Croatia, which is where they’re filming for the summer series at the moment, just because I am slightly older and a lot of the cast are younger now, so I wanted to just take a bit of time and just do normal summer activities,” she explains.

“I have suddenly started noticing, as I turned 28, that everybody that I meet in this industry, like PRs, or a lot of people that work in fashion and beauty, they are all a lot younger.

“And I don’t feel old, I feel like I’m still 16, I don’t know where the last 10 years have gone. But it doesn’t worry me, because I’m at the next chapter in my life.”

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