Let's face facts, guys: you're only ever at most 90 percent happy for your mates when they're successful. The other 10 percent thinks: 'I am jealous. I do not like this. I want that to be me.'
Anyway, unrelated: Amelia Dimoldenberg and I interned at VICE together, and she's now a very successful internet star, having created a YouTube show called Chicken Shop Date where she interviews famous rappers and presenters and actors. And I'm so proud of her!
When I went to see her to chat about the videos she's made for Red Nose Day (I have to make appointments to see her now), she had literally just finished interviewing Ian Wright. As a die-hard Arsenal fan since birth, I was – AGAIN! – very happy for Amelia! And not jealous at all!
Here's an edited interview with someone I'm very proud of in a genuine way!
VICE: The new Comic Relief series, how did it come about?
Amelia Dimoldenberg: Comic Relief approached me, saying they loved my stuff. BBC run what goes on TV, but Comic Relief said they loved what I was doing so much they wanted to commission me anyway, so it will only be on their YouTube channel and not TV.
And what’s the vibe? Except for my childhood hero, Ian Wright – who I still love to this day as much as I did as soon as I was old enough to know what football was – who else is in the mix?
In terms of appearances, it just merges Chicken Shop with the celeb cameos so well. Like, all the previous stuff Comic Relief have done fits so well with what I do already and what I’ve been wanting to build up to for so long, so I’m really excited they’ve given me the opportunity. We’ve got people like Annie Mac, Jamelia, Ian Sterling [who does the Love Island narration] and Samira from Love Island. This is the first time I’ve branched out this much – like, there’s no rappers on it at all.
One of the things I love about Chicken Shop Date is how closely the "character" resembles you in real life. When you used to sit next to me in the office, you really were as awkwardly hilarious every day as you are in the show. Was that a conscious decision, or natural?
It’s an exaggeration of my personality – I’m in that character because it makes it a more entertaining watch, I think. The reason why I did it was because, when I started, all I saw were very bubbly and glamorous presenters and I knew that wasn’t me, so I thought, 'Okay, how am I going to get into presenting?' And I thought: 'Well, I'm just going to take the parts of my personality that annoys the average TV boss and exaggerate them, and make that my thing.'
I remember when we were both VICE interns in 2016, you were on about 1,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram. Now you’re on, in your own words, "100k baby". Even though fame sounds great and everything, doesn’t it do your head in a bit?
Instagram is a funny one, because it makes me anxious all of the time and I’m quite looking forward to having a break from it. Because it becomes your job and you get fixated on the numbers, and I feel like I don't want to be like that because there's more to life, really, but I haven’t really noticed the change because it was so gradual. It didn’t happen overnight.
And what do you remember of our time working at VICE?
I loved working at VICE, but it was fucking hard: I was still at uni, I'd just turned 20 and I'd never worked in such a high pressure environment in terms of having to write every day. But when you submit your work, that feeling was so great, and our editor Jamie was so great. I really learnt so much from pitching ideas, and I met so many nice people.
How do you feel our respective careers have gone since the internship?
I dunno! I feel like everyone does themselves injustice. Like, some people would look at you and think, 'Wow, he’s writing for VICE' and stuff, so there's always someone you’re comparing yourself to.
She's right: everything is relative. Yes, since we both started in the exact same position, Amelia has gone on to have her own show, a national tour and a thing with Comic Relief interviewing my childhood – but, like, I'm still eating weird shit for VICE articles! I can still be proud.
Red Nose Day is back on Friday the 15th of March, to raise money for Comic Relief, helping countless lives both here in the UK and overseas. For more information please visit comicrelief.com/rednoseday or follow @ComicRelief