Top MISSONI, trousers MARGARET HOWELL and jewellery throughout Cel’s own
With a career that spans over a decade, the multifaceted Cel Spellman is not your average 22-year-old (yes, a 10 year career and he’s only 22!). Cutting his teeth in small roles on Brit dramas throughout his acting infancy, he’s since won several main roles in iconic dramas and bagged himself a hosting slot on Radio 1 and a presenting gig on the sister show of a major Saturday night singing comp: it’s a wonder we’ve managed to blag a few hours with him (on a very rainy August afternoon in London).
To say that, career wise, he’s wiped the floor with most of his peers, Spellman remains a laid-back lad from Manchester. As we kick back on the studio’s couch, he broods over his love of the North, telling me how he splits his time between Manchester (his hometown) and London. Intent on not getting caught up in the high life that show business offers, he chooses to dedicate much of his spare time to charity work.
Ahead of his latest turn on Cold Feet – the new series of which starts tonight, back for a seventh season after its return in 2016 following a 13 year hiatus – we sat down with Spellman to hear more about his friendship with Troye Sivan and how he juggles his many roles.
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When did you first realise that you wanted to work in media and television?
To be honest, it’s kind of all I have known. I started when I was seven; I got cast in Beauty and The Beast. They were doing that as a show at the Palace Theatre. That was my first professional job. And then I got an ITV series called Blue Murder. I knew I’d enjoy it and have the support from my mom and dad. I knew it was for me and I don’t know any different!
Do you think starting at such a young age had an impact on your youth?
Nah. I think it’s only been positive. I’ve been very lucky with my friends and the people I’ve been surrounded by. I’ve always been supported. My mom and dad have been great. If anything, I’d say it made me grow up a bit quicker. But nothing kind of negative. My mom and dad are not in the business so it’s not like my whole family was involved. I get back from work and do family things, friends things. I’ve only ever seen positives from it.
And what are the best pieces of advice you’ve received and from who?
One of the first I got was not from anyone known but from my dad about rejection. You audition when you’re eight, nine, 10… It’s happened quite a lot and I remember my dad saying “if you want to do this it is going to be a constant scheme. You have to deal with this”. Golden advice I got given! Jimmy [Nesbitt], quite simply saying “enjoy it”. It’s easy to get caught up in things and worry about things, but you need to take a step back and enjoy things. And even when they’re not you can remember the good times. Caroline Quentin, my mum in Blue Murder, she told me to always be nice to everyone because it’s a small industry, so I was well in the know from a really early age. Those three properly stand out to me.
You’re still quite young, what are you thoughts on what you’ve achieved so far? Did you expect to be at this point at 22?
No mate! Still now! I’m very grateful. I’ve literally just gone into it doing something that I love. If I can carry on and make a career out of what I love… It’s constantly surprising me and surpassing my expectations. It’s a cliché thing to say but, I’m living the dream and have been for a while. But, you never know when it’s going to end. Having that thought is a big driving force to keep going and working hard, doing the best I can. Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed this.
You’ve present as well as act. What do you prefer?
The acting. Firstly, it’s what I remember doing since I was seven. It’s always what I’ve wanted to do as a kid. Putting yourself in different shoes and trying different things is always something I have enjoyed, even in a drama class. If you ask me, always, my love and passion and dream is to be an actor. If you ask me to choose one over the other, it would be the acting.
(LEFT) Top MISSONI
(RIGHT) Jumper DIOR HOMME
You appeared on Miss Vogue‘s 50 Hottest Boys list and apparently found an admirer in Troye Sivan. How do you handle that kind of attention?
I take it with a pinch of salt. I don’t know how I got that, by the way! But I will take it. I will bloody take it. But it’s quite a funny thing, I’ve never looked too much into it. I think it is very kind and I say thank you very much. Troye has been great, he’s popped on the radio show a few times!
Are you and Troye friends now?
Yes, we know each to say hi to each other; he’s sound Troye and we did have a laugh about it actually – he came on the show to talk about it.
What about attention in regards to fans. Do you get recognised in the street?
I find it quite humbling. I love meeting new people! It’s just another human being who says ‘hi’ and shows appreciation for your work. If I can say thank you to them for liking it and spend a little time with them…
So, tell me about some of the other projects you have coming up.
Still doing my radio show on Sundays. I’m starting a play; it’s called Talk Radio at the Old Red Lion Theatre. We start rehearsing next week. And I think it’s on until end of September.
Ah nice. What would be your dream role?
I still want to do a film. I love cinema. A dream role though… Everyone wants to be a Jedi. I recently watched The Godfather trilogy again. I think a role like that. I keep going and learning.
And so dreams, both in and beyond?
I want to change the world. I genuinely do, believe me! I want to help this planet. In life, I just want to help as much as I can and I’m looking forward to being in a position when people might listen, even if it’s only one person. There is a platform. Whether that’s for animals, resources, or people that don’t have a voice. That’s a big dream. And then with my career, keep working hard and keep going. Take it as it comes. Yeah, I’m going to change the world! Remember I said that!
Cold Feet starts 9pm, Friday 8 September on ITV.
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