CELEB GRAD: Georgie Okell

You might know her better for the words, “here’s Hollyoaks”, but there’s more to T4’s Georgie Okell than you might think. The TV star is a graduate of St Andrews University, leaving with a degree in international relations and French in 2009. Georgie told us more about her student days…

How would you sum up your uni experience?

I want to say the best five years of my life, but that’s dramatic. It really was though!

What did you think of St Andrews?

At St Andrews, you make such close friendships because all you do is hang out with your friends all day – there’s nothing else to do! For me, the best thing about going to uni there, is that you can be a big fish in a small pond. It did wonders for my confidence.

Why IR and French?

I started off doing French and Spanish because I was one of those thousands of people who go to uni doing whatever they did at A-level. I took IR as my extra subject in first year and I just loved it. For a while, I thought that I was going to go and save the world and work for the UN and do something good for the world. And now I read words on telly and chat with pop stars! But I will save the world at some point.

Did you get involved in any student clubs?

I did St Andrews Radio, STAR. And I won – I’ve still go it – the St Andrews Radio Lifetime Achievement Award! That’s pretty much my proudest achievement to date. I did radio, I DJed a lot, I did some plays and stuff – basically, a lot of showing off!

Do you think student radio encouraged you to get into broadcasting?

Definitely. I want to get back into radio – a proper radio show. I’ve always been really into my music, and I had these two hours that someone just gave me to play whatever music I liked. I loved it.

Where did you see your life going when you left uni?

I thought I was maybe going to work for the UN or in some kind of international law thing, but I’d done work experience at Radio 1 and a couple of record labels, so I was still kind of pursuing that. Luckily, I got a job at Mercury Records which started four days after my last exam. I was there for a year and a half before I auditioned for T4.

Do you think your uni experience has helped with your career?

Yeah, the whole experience has – being on radio and DJing and getting into music really developed my confidence to put myself out there in front of a lot of strangers.

Overall, do you think uni’s worth it?

Yes. Even if you do nothing with your degree, it’s a practice run at being an adult! Of course, it’s not for everyone – there are 17, 18 year olds who know what they want to do, but for the rest of us, it’s a place to find that out.

Catch Georgie hosting the final weeks of T4, Saturday mornings on Channel 4 and over on E4 on Sundays.

Source Winter 2012

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