Gay Times April 12 - Issue 404
It’s happened in barely a year and a half. Mr Harry Derbidge, Essex boy and former performing arts student (“literally, my WHOLE college was gay”) has become, arguably, the most recognisable gay teenager in the country. How on earth did that happen?
More from Gay Times April 12 - Issue 404
But while so many dismiss him for his fake tan, reality TV beginnings and OF COURSE, obligatory self-designed jewellery range, you’d be a fool to write him off. There’s something special about this kid. As every 17-year-old with a social network login or ten knows, you don’t amass a quarter of a million Twitter followers (or, for that matter, land an exclusive GT fashion shoot) through bling and catchphrase alone.
His popularity, in fact, is unstoppable. Harry and cousin Amy Childs were the breakout stars of ITV2’s hit scripted reality (or ’dramality’) show The Only Way Is Essex. And as is increasingly the case in these post-Heat times, he moved on to pastures new after only three series. But how could Harry leave behind such man candy as Mark, Kirk and Joey?
And which one was his favourite?
“Mark Wright is hot,” Harry giggles. “You can’t deny Mark Wright is hot. He’s got a nice body, he’s got nice looks. But he’s not someone I’d look at and go, ‘Ooh, I fancy him!’ Me, Mark, Kirk and Joey, the whole TOWIE cast have become a big family. We all look out for each other. Same with Arg. He’s like a bodyguard, I love him to pieces.”
Fair enough. But why, if this militia of buff men are so great to work with, did Harry leave the show?
“I managed to get the perfect amount of screen time last time,” he answers breezily, expressing no regrets. “But when you think about it, they’re bringing in 12 new people. That’s a lot of people to share and give stuff to. It feels right to leave and do my own thing. It’s not like I’m going back to a 9 to 5. I’m doing better things now, which will be amazing for me.”
To read the full article, pick up the latest copy of GT out in all good retailers, online and downloadable on your iPhone or iPad.
Words: Jamie Tabberer
Photo: Leigh Keily