Wednesday 21 March 2018

The rise of Vogue Williams: How she went from Fade Street wannabe to bonafide tv star

Vogue Williams
Vogue Williams
Vogue Williams on 'Bear Grylls: Mission to Survive'
Vogue in RTE 2's Vogue's Wild Girls
Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams in 2011
Vogue in RTE 2's Vogue's Wild Girls
Model moment: Vogue Williams in a scene from RTE 2 documentary 'Wild Girls'
Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

There was this moment, when an Irish model turned DJ turned reality TV star, was interviewing America’s youngest female death row prisoner.

It was the kind of moment you’d call a turning point - in this person’s very public career.

The world first met Vogue Williams in 2010. She was part of Ireland’s answer to The Hills - the reality TV show Fade Street.

“It was my first TV job and it was absolutely gas, and it is still gas to watch back. I don’t really find it that embarrassing. It was what it was,” said Vogue of her launch-pad experience.


Since then, the husky-voiced Howth native (30) has never really got anyone’s back up; she is neither marmite nor vanilla. She married ex-Westlife star Brian McFadden in 2012, and her career marched on.

Fast-forward three years and the DJ has just moved into her own place in London and is going through a very amicable divorce from Brian. They announced their shock split in July.

So what has happened between Fade Street and that death row interview?

In Fade Street, the 24-year-old Williams was pitched out to us a part-time model and part-time DJ. She was also interning at Irish fashion magazine Stellar.

Fade Street only lasted one season on RTE 2, but of its 12 episodes, Vogue’s tête-à-tête with fellow co-star Louise Johnston, over who got to go to the now-defunct Oxygen festival, was the stand-out moment of the show.

After Fade Street, she frequented the same amount of bikini-dress-coded photo-calls as any other Irish model and it wasn't long before she was papped sitting on McFadden’s lap. The year was 2011, they were engaged by January 2012.

Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams in 2011

She graced the cover of Australia’s Maxim magazine in the same year, brandishing a gun (presumably toy) at her crotch. Vogue was being introduced to the continent down under as “Brian McFadden’s foxy fiancée.”

And then the credits began to roll in.

She took part in Australia’s Dancing with the Stars in April 2012 and then in 2013, in ITV’s celebrity dancing show Stepping Out, alongside Mc Fadden.

And then 2015, is when she took a mega growth spurt and really stepped out. She won Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, in which she even consumed her own urine.

DG Vogue Williams.jpg
Vogue Williams on 'Bear Grylls: Mission to Survive'

Bear said Vogue “works solidly.” This is the weapon in her arsenal – the one that has seen her graduate from a Fade Street wannabe to a bonfide TV star, now being likened to BBC Three’s Stacey Dooley.

Before Bear Grylls, she had done two programmes for RTE 2, Vogue Does Home and Away and Vogue Does the Afterlife.

Then came Vogue Does Straight As last summer and because of the Bear Grylls news, people were really starting to look.

Then last week, there was that death row interview.

In her latest series called Vogue's Wild Girls, she meets all sorts of “tough women,” from MMA fighters to gang members.

Vogue in RTE 2's Vogue's Wild Girls

One such woman, was Emilia Carr, who has been sentenced to death for the murder of her boyfriend’s wife.

“With her model looks, this could have been a flimsy flim flam of hair-flicking frippery but was one of the most sensitively handled interviews I've ever seen with a condemned person,” wrote one seasoned TV critic.

People should learn to never judge a book by its cover getting distracted by tanned skin and sun-kissed locks.

Bear was on the money with his comments and this turning point, in the public’s eyes, was inevitable, even before she argued with Louise over those Oxygen tickets


Online Editors

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