Thomas MAFS UK interview

‘Stop being fake as f*ck’: Thomas spills all the unseen MAFS UK tea over a Nando’s

Candid, uncensored, spicier than extra hot chicken

None of this was supposed to happen. All I had in my calendar was a half an hour Zoom call in the office with Thomas Hartley, the one-liner spouting breakout star of the 2022 season of MAFS UK. At half 11 I got a voice note on Instagram saying he was in London and that I should meet him at the Nando’s in Euston Station in 20 minutes. I did not dither. I threw my coat on, jumped on the tube and resolved that this interview with Thomas from MAFS UK was going to be the best and funniest of my silly little career.

I met him and his friend Jaxon in a clump of people stood waiting for the Nando’s to open its doors. Only the prospect of an interview with the most quotable reality TV breakout star could ever get me to Euston Station for anything other than necessity – it truly is one of the worst places on earth. Tom greeted me looking Scouser than anyone ever has – from the Under Armour down to the 110s, and he was an instant warm joy. I felt like I was catching up with an old mate.

We sat, we ordered, we got into it. No question was too far, no stone left unturned. Here’s Thomas from MAFS UK giving an exclusive interview like you’ve never read before.

Ready for the most chaotic, gossip filled lunch of our lives

‘I don’t mind being a w*nker’

I can’t believe I’m sat with you after all the articles I’ve written and watching you religiously for two and a bit months but here we are! First question: What’s it all been like, getting the reaction from the country?

Amazing. I think I anticipated that people would be like “Oh my god, who’s this f*cking w*nker? And they were, to be fair, but in the best possible way. I don’t mind being a w*nker, as long as people find some humour within my eccentricity then I’m happy with that.

Good! What was it like watching it all back?

Well at first, you pick yourself apart. I was watching it thinking do I actually look like that? I thought I was absolutely 10/10 stunning and I’m on there looking like someone’s nan who works in an off licence. Then as time goes on you sort of say, well actually, I’m not that bad. People like me and think I’m funny.

Did you feel like there was a teething stage at the start where people didn’t really get you? Everyone’s guilty of making rush judgements when watching reality TV, but it must have been frustrating for you.

At first, my mum got the reception. It was amazing, she went viral on TikTok

I was obsessed with her – she’s so funny.

Yeah, because she’s just so Scouse. We were true to ourselves. I don’t think people expect you to go on and be yourself, so when you are being yourself they question whether you’re being authentic. But it was. I was being authentic.

People’s masks do slip when they’re on there. People come in and play all this morality and then the next thing they’re having affairs. Pull your finger out and stop being fake as f*ck.

Was there anything that shocked you about how people were edited and came across? From being there contrasting to watching it back? I’ve seen cast members like Gemma calling out the show for how she was edited.

My perspective is that it’s filming for 15 hours a day sometimes. To condense that into an hour is very difficult to do. Having a mirror held up to you and being able to see yourself and the things you do is very difficult and I understand that, but you’ve also got to own your shit.

I think Gemma jumped the gun too quick. She should have been more allowing of the process before calling the editing out, because in the end she came off as one of the biggest characters there. She did really well out of it. I really love Gemma and I wish her the absolute best but I do think that sometimes people aren’t going to like you.

If you’re a sexual person, own it.

‘If I could have personally picked my husband, I’d have had Pjay’

Right, Thomas, next in this interview I just want to know what life is actually like on MAFS UK when we don’t see it? hat’s life like in the apartments? If you want to nip out to Tesco, can you do that?

Well, the Tesco’s on the corner, so you can nip out. But you’re chauffeured around and you aren’t meant to go in shops and that really.

Can you go into each other’s apartments when you want or when production say?

They’d rather you speak as little as possible off camera.

Yeah, because they don’t want to miss any good chat I guess.

Exactly. In the end, because we were socialising so much there was a camera crew on site that could access us if they wanted to. They didn’t need to – there was enough drama at the dinner parties and commitment ceremonies. Day to day, you’re not in and out of people’s apartments. You’re just living your best life, doing the ironing, watching the telly.

On the telly can you just watch what you want? I always think about how they were banned from doing so on The Circle and shows like that.

You could watch whatever you wanted. We’d have little film nights, people round for tea and I’d cook.

I saw a few pictures of like Adrian and Zoe hanging around in the lift and I didn’t even know they were good mates at that point – were there a lot of close behind the scenes friendships we didn’t see?

Me and Pjay are so close. Unbelievably close. There’s so much more to him than what people saw and he’s such a lovely fella. If I could personally have picked my own husband it would have been him, because he had everything that you’d want.

In terms of other friendships behind the scenes, Whitney and April were obviously very close. Worryingly close.

You and Adrian obviously had a rocky ride where you didn’t get on then got really close and I want to know what it was actually like between you two behind closed doors with no cameras?

Throughout the process, he’d spend a lot of the time in other people’s apartments and with his friends and I’m a lone ranger. I wasn’t used to these people and after the lie [referring to the drama between himself, April, Chanita and Jess about a still unresolved bitching saga] I felt like I’d trusted too easy.

Off camera I spent a lot of time by myself, that’s the way I wanted it.

I’m quite shocked because I’d assume you were life of the party!

Not at all. Adrian spent most evenings out of the apartment with the people he wanted to spend his time with, and that was fine with me because I really did want to be on my own. I wanted to leave a few times, and he always said he wanted to make it work but I never felt like there was any time he truly embraced me.

I just think, what was his intention? He kept saying he wanted to make it work, but didn’t do anything differently.

I liked Adrian, but in his dynamic with you I did feel like he knew from the start it was never going anywhere and just seemed to me like he wanted to be there til the end to see the show out.

Well aren’t you the most intuitive person ever.

Is that what you think about it too?

It’s what I know. I think because I’m this loud and brazen character who’s got no media training, I’ve never been on stage, never been on telly, never done anything. I had 300 followers when I started, I’m a normal person. He’s got a drama degree, he’s been on stage, he works in the media now. He’s really in the know about all these things, and I’m there posting a picture of myself with my leg behind my head.

People watch the TV and believe what they see. And that’s okay.

Are you going to include that I’m sitting here feeding you hummus on pitta bread?

Of course! [He really was feeding me peri peri hummus on a pitta, and I will remember it forever]

Tucking in

‘After 12 years of trying to be on reality TV and no one knows who you are, it’s time to hang up the showreel’

What’s your relationship like with Adrian now? I can’t keep up – I saw you didn’t follow each other on Instagram.

We do follow each other now.

I saw you out for dinner the other day on Broadway Market!

That was an old video. We kept falling out because someone asked me about his friend on a Q&A, and I responded honestly like he did about my friends.

A brutal interview question now Thomas – who is the most two faced, insincere person in that MAFS UK cast?

April is beyond two faced. After 12 years of trying to be on reality television and nobody still knows who you are, it’s time to hang up the show reel because no one’s interested. That constipated crying face is the bane of my life, and I never want to see it on my television again. I do not pay a TV licence to look at that face.

There’s been a lot of chat about Matt. I saw Zoe and Jenna say he was cut from the reunion because of aggressive behaviour – what’s your perspective on that?

My opinion is that he’s very damaged. You’ve got to remember that his mother is dying – I’m not excusing his behaviour, but there’s more going on. I think he’s a vile person and then that’s amplified by emotion. To be in that process with his mum at home really sick, I personally wouldn’t be there.

So there’s a lot more stuff we didn’t see from him that was really bad?

100 per cent.

Why do you think the show cut that out?

Because they have a responsibility to him and to his mental health and his welfare. Some things are just too far.

Because he wouldn’t recover in the public eye’s opinion?

And he’s already not liked.

‘Who can take someone seriously that’s got a wifi tattoo on their face?’

Your one liners have changed the world. Were there any that got cut?

Probably. I didn’t go in with a list though, they just happen.

You can tell that from you, it’s so obvious when someone’s forcing them.

I hate when you’re watching reality TV and can see people aren’t genuine.

I bet you’re thrilled that everyone’s loving them.

I love it. What I’ve not had yet is people shouting them at me in the street. I love that.

Right, let’s get real in this interview Thomas – do you think that when they producers are matching people for MAFS UK they’re doing it to genuinely pair up soulmates or pair up for drama?

I think there’s a bit of 50 /50. Ultimately, those experts do have a hand in it but final say is production. Coco Lodge [Love Island 2022 ‘licked her tit or whatever’ bombshell] was meant to be on Married at First Sight and be with Pjay – but she dropped out for Love Island and so they drafted in the troll of all trolls. And that was mismatched.

So, who is actually still mates? I guess it’s been a while since you filmed the reunion even though we only watched it last week and I bet people have drifted.

When we went back to film the reunion, me Adrian, Gemma and Lara were in one hotel and at that time everyone was in a much better place, apart from Matt because of the incident that was cut from the final dinner party. We came back to the reunion because Matt had kicked off the day before and it was WAY too far.

Who did he kick off with?

… Zoe. The thing is, he didn’t like that this woman was arguing back with him and she wasn’t scared of him at all. She is big-dick energy personified. She won’t have it from anyone, and that’s what I love about her.

We were all like that with him. Who can take someone seriously that’s got a wi-fi tattoo on his face?

‘I said to her: You are going to be swarmed by gay men’

Who’s the most underrated cast member?

Kasia. She was one of the best. Those outfits? A hysterical gay icon. The minute I met her I told her “You are going to be swarmed by gay men.” You didn’t get to see that she was the most caring, beautiful person who cooked for the whole apartments. She was always there when you were down, she’s just a really beautiful woman. She’s someone who I’d say didn’t get an edit as great as she should have. 

So obviously you’re still mates with Zoe and Jenna…

Love them. Me and Chanita are really good mates. Love Jordan as well. Love Pjay, love Lara. Lara! Icon. She needs another go. Petition for Lara to get another go!

What was Richie like?


Hahaha. [Important to note that at this point we’re eating Nando’s. Thomas and me are on burgers with peri chips and rice, for the nosy ones that definitely care]

My life has been forever changed from this interview tbh

‘None of us were meant to follow each other and we all just completely fucking ignored that’

Was it hard keeping the outcome of stuff secret on socials?

Yeah because none of us were meant to follow each other and we all just fucking ignored that.

Scream! I also just want to ask as someone who’s lived in Liverpool and knows what the culture there is like, Scousers protect their own but are also very stuck in their own rules. Like, the lads and the girls all dress a certain way and there’s a bubble.

I saw you on the What’s Happenin’ podcast which is very LADS and Scouse – I thought it was great and unexpected that someone so openly queer like you went on as a guest and them laughing along so much with you. How was it getting that response at home?

Yeah, they love you but they don’t necessarily want to see your queerness. I asked them to go on that podcast, because I wanted the visibility to cisgender straight men who are lad’s lads.

Were you nervous?

No. I’m not nervous of anyone, I deal with mentally ill people who are dangerous and I am not scared of anyone. That’s why I want to represent queer people and put myself into mainstream things like that.

So many lads will watch that and see unapologetic queerness.

Exactly. You HAVE to look at me. You have to hear what I’m saying, and you will see me again and I won’t leave you alone. Because I want you to see I’m a normal person too. The lads loved it.

I had the final say on what was in that podcast.

Do you have any regrets and would you do anything differently? 

I wouldn’t swear as much. And the fight with Sophie, I regret that. I wanted to go home and I was at my wit’s end, it wasn’t fair. I’m still mates with her now, she’s a very nice girl.

Right, we’ve finished this iconic Nando’s at London Euston station and thus the interview is complete – tell me Thomas, what can we expect from the MAFS UK Christmas reunion and what’s next for you?

My intention next is to amplify queer voices, women’s voices, minorities and show beauty in a non-conventional way. As for the reunion, expect wholesome Christmas stuff, a few festive one liners and a big fucking explosion of an argument.

For all the latest Thomas from MAFS UK post interview gossip, and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.

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