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Meet the Leeds third year who is also on Take Me Out

She’s even been DM’d by Callum Best

Olivia Hastie was just a typical Sociology, Theology, and Religious Studies student at Leeds, until she swapped Eddy B for the Isle of Fernandos (hopefully) and her seminar professors for Paddy McGuinness. Now, she's on Take Me Out every week looking for love, so The Tab caught up with her for a chat.

Hey Olivia, what made you apply for Take Me Out?

I saw the producers were looking for single ladies from Leeds and a few of my friends told me I would be perfect for the show. It also seemed like the perfect break away from university and work stress! I used to watch the show with my Mum when I was younger and it just seemed like so much fun. I'm very outgoing, love to meet new people and I like to make the most of life.

I've also had bad luck with guys in the past. I love dating but I have been single for four years because I always seem to date guys that don't want a relationship and are just looking for a bit of fun, but I’m definitely a relationship type of girl. I’m a bit traditional when it comes to dating. I am also very independent and like to do my own thing.

Have you had much publicity from the show? Does anyone recognise you around uni?

So far, I've had a bit of publicity from a number of different newspapers and I have also had so many friend requests on Facebook, follow requests on Twitter and my Instagram followers have increased by 500 since the show aired. Callum Best followed me on Twitter and DM’d me on Instagram! All the press and comments have been so positive so far which I am really happy about.

How will you balance your uni work with this new fame?

I am a very self-motivated person and I work extremely hard at uni. One of the main things I was worried about when applying for the show was whether it would affect my work (and not the fact that nearly four million people would be watching me on a Saturday night), but I still managed to complete all my assignments and stay on top of my work – all thanks to Caffé Nero in the Laidlaw Library.

My lecturers have all been so supportive of my somewhat crazy decision and have been watching the show which is so nice! My attendance is really good and I work hard, so why not?

What’s your end goal for being on the show? Are you looking for love or fame?

I definitely didn’t go on the show for fame. I went on to have a laugh and meet new people. I’m also not bothered if I don’t meet the love of my life because I’m a firm believer in not planning things like that. So I didn’t go on the show solely for love, I went on the have some fun and have a break from uni and my part time job. I have since realised though that I would love to do more TV work. My dream would be to be on Coronation Street (get me on those cobbles now please) or I’d love to work as a presenter like Holly Willoughby – she is my idol.

It would be great to get a date who is up for a laugh and doesn’t take life too seriously. I am a bit of a daredevil so if I get picked I would love to do something a bit crazy on my date. I’ve told the producers that I don’t want to get my hair wet though so we'll have to see if they've listened, if I get a date.

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When was it filmed, and how hard was it not letting people know?

It was filmed back in November. I remember saying my goodbyes to my friends and family and heading down to Kent. I wasn’t nervous at all, I was just so excited. All of the girls stay in a hotel together and we each had a roommate. We had such a laugh together and bonded so quickly.

I had to keep it a secret but of course, I had to tell my parents and close relatives and my housemates because they would have probably reported me missing. It was so hard to keep it a secret because I was just so excited. I couldn’t believe I had been selected to be in the starting 30 girls out of over 12,000 applicants.

Have you kept in touch with any of the cast?

Yes! All of the girls have a huge WhatsApp group chat and we all talk in there constantly. One day, I wasn’t on my phone much and when I checked the group chat, I had nearly 1,000 messages to catch up on but I love laying in bed on an evening and reading through what I’ve missed. I can always rely on the girls for advice on literally anything. It’s crazy because you’d think that a big group of girls would be toxic, but we all got on so well. There were zero arguments backstage and we had so much fun. We are a crazy bunch and although we all look different, have different jobs and lifestyles, we are all so similar in personality. Some of the girls are even coming for a night out in Leeds in February.

We have also all kept in touch with the guys who have been on the show so far on social media and we have all arranged a wrap party which will take place in March! I’m so excited to go dress shopping and see everyone again.

What’s Paddy McGuinness like in real life?

He's so lovely and he made us all feel so relaxed. He was so down to earth and we had such a laugh both on stage and off-stage. You literally have no idea when he is going to come and speak to you when you are filming so whatever comes out of your mouth cannot be changed. He really cared about us girls and knew us all by name and where we came from and what we did for a job. You wouldn’t think he was a celebrity because he was so easy to speak to. He made us all feel so calm and relaxed. He also sent me a personalised Christmas card which I thought was lovely!

Do you have any juicy gossip from behind the scenes?

I think there is a lot of speculation from the show that the girls see the guys before they come down the love lift but we didn’t. The boys are in a completely different part of the building. So our reactions are completely natural when we first see them. It’s also not scripted at all so backstage us girls were guilty of practicing our flirty comebacks. I’m not flirty at all so I choose to just be myself and hope for the best.

Do you have any tips for people who want to apply in the future?

I would just say to go for it because it’s such a good experience. Also just be yourself and don’t hold back!

All in all, what was the whole experience like?

Absolutely amazing. It was the best time of my life, I can’t fault any part of it. The casting staff looked after us all so well and made us feel so relaxed, and each day I got my hair and makeup done by some of the top people in the industry. I felt like a celebrity! We also had a fantastic wardrobe team who made sure we looked our best and more importantly, felt comfortable.

I didn’t get nervous at all. When you’re stood behind the stairs waiting to go on, it’s a bit intense but I just kept my usual “what will be, will be attitude”, put my heels on and smiled my way through it. I honestly felt like I was in my element. The audience were so lovely too. I remember at the end of one of the shows, one lady who was sat near my podium told me that she really hopes I get a date and that she was rooting for me which was so lovely. Some of the audience members have found me on Twitter too and have been supporting me! I’m feeling the love from everyone. My whole family and friends have been so supportive too and I can’t thank them enough. I’m a big family girl so having their love and support means the world to me!