The paranormal has always been a fascinating talking point, splitting the opinions of believers and skeptics alike. Is there life after death? It’s one of life’s greatest questions. What about a Haunted Hotel?
On the 27th October, a whole host of celebrities are invited to find out for themselves in Celebrity Haunted Hotel as they check into Britain’s most haunted hotel. Here, they’ll be staying for five nights. Their fate lies in the hands of the viewer, who can vote to plunge the unfortunate stars into live paranormal investigations, terrifying tasks and ghoulish ghost stories. Heads on the chopping board include Olympic diver Jack Laugher, Cold Feet star John Thomson and Coronation Street’s Sean, Anthony Cotton amongst others.
Presenting the spectral series will be Dancing on Ice and The One Show presenter, Christine Lampard, Matt Richardson of The Xtra Factor and Virgin Radio fame, and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and Thronecast presenter, Jamie East. On the cuff of Celebrity Haunted Hotel’s premiere, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jamie to discuss the world of Westeros and ghostly goings on to be expected in Celebrity Haunted Hotel.
THE FOXLEY DOCKET: You sang in a punk band called The Beekeepers before turning your attention to the media world, joining the ranks of Sky. What prompted this change in direction?
JAMIE EAST: I’ve always been quite pragmatic. If something feels as though it isn’t working or isn’t fun, move on. The best piece of professional advice I’ve ever had is “cut deep and cut quick.” Basically, the second you get that gut feeling that you need to do something, don’t muck about. With the band, there were many reasons… musical indifference, personality clashes etc. My second son had just been born, I felt I was floundering, so I moved on.
TFD: You’re the creator of Holy Moly, which between 2002 and 2015, would come to be one of the most popular entertainment sites in the UK – can you tell us a bit about this?
JE: Every day was an eye opener. I started it off as a distraction from the tedium of an office job and within a couple of years, I had an office in Chelsea with staff and investors. It was an absolute blast, but very much of it is time. People’s tastes have changed and since Twitter, there has been no need for a gossip website – celebrities are in charge of their own car crashes now! Still, it changed my life. I sold it to a TV company, and within weeks I was presenting Big Brother’s Bit on the side.
TFD: In 2011, you began presenting Big Brother’s Bit on the Side with Emma Willis. I recently spoke to Stephen and Chris from Gogglebox and asked them the same question – especially with the return of I’m A Celebrity – as a TV presenter, why do you think as a nation, we love ‘people watching’ so much? What is it about observing others that appeals to us?
JE: It’s simple – we like to spot the flaws and bad sides to famous people because it makes us feel better about our own crappy lives. Why wouldn’t you, for half an hour a night, want to watch someone off Hollyoaks eating a testicle? They are the new court jesters. We bay for blood and then cry foul when we get it.
TFD: You presented the fourth and fifth seasons of Thronecast and featured on the sixth, the ‘Talking Dead’ of the Game of Thrones universe, which has had its fair share of shocking moments. What have been your favourite so far? Were there any moments that left you lost for words like ‘how am I going to discuss this?!’
JE: Game of Thrones is, after six seasons, still the biggest TV show in the world. It’s one of my favourite jobs, because I get to see the show before anyone else and can prepare for the furore that the shock causes. My favourite shocking moments are either The Red Wedding, The Mountain vs The Viper, or Hold the Door. All absolutely amazing and completely brutal.
Game of Thrones has never proclaimed itself to be a reflection of society, or indeed a show for the fainthearted, so it does become tricky to discuss some of the disgusting things certain characters do, particularly the treatment of women. But I have to remind myself that it just isn’t real and is meant to be shocking and horrific – otherwise what’s the point? The world is not a fair and just place, so why should Westeros be?
TFD: There’s been much speculation about the meaning of ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ – what’s your theory? Who is going to emerge victorious and take the Iron Throne?
JE: Hmm… my theory here is that it relates to whatever the grand finale is going to be. Dragons vs White Walkers – although there are murmurings that it relates to Jon Snow (R&L=J certainly seems to be true!) I have a romantic vision of Bran, Tyrion and Daenarys, each on a dragon, swooping in at the last minute to save Jon from the clutches of the Night King – how good would that be?!
TFD: In the run up to Halloween, you’ll be a co-host on Celebrity Haunted Hotel Live alongside Matt Richardson and Christine Lampard, who you said you’re a huge fan of – can you tell us a little bit about this? What can we expect?
JE: It’s all incredibly hush hush at the moment – they’re keeping us all in suspense as to the hotel guests and the terrifying things they’re set to go through – but in a nutshell, a bunch of famous folk are going to be spending some time in a hotel that’s famous for its supernatural occurrences. Christine, Matt and I, along with a brace of spook experts, are going to do our best to scare the living bejesus out of them – all for the entertainment of you guys!
TFD: Do you believe in ghosts/the paranormal? Have you ever had any spooky experiences yourself?
JE: I’m a firm skeptic. In the words of Chris Martin, I believe in science and progress. Until the time comes when Elvis and Prince return to Earth as a duet, that’s where I’ll stay. I appreciate and respect other people’s beliefs, but…
TFD: Would you stay in a Haunted Hotel?
JE: Without a shadow of a doubt – in fact, I plan to this week!
TFD: In a similar vein, what is your favourite haunted house/hotel film?
JE: Despite my skepticism, I get terrified at scary films. The latest Blair Witch is proper scary, but as a child I remember watching Poltergeist and not being able to sleep for weeks. Carol-Anne? -shudders-
TFD: To conclude, what are your favourite television programs at the moment? What series should people be watching?
JE: TV is such a pleasure at the moment and there is SO much to choose from. Apart from Celebrity Haunted Hotel, I recommend people try out Westworld, Preacher, Black Mirror, Humans and for light relief, Jimmy Fallon!
Find out about Celebrity Haunted Hotel at: