Reality TV veteran Sam Thompson is back on our screens, but this time we’ll be seeing a new side to him. After finding fame as Made In Chelsea’s resident prankster, Sam cosied up to former X Factor star Amelia Lily in the Celebrity Big Brother house before taking on SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Now Sam is venturing into the kitchen for E4’s Celeb Cooking School alongside Kerry Katona, Love Island’s Toby Aromalaran and his MIC co-star Maeva D’Ascanio. But there’s just one problem – he can’t cook!
“I can’t even boil an egg,” says Sam, 30, when we quiz him on his culinary skills. He admits it tends to be 25-year-old girlfriend Zara McDermott – who was in the fourth season of Love Island before joining MIC – who makes their meals. So a trip to cookery school could be what he needs.
Here, Sam lifts the lid on becoming an uncle, coping with his ADHD, and wedding plans.
Hi, Sam! You celebrated your 30th birthday recently. How does that feel?
Stiff! It feels like I need to do yoga. I don’t know whether it’s my mind, but I literally woke up and my back hurt. I’m going to start drinking babies’ tears, I hear that’s how you keep your youth!
Speaking of babies, your sister Louise has a son, Leo. Do you enjoy being an uncle?
I love it to bits. I’m uncle to the cutest kid on the planet, which I wouldn’t say if it wasn’t true. If Louise had an ugly baby, I’d tell her, but he is an absolute 10. He’s the cutest thing you will ever see. They’ve made an absolute stunner there. He’s the best boy, as well. He doesn’t even cry that much. It’s really nice.
Has it made you broody?
I wouldn’t say broody. I’ve a long way to go before that, but I’m definitely learning about babies. I’ve been a late bloomer for a lot of things in my life and babies is another one of them. I need to feel things out a lot before I tuck into them. There are definitely times where I’m playing with friends’ kids, and I’m like, “God, I’d love you to be my kid.” But there are also times where the parents I know are exhausted, and I’m like, “I have a career that I’m really loving at the moment, I don’t have time for that.” I wouldn’t want to bring a child into the world until I’m ready, because it’s not fair on the child.
You can test-run with Leo…
That’s exactly how I feel. I’m getting feelings like, “I could do this.” I know you’re never fully ready, but looking after Leo has opened my eyes to being a dad. But I’m not ready to stop being selfish just yet.
What type of uncle are you?
At the moment I’m just a “please don’t cry on me, I want you to love me” uncle, because he’s still so young. As he gets older, that’s when we start playing pranks, I’m going to buy him a Nerf gun, Harry Potter wands, and all sorts of stuff.
You seem very loved-up with Zara…
I keep trying to find problems and there aren’t any. I’m incredibly lucky, because I am not easy to be around all the time. She compliments me so much, and she is a hard worker. I love how hard she works. I love how she doesn’t need me for anything. She’s such a boss girl. It’s so important to have someone you look up to, and I massively look up to her. We are in a good spot.
Might we be hearing wedding bells any time soon?
Yes and no. I could get married to her tomorrow. I think she’d say yes. You never know, but I think she would. I feel like me and Zara are already married. But she’s 25, I’m 30. The change between 25 and 30 is quite stark. I changed a lot. I just want her to have all that life experience. I’m always going to be here. I know I’m going to marry Zara, there’s no rush. I want her to be able to experience life fully, selfishly, first without being like, “But what about my husband?”
Do you feel you’re growing together?
Yeah. If we were plants, we’d be growing into trees right now. I feel like we’re intertwining so much and so beautifully. I think we’re close, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet in terms of marriage.
How would you rate your skills in the kitchen?
Absolutely s**t! Genuinely, I have never been a good chef. Being a London boy definitely doesn’t help. I’m an inherently lazy person, so I just order Deliveroo. Then Zara moved in and her hobby is cooking and baking. So, the stars aligned for me to be a terrible chef and leave it to her. I couldn’t even boil an egg before doing the show. I mean I could – but it would come out rock hard. Zara’s brilliant, though. She’s so fearless with her cooking.
Have you ever given anyone food poisoning?
I gave Zara food poisoning after I finished the show. I cooked pig’s cheeks and she ended up throwing up. It was for Valentine’s Day as well! I’d just come back from cooking school and she’s chundering. I was like, “What the f**k have I done?”
Was everyone else on the show as bad as you?
On most cooking shows you have to be quite good already, but this was like home economics classes with a Michelin-starred chef. We were all useless. I think that it normalises cooking a bit more. You look at MasterChef and you think, “I can’t make any of this stuff. I might as well just watch Jamie Oliver on YouTube.” Whereas someone watching this might be like, “Wow, if you’ve managed to get Sam to debone a fillet of fish and then fry it to perfection, then I could probably do it, too.” It’s a completely new take on a cooking show.
Were you all very competitive?
Mad competitive. We were massively trash talking each other. Maeva kicked off at everyone because she couldn’t handle the pressure. She was a really good chef, she really cared, so she got wound up pretty easily!
Were there any accidents?
A couple of bloody fingers. I destroyed a million pans and was really bad at keeping the place clean. There’d be cracked eggs everywhere, destroyed ovens, all sorts. I was absolutely terrible, but I really did learn.
How did you get on with head chef Giorgio Locatelli?
Love him or hate him, you don’t want to p**s him off. I’ve got ADHD, so being in the class was tough and he had some pretty stern words with me sometimes. I tried flirting with him for better scores – it never worked though.
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