Essex 20-something Chloe Veitch stole hearts on the debut season of Too Hot to Handle, Netflix’s reality series that gathers a group of attractive young singles who must stay celibate in order to win the jackpot grandprize. Along the way, the group learns to find themselves and make real connections. Veitch’s infectious vibrancy and commitment to the process made her a standout, so much so that she ended up last year on Season 2 of Netflix’s The Circle and nearly won for, once again, being herself.
Veitch has been a close witness to three seasons of Too Hot to Handle, so we caught up with her to see if she had any good dating advice to pass along. In addition, she opened up about the joys of working in the digital space, how Netflix helped her accept herself and ambitions to become the next James Corden.
Let’s start with Too Hot to Handle. As someone who has been part of the series since its inception, do you fully believe in Lana’s process?
I'm a prime example, and I can only speak from my experience. I mean I was definitely one of the horniest people in the world, hence being chosen for the international show. To go on there, experience what I experienced and get into the deep, dark truths of why I wasn't able to settle down and commit to men— it wasn't their fault, the men, it was actually mine. So the way I was handling situations and my insecurities and my troubles in relationships, Lana's workshops worked for me. Obviously she's a talking cone and at first you don’t want to listen to her. Who does she think she is? She looks like an air freshener.
Each workshop has a significant backstory and a lesson to learn from it. So from my experience, I have sex less than what I did before I went on the show, so yeah, I think it has worked, but I'm still single.
What is your favorite part about doing the reunion show?
I've always wanted to be a presenter. Ever since I was younger, I used to work in a chip shop and I always dreamed of being on set and having [a teleprompter]. It's the simple things for me, babe. A teleprompter is life. I would have asked for one for Christmas.
Being able to be in that kind of setting and being trusted by Netflix, I'm just so grateful for it and being able to know all the juicy, horny gossip before it actually goes out. I actually watched the whole season of Too Hot to Handle before it aired because I had to interview all the cast and just get in to ask the juicy questions that everyone wants to know.
What are a few dating tips that you've learned in the last couple of years that you can offer to people looking to build real connections?
I mean I tend not to try and give dating advice because I'm single and I've been single for two years and every relationship I've ever been in has been absolute shambles. However, if it was my sister, if I had a little sister that was asking me, “Chlo, what’s your dating advice?” Don't have sex on the first date and be exclusive. If they like you, they'll show you. I've actually written in my diary what my dream definition of my perfect man is. So having a good idea of the qualities and the characteristics that you want in a man is important because mine was quite materialistic. I wanted my dream husband to have veneers and abs and a sleeve of tattoos. But now it's more like I want him to be funny, enthusiastic, to be supportive of my career, to be an independent person. So just getting to the bottom of that and just writing down on the little notepad the key elements.
When you were younger, did you have aspirations to work in entertainment?
No, never. I've been winging it my whole life. I was a personal assistant and I worked in sales. I was a sales manager and a chip shop gal, so I battered sausages for a living. All of a sudden, my mom entered me into a competition called UK Top Model. I won, got sent to Korea and then it just kicked-started from there. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that if you meet the right people, then that's the secret behind it—getting on with people. I don't classify myself as a diva and I know there are quite a lot of divas in the industry. Not that I know personally, I've just heard it on tabloids, so I think just remaining humble because I come from a chip shop, it's helped excel my career and presenting is something I've always wanted to do.
What do you enjoy about working in the digital space?
The freedom of being able to express myself with colors, different clothes, different outfits. If I'm in a happy mood, then I like to share that with my followers. So any life experience that I gather along the way, I like to say to people, “Oh my god, I've had a really good day today. It's because I've done five minutes of meditation” or wear a bright pink dress and post it because people just love bright, vibrant colors. Other aspects of my job would be to just be myself, I'm able to be myself and I've accepted that because when I was younger, I got bullied. And I always thought it wasn't okay to be myself and I always had these different bravados and masks on. I was always shamed for being too skinny. And it happened the other day. A taxi driver body shamed me. He said to me, “You look really thin. No man ever says to a woman all your ribs look really sexy.” I smiled and waved to pay for the taxi, and then just said it on social media, “It's not okay.”
Being genuinely happy with who you are as a person, being accepted for it is is one of the things that I like about my job because I'm able to just be Chloe and Netflix pushed me in that direction. They're like, “Chlo, just be yourself and we will accept you.” So I use that on my social media platform as well to empower anyone that's just not feeling good enough. I've been in that headspace where I've not felt good enough and it plummeted me into depression. So now it's like, “Well hang on a second, I've got this life experience” and I can share that with others.
As a public figure, how do you prioritize your own well-being and privacy?
Some days I can be a proper tramp, so that for me is self-care. Yeah I can have a break from social media, but I look at my followers that my family and if I can sit there in bed and stuff my face a bit of pizza and say, “You know what, I've just jumped out of the bath” and I'm quite happy sitting in my bed with a messy hair bun and no makeup on and feel like I can put that on social media to you guys. And I think that that helps me accept who I am and I don't always have to live up to any expectations. I don't think my followers have expectations of me, so I think that is kind of self-love in a way because I'm not pretending to be someone I'm not.
On New Year’s Eve, you shared a generous Instagram post about being sober. Was it a big decision to share that with your audience?
To be honest with you, it was just a quick post just to say I've stopped drinking. It was just a reflection on the year that I'd had and to just say, because I get quite a lot of messages from people that are sober, and because I'm not drinking, I just thought, “Oh, well, I'm going to be realistic and relatable” and, again, be honest with my followers and say, “You know what, I've given up the drink and I'm quite happy and healthy.” It was a good start to a new year.
I meditate every morning. I would normally sleep in because obviously my job gives me freedom; I am basically self employed. I can work whenever I get asked to or whenever I can, and sometimes I would sleep in and then watch a movie. But now it's like, “Wow there's more to life!”
I think just being spiritually connected with meditating helps me to ground myself because the job that I'm in is very, very fast-going. It's like one day I'll be here, one day I'll be there. Sometimes it can get a tiny bit overwhelming if I haven't had enough sleep or if my mind goes a million miles an hour, it’s easy for me to just sit, chill, meditate. And I just really wanted to share that with my followers so they knew that. It wasn't just me going, “I'm going to stop drinking.” There's a method to the madness. I've stopped drinking because I'm more spiritual now and I've actually got a couple of crystals!
You have plenty of fun projects coming up. Is there anything you’re most excited about for 2022?
Well, I've actually had a show come out in the UK called Celebrity Hunted and it supports a charity really close to my heart because my Auntie Debbie actually passed away from cancer in 2014, so the show helps raise money towards Stand Up to Cancer.
Also, I’m in talks and ties and signing contracts to do other shows. Obviously, I can't talk about them, but there's a good couple of things that I'm signing contracts on at the moment, so I don't want to jinx it, but hopefully those bloody crystals work.
In the future, I mean, I'm a Netflix baby. Netflix always looks after me and we work really well together, so I'm going to maintain that relationship with Netflix. I really want my own show. I want my own either dating show or chat show like James Corden. I absolutely love James Cordon. I really want to follow his footpath.
I'm also actually working on a podcast, so go to my Instagram, give me a follow and keep your eyes peeled because we are going to be filming and releasing the podcast date as soon as possible.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Courtesy SYLWIA SZYPLIK/Chloe Veitch