Interview: Andrew Trott Barn
Publish Date: 07/11/2013
TV personality Andrew Trott-Barn, 32, is a high profile Manchester hairdresser with clients including Michelle Keegan, Helen Flanagan, designers Amanda Wakeley and Vivienne Westwood, musician Lily Allen and TV personalities Alex Curren and David Hasselhoff among many more.
Andrew featured on a new ITV1 Daytime makeover show Star Treatment, presented by Jane McDonald from Loose Women where a team of stylists gave ‘the star treatment’ to teams that have been nominated by their bosses to thank them for their hard work and positive attitude.
We spoke to Andrew about equal marriage, being a ‘celebrity’, his style icons, the importance of feeling and looking good as well as his charity work.
On Equal Marriage...
I hear you celebrated your first wedding anniversary to your husband Mike – congratulations!
Thank-you, yes we celebrated back in July. We’ve been in a relationship for over 3 and a half years now, and been married for 1 year. Mike is from Cambridge, so we had a little party down there with friends and family – it was lovely.
What are your thoughts on the passing of equal marriage?
What you guys have done is amazing! People should be able to get married regardless of their race or sexuality. It’s really important that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are able to get married.
Mike and I had a civil partnership and I believe that people should have the choice. When we had our ceremony, the Bill wasn’t in place, but I still thought of it as a marriage and a commitment. We are a unit and we are as one.
How do you think The Same-Sex Marriage Bill will change attitudes towards same-sex relationships?
I hope that it will change people’s views who are against same sex marriage and, and they will see it as equally important as the marriage they may have, and of equal value to straight relationships.
Before Civil Partnerships could be seen as less important, but now with the passing of the Bill, same-sex marriages are equal in the eyes of the law. In the end it’s all about two people coming together.
It also shows how far we have come in such a short amount of time, we’ve had to fight for it, but we made it happen!
On TV and Hairdressing...
Your new show sounds interesting, how did you first get into hairdressing and then TV presenting?
In the North you have some of the biggest soaps such as Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, so there is lots going on in terms of celebrities.
I started off as a hairdresser, worked my way up and then was recognised for my talent. So, along with a little bit of luck, I got requested for more and more celebrity shoots – word grew and I started to build up my name in the North West. I’m also very good at self-promotion!
I used to do a makeover show for Channel M, so had a little bit of TV presenting experience. Once I’d built up my profile a bit more, I got a call from ITV, telling me about this new show, and 'would I be interested?' So I went over to media city and was booked for the show! It was incredibly exciting!
I’m hoping to do more TV work, I feel I’ve got something to say as I’ve had a fair few life experiences. I had a brain tumour a few years ago and I raise money for various charities. I like to have an opinion and voice it!
There has been much news coverage about the lack of representation of LGB characters and people on TV. How do you feel being in the public eye as a gay man?
For me I was very aware of those issues. There are a few non-stereotypical LGB characters on TV, such as Christian from EastEnders, but still a real lack of characters.
There are lots of male ‘camp’ presenters such as Gok, Alan Carr and Grahame Norton as well as some high profile sports people coming out - which is really good.
It’s so important to have gay people in mainstream media and for them to be themselves and not adhere to any pressure for producers. For me, it’s more the merrier! It makes being gay more normal for everyone else and especially crucial for the next generation.
On Looking and Feeling Good...
The new show focuses on making people look and feel good. Is that important to you?
A lot of people on the show had been through some really difficult issues, so it felt amazing to make those people feel good about themselves and give them the ‘star treatment’. (In the ITV Show)
Do you think there are links between physically feeling good and mental wellbeing?
Totally – part of my job is being able to transform someone in 45 minutes, who comes in feeling down with low self confidence, to have them bouncing down the street as they feel amazing.
Issues around mental health and wellbeing need to be addressed. It’s like coming out - when you first come out think you’re the only gay person in the world, you go to Canal Street and realise you’re not! – it’s the same for mental health – you’re not alone.
Do you have a favourite celebrity style icon?
I also like Iggy Azalea– the kind of girls that change their look all the time, re-inventing fashion with modern twist
If you could just give one style tip – what would it be?
Push the boundaries and try something new!
What is your favourite celebrity hair style?
The short, cropped style. When Victoria Beckham chopped it off - it made worldwide news! It was iconic! Anne Hathaway also suited that elfin look.
There’s been so many iconic looks through the ages, and each decade has one –whether it’s Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy or Lulu! In my first 3 years of hairdressing, all I did was the ‘Rachel from Friends Cut!’
You do a lot of charity work – what causes are important to you and why?
After what I’ve been through (Andrew is a brain tumour survivor, and now campaigns and raises money for Brain Tumour UK) - I feel like I had a second chance.
Being involved in charities like Forever Manchester makes you feel better as you’re able to make a real difference and raise thousands of pounds.
I’m really interested in supporting local, grassroots charities and LGB causes, like The Lesbian & Gay Foundation. I’d like to do more in that area – so watch this space!