YouTube sensation Emily Hartridge is known for her quick wit and unconventional approach to presenting and comedy. But has turning 30 made her reassess her own life? Oh Shit Iâ€™m 30 is a brand new six-part series produced by Sprit Media and airing on All 4 that takes a hilarious and insightful look at her life at 30. I caught up with her to find out more about the show, what pressures are put on people once they turn 30 and to see what, if anything sheâ€™s learned about making such an invasive project.
Verge: So, Emily Hartridge how are you?
Emily Hartridge: Iâ€™m good! Iâ€™m enjoying the sun.
V: Itâ€™s lovely today isnâ€™t it?
EH: Yeah, I hate bad weather, so the sun is making me happy.
V: Now weâ€™re here to talk about your new show, which is on All 4. Firstly, what is the show about?
EH: So, Iâ€™m not sure if you guys can swear in your publication, but itâ€™s called â€˜Oh Shit Iâ€™m 30.â€™
V: (laughs) Okâ€¦
EH: And itâ€™s about basically analysing where I am at, at 30, where I thought Iâ€™d be and if I am, what I think I can do about it. As well as chatting to loads of other people who maybe have similar issues about certain things in their life at 30. Basically, Oh shit Iâ€™m 30!
V: Wrapped up in a nutshell there, I like that. So in your show, you cover a range of topics like sexuality, career, money and family. What have you learned about yourself in exploring these topics?
EH: I learned that maybe I shouldnâ€™t have done it at all (laughs).
V: Oh God! Really?
EH: Well, no not like that but I found it really stressful. Like no one really wants to look at their whole life and have it laid out for everyone to see where you think youâ€™re going wrong! Or like what you do and donâ€™t have and thought you have.
V: Well thatâ€™s why I think itâ€™s a quite a brave thing you did because it really is completely evaluating and throwing yourself into the public awareness.
EH: Yeah and I didnâ€™t really think of it like that at all until I started filming and then I was like â€˜Oh shit!â€™. I had to speak to a therapist on the show, and I definitely felt weird after Iâ€™d filmed a lot of things.
V: Did you say you had to speak to therapist afterwards??
EH: No, no, no, no! (Laughs) Not after the show, on the show. No, that would be a story! â€˜Online Show Sends Girl Mental.’
V: (laughs) It really would! This show youâ€™ve done has completely ruined your life!
EH: Haha yeah imagine! Iâ€™m actually calling you from the priory! But yeah, it definitely was like that but thatâ€™s kind of why I wanted to do it because I feel that everyone has plans, and everyone elseâ€™s lives shoved in their faces via social media so itâ€™s quite nice to have someone say â€˜itâ€™s fine if stuff hasnâ€™t worked out like you thought it would doâ€™.
V: Yeah definitely. That actually brings me to my next question which youâ€™ve kind of mentioned there, but what social pressures do you think are put on people once they hit the 30 mark?
EH: Well, for men itâ€™s different I think because with women youâ€™ve obviously got the whole biological clock crap and men donâ€™t really have to worry about that whereas women do. I know obviously that people are having children later in life now than they used to, but you definitely get to 30 and still feel that pressure.
V: Thatâ€™s really sad!
EH: Wellâ€¦ Iâ€™ve always, always wanted children. Iâ€™ve got three sisters, and Iâ€™ve always been the one that has said to â€˜Oh you shouldâ€™ve been a nanny! Youâ€™re the best with children!â€™ etc. and I have always loved kids but I think when I was younger, 30 sounded really old, so I just assumed Iâ€™d be married and have kids by then. Which I donâ€™t.Â Soooâ€¦
V: Youâ€™ve just spoilt the ending now! People are going to watch it all and be like â€œOh no she doesnâ€™t have kids and she isnâ€™t married!â€
EH: Yeah I know! I was going to say something like â€œand no one lives happily ever afterâ€ but I donâ€™t think I wouldâ€™ve been allowed that!
V: So how do you really feel about turning 30? Is it something youâ€™ve worried about for a while or have you approached it with a different outlook?
EH: I actually thought I was really fine about approaching 30 and then about half a year after I was â€˜shit.’ I just started to freak out a bit about life I guess and what I was doing and where I was going and then I just thought it might be quite a good idea for a show. But because of my YouTube channel, Iâ€™m always up for doing stuff that can help other people. Iâ€™ve talked a lot about anxiety and animal cruelty before and I dunno, I really like doing stuff like that, and I just thought it might make a good show and help other people not feel so pressured all the time in life.
V: Yeah, itâ€™s a really nice way of using your online presence to kind of just tell people â€˜look, it’s fine. Itâ€™s all good!â€™
EH: Yeah but itâ€™s not like I love being 30 but I am way happier at 30 than I was at 25 for example.
V: Thatâ€™s really interesting because Iâ€™m 24, and sometimes I struggle to even get out of bed!
EH: Ahh! 24! Aww, I donâ€™t even remember being 24. And you struggle to get out of bed?! I get body ache from playing netball! Thatâ€™s what old age does! Just you wait.
V: Well thatâ€™s something I can look forward to then.
EH: (Laughs) Yeah, just donâ€™t play netball which Iâ€™m sure you never would anyway.
V: So how did the collaboration with All 4 happen? Did you approach them with the idea?
EH: So I have a friend who works for a digital company and we met up for a drink and a catch up and then he was chatting to me about what ideas we could do together and I started talking about this 30 idea and he really liked it and then developed it with his company and they pitched it to All 4. That makes it sound like it was in a really short space of time but it definitely wasnâ€™t. Itâ€™s TV, so nothing happens overnight so there was a lot of waiting.
V: Itâ€™s amazing how long the process can take isnâ€™t it?
EH: Oh my God, no one talks about it, but it takes so long. I honestly thought we were going to have to change the project name to â€˜Oh Shit Iâ€™m 40â€™. I was like â€˜guys this has an end point, we canâ€™t just start whenever!â€™.
V: So were there any big changes you found from moving from YouTube to All 4 in terms of creative control?
EH: Well thereâ€™s only so much creative control you can have when youâ€™re working with a company like Channel 4 and thatâ€™s the same with any channel where itâ€™s not like YouTube and you canâ€™t dictate everything. But I wanted to keep the show really natural and not too presenter-ie and keep it quite real and a bit different to normal shows, so I definitely had that. And obviously, Iâ€™m interviewing so I can ask whatever I like, so in that sense I definitely had some creative control but not as much I have every week.
V: Did you find that quite difficult to get your head around or were you OK with it?
EH: No because I get paid to present other shows so I know sometimes you just to have to let it go and just hope they don’t put something in that you really don’t want them to. I mean, there were times where I’d say ‘don’t put that bit in’ because…I don’t wanna be embarrassed and we all say things we regret sometimes.
V: Yeah. Iâ€™m pretty sure Iâ€™ve done that about 4 times in this interview alone.
EH: Nah youâ€™re 24. People will forget when youâ€™re 25 so itâ€™s all good.
V: Right, would you like to play a game Emily Hartridge?
EH: I LOVE games!
V: This game doesnâ€™t really have a title.
EH: Good! Good start.
V: Itâ€™s a quick 30-second name game.
EH: Oh God. Do I have to have any general knowledge because I donâ€™t have any?
V: No, general knowledge is out the window in this game. Itâ€™s pretty much how quickly can you think on your feet. Can you name me 10 things that rhyme with 30 in 30 seconds?
EH: Oh my God!
EH: Erm.. well a very obvious one first is Dirty…because you know, thatâ€™s just who I amâ€¦ umm.. Flirtyâ€¦Shirtyâ€¦
V: Oh nice!
EH: Oh my God! Have you thought of any more than this?
V: Errâ€¦I thought of Berty.
EH: Why donâ€™t I have my iPad? Then I can just Google stuff. Which one did you say again?
EH: Berty? Oh, thatâ€™s a good one! Chuck that one in!
V: OK! Timeâ€™s up!
EH: That was a hard game! What else rhymes with 30?
V: It turns out not a lot. Maybe 10 was a bit ambitious.
EH: Yeah I think maybe you set the bar too high, I just couldnâ€™t do it.
V: Iâ€™m really sorry, I shouldâ€™ve maybe gone for five. In my head, I thought 10 was a realistic number.
EH: I donâ€™t even think five!
V: (Laughs) Yeah can you name two other things that rhyme with 30?
EH: Well yes I can!
V: Well Iâ€™m sorry the game didnâ€™t live up to your expectations, I feel like Iâ€™ve failed you.
EH: Thatâ€™s OK. Itâ€™s fine, Iâ€™ve failed myself. And Iâ€™ve also failed myself by saying â€˜dirtyâ€™ first of all too.
V: It was inevitable so donâ€™t worry. So finally, Iâ€™d just like to ask what advice would you give to people in their 20â€™s, possibly even 24, so that they donâ€™t wake up one morning and think â€˜Oh Shit Iâ€™m 30â€™?
EH: I would say, I spent a lot of my twenties worrying about life and everything and most things are out of your control. So donâ€™t plan too much for how you want your life to be because other things can come along and shit on all those other plans and your life can actually take a different and better turn like mine did.
V: Thatâ€™s really lovely and poetic!
EH: I actually do rhyme a lot without meaning to.
V: Well I meant in the message that you were getting across.
EH: OH! (Laughs) But I also do rhyme.
V: Thatâ€™ll be your next show you do with All 4 Iâ€™m feeling.
EH: Yeah, Iâ€™ll be some rhyming rapper. Or not!
V: Emily, thank you so much for talking to me and I hope you had fun.
EH: I did have fun, thank you! The game was the highlight!
V: Oh really? I wonâ€™t lie it was probably the lowlight of my interviewing career!
EH: Yeah. I mean it wasnâ€™t the best game but you knowâ€¦it challenged me.
V: Best of luck with the show and enjoy the rest of the weather!
EH: Thank you, I will!
Oh Shit Iâ€™m 30 is available now on All 4. To find all the episodes, follow this link.