Geordie Shore on Cambridge, drinking, and life after the show

Clara Buxton 31 October 2014

Despite being unlikely UK megastars, Vicky, Gaz and James from the MTV reality show Geordie Shore are remarkably unassuming as they make their way into the interview room after speaking to an almost full chamber at the Cambridge Union on Friday night. They politely introduce themselves, ask our names and then settle down across the table – people a world away from the wild and lascivious figures they are portrayed as by their critics in the media. It became apparent early on in our chat that the Geordie Shore-Cambridge Student preconceptions went both ways.

James: “I think we just thought being a renowned university for really intelligent people we’d go in there and people would just start making digs at us. We’re on telly for getting drunk. Actually when we got in there everyone was lovely – couldn’t believe it. The nerves went away quick because everyone was so nice.”

Gaz: “We heard about these initiations and Suicide Sunday and things. Some of your initiations and things are worse than anything I’ve ever done on Geordie Shore. Before we came here I just thought people here were as brainy as f***, realistically you’re just the same as us… just more clever.”

James: “I’ve been told you’re not allowed to walk on the grass. What’s all that about?”

On the show, the cast are put into a house altogether and then go out and get drunk multiples times a week in the VIP sections of clubs. Whilst the situation may initially seem to be a million miles away from anyone’s reality, the cast stress how relatable the show is to young people.

Gaz: “Every student just gets pissed and has loads of regrets. Student nightlife is essentially what we do. A lot of young people do this – I was [working] on a building site and I was still going out three nights a week.”

The show receives a lot of criticism for encouraging binge drinking culture and propagating misogynistic treatment of women.

Vicky: “We never asked to be role models. We certainly never expected to be. The things that we’re doing, although they might be a little bit more controversial, salacious and amplified, are the things that everyone else is doing. They are happening everywhere. We’re not doing anything different – it’s just more exciting and packed into a smaller chunk.

“If there’s problems with society – people have to look a lot closer to home and not blame it on Geordie Shore. It annoys me when people get on their high horse about it because they probably did it when they were younger and their kids are probably doing it now.”

The Geordies are well aware that their Geordie Shore won’t be everlasting. But for the three longest running members of the show, the prospect of the show ending isn’t something that fazes them.

Gaz: “If Geordie Shore ended tomorrow – we’d all be alright. In the first few series’ we just focussed on having the best fun of our lives but then it clicked in our heads that this wouldn’t last forever. If Geordie Shore ended I’d say ‘that was wicked, however I’ve still got enough money to live off.’”

The Geordies imparted some of their best advice for young people.

James: “Do something you enjoy doing. You don’t want to end up doing something that somebody told you to do. You’ve got to do something you’re passionate about.”

Gaz: “Kids at school now are led so quickly into their A Levels and forced to go to uni. If you want to be a lawyer or doctor and want to go to an amazing uni that’s fine, but don’t be scared to go and do something else if that’s what you want.”

It might just be that the cast of Geordie Shore aren’t so different from us after all.