Celebs Go Dating star Tom Read Wilson on how he beats lockdown anxiety and the slogan we should all live by

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Celebs Go Dating star Tom Read Wilson has become quite the household name, with his unrivalled charm and bubbly personality greeting.

The 34 year old works as a receptionist on the show, but you may also recognise him from appearances on The Voice, Big Brother's Bit On The Side, Celebrity Juice and, most recently, Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC.

Yet despite living a life in the spotlight, when the star isn’t greeting celebrities looking for love on Celebs Go Dating or cooking up a storm for Mary Berry, he can found delighting in small pleasures at home.

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And opening up on these, Tom told OK! Online how he’s been spending lockdown, and what he does to combat anxiety while in isolation.

He said: “One of the things that sustains me in lockdown is doing a crossword puzzle every day. Often when you have a bout of anxiety it’s very, very hard to focus on things, and things which you normally find relaxing. It’s hard because your mind wanders.

“So that’s why I like crosswords. Another thing I find absolutely glorious is doing French lessons with my mummy, who really is a fluent French speaker.

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“I’ve always, in a very Holly Golightly-esque way, woven French into my discourse but I wanted to try and hone and refine it and she’s been teaching me once a week via Zoom and we do a half hour lesson.

“Basically we chew the fat but in French!”

Tom has teamed up with Public Health England’s Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support people’s mental wellbeing during this time, and he also spoke to us about how talking about how you feel can really help, as well as the impact of social media.

The Celebrity Best Home Cook star, who lives in a gorgeous art-filled home, said: “A piece of advice I would give is share but don’t compare.

“In our social media lives we become our own editors, if you like, and we present a very positive narrative but actually when you share with people that you trust, who are near and dear to you, you realise that the narrative is much more nuanced and complex than that.

“In the same vein, there’s a saying ‘catch it, check it, change it’ and it’s that thing of acknowledging what you’re anxious about, then interrogating it and then how best to replace or substitute that thought.”

Tom is adored across his social media channel, where he boasts 304,000 followers, and he’s captivated Celebs Go Dating fans with his upbeat and playful personality.

On how he stays happy, the star explained it takes a little work in the morning.

“I wake up in the morning and I wake up with an adult brain and grey cells aren’t dancing and it’s not a good way to start the day,” he began.

Tom continued: “I have to give myself a kind of undergirding of brightness and dynamic activity by taking a run and then doing a crossword puzzle.

"If I’ve done those two things by ten o’clock in the morning then I find the blood cells and the grey cells are simultaneously dancing.”

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The star has been busy recording the new series of Celebs Go Dating and told us of his delight to find one of his Celebrity Best Home Cook co-stars, Karim Zeroual, was also appearing on the series.

Tom said: “I was getting things ready to welcome everyone and who should walk in but Karim! I couldn’t believe it because it was like slipping on an old shoe, we really picked up where we left off. I’m so fond of him.

“I’d quite like to keep him forever. He’s a total honey bee.”

Tom also admitted to growing close to his Celebrity Best Home Cook co-stars, and told us he’s been for a few socially-distanced coffee strolls around Soho with Gareth Thomas.

He said: “I’ve met up with Gareth Thomas a couple of times for a lovely socially distanced coffee with him around Soho. He is simply enchanting.

“I was so fond of them all!”

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Tom also has a success podcast, named ‘Tom Read Wilson has words with…’, on which he’s interviewed the likes of Jennifer Saunders, Alan Carr, Ashley Banjo and Oti Mabuse.

Yet the star, who trained at the Royal Academy of Music, admits he’d quite like to “flex his acting muscles” again soon.

The star explained: “It’s been about seven or eight years since I attempted a role and I don’t even know if I could learn lines anymore.

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“I have a secret hankering to flex those muscles. I’m always interested in challenging myself and seeing if I’m able to do something.

“And it’s actually another thing which ties into Every Mind Matters – if it’s frightening you a bit then perhaps that’s a really good reason to do it. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Tom Read Wilson has teamed up with Public Health England’s Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support people’s mental wellbeing during this time. For more tips and support, Search Every Mind Matters or visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

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