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I TALK TO Bella Younger

Deliciously Stella started off as an Instagram feed and now Bella Younger, is bringing her insta-famous character to the Edinburgh Fringe.

With her tongue-in-cheek parody of dietary advice, she hopes to share her secrets, only Stella is not your average health guru. A devotee of the #eatclean phenomenon with a huge social media following, she's hoping to share her diet secrets with the masses.

The only issue is, her diet is anything but healthy. Stella's idea of a green juice is a bottle of Apple Sours. Her pasta alternatives shun spiralizers in favour of strawberry laces and her beloved coconut water is actually a bottle of Malibu.

Described as ‘the filthy antidote to the cult of clean eating’, Deliciously Stella is certainly causing a stir with her side-splitting pokes at the craze that is currently taking over our social media accounts. Having been called out on her wit and hilarity by both The Times and Stylist Magazine, Bella Younger’s Deliciously Stella is not one to be missed at this year’s Fringe.

How did the idea of Deliciously Stella first come about?

I was working in food TV and a lot of the clean eating girls were coming in and my boss said to me "You're the most disgusting person I know. I want to document your rank life!"

I was like "Oh... OK". So I went back through my Facebook to look for the worst photos I've ever taken so I put something up and thought, OK, I'll see what happens, and it went nuts!

It started getting shared on Facebook by people who I didn't know and then I went for a drink and someone said "You should genuinely copy them properly" so I started copying them (clean eaters) and it was everywhere! I had no idea it would get so big.

Are you surprised by how successful it has been and how quick it's all happened?

Yeah! I mean, I couldn't believe it. The day that Davina McCall found it, I was going to be out on a shoot and I came into work, found out that Davina had found it and my boss was like "I need you to turn off your phone and not look at it for the whole of this shoot, because you're at work."

So I turned it on silent and I could feel it buzzing in my back pocket... so I thought "Oh my god, what's happening?!" and I got like 5,000 followers that day. It was absolutely bananas.

Deliciously Stella is obviously a play on 'Deliciously Ella'. Have you met Ella Woodward yet?

I've not met her, but we do have a lot of weird family connections. I found out the other day that my sister's godfather is brothers with her godfather so... it's pretty close! But no, I've not met her. I think we move in slightly similar circles, but I haven't found her yet. She might be avoiding me.

Where did the decision come from to turn this Instagram account into a Fringe show?

Well I did my first Fringe show last year and it was completely different. I started Stella to kind of drum up some interest in my Fringe show, and obviously Stella eclipsed everything that I've ever done.

So I just decided, with my agent, that we'd give character comedy a go, which isn't something I ever thought I'd do.

But actually, it's now going really well, I actually really like it!

How have the previews been going?

They're going really well actually, the response has been really good.

I was a bit worried about people who had never seen the eat clean thing before, so I've written it as if my dad was coming. My dad doesn't know who Cheryl Cole... I know, he's so backwards!

How long has it taken you to put the show together?

I think I started in about February this year, so it takes a long time. My last one was like six months, but I as working as well, but now this is my full time job.

So I've got more time to focus on it and it's way better. I always thought that last year was great, but now I'm like no, this year is way better! (Laughs)

What can people expect from the show?

There's a storyline, she's got a narrative. Her boyfriend has just got back from Burning Man and he has left her for a food blogger called Amazingly Alicia.

So she decides to win him back by becoming the biggest clean eater in the world, but obviously everything she makes is out of like Haribo eggs and mint ice-cream, so she's completely got the whole thing wrong. She's misinterpreted 'Eat Clean' really really badly.

There are other characters as well which weave in throughout, which I am playing as well. I play all characters myself... which is a bit confusing! But it's fine.

I haven't acted for ages, not until school really so it's been really fun. It's almost like a one woman play really instead of stand-up when you're playing a character.

This is now your second time at the Fringe. Did you learn anything doing it the first time around?

Last year was so ground roots. I'd never really done comedy before I decided to do an hour at the Fringe. It was more a case of me challenging myself.

I did all my own press, my brother and sister flyered for me and I stayed at my parents house, I did free Fringe and it was all really basic. It was amazing, but it was really tough.

This year is so nice because I've got an agent and a producer and people to flyer with me. There's going to be a way bigger support system which is going to be nice.

Last year I was free Fringe and everyone was really surprised that it was actually quite good. This year, they've paid £11 and they have to enjoy it.

Do you feel more pressure this year?

I feel more pressure this year because people have some idea of who I am. The thing with Instagram is that it's 2D, so they have no idea what it's going to be like. Then when I do it, it's slightly different to the character that they imagined.

I met a girl the other day and she said she was quite disappointed that my voice wasn't a bit more Adele... I was like, "Oh, I've just got a really boring middle class voice, sorry"

How important is the Fringe to you?

I love the Fringe. I've gone every year since I was tiny, because my parents live just outside of Edinburgh.

I've seen some absolutely shocking shows, which makes me feel quite a lot better about my own. I know there's worse. I've seen worse!

Are you hoping to see anyone else whilst you're up there?

Yeah! I mean, I want to see so many people because last year I was rubbish. I was staying with my parents in the countryside so I was sort of in and out all the time.

This year I'm staying in town so I really want to go to see more! Because I'm performing in the Pleasance, I'm just going to see everyone in the Pleasance. It's going to be SO good!

I'm so excited just to see those and also to make some friends... because I'm such a loser! I'm like the loneliest comic ever because I went from "I want to be a comedian" to just doing it and now I'm like "Oh, I never really did the circuit." I missed out.

What else are you up to outside of the Fringe? I saw the BBC Three video...

Oh yeah! The BBC Three video is out which is really exciting. I'm pleased with how it came out. There was a moment the night before where I knew it was coming out and I was thinking "What if it's awful? I could ruin my career with this one BBC Three sketch!" But no, I'm glad it's good, it's turned out well and I'm pleased it's out there.

I wrote an episode of a web series called Happy Now about how all my friends are desperate to get married. I'd really love to do more stuff that's not Stella. Just to show my range, because first and foremost, I'm a comedian and Stella is a character that I created.

People get confused, expecting me to turn up to a meeting with a Lucozade and a Mars Bar.

I've got a book coming out in September! I've got a podcast which I do every week. I've got so much going on, it's amazing. I've been so unbelievably lucky to have this trajectory. It's all gone very well so I'm very lucky.

And finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?

Please brace yourselves for Nutribullshit.

Bella Younger’s Deliciously Stella will be on at the Pleasance Courtyard from Wednesday 3rd August – Sunday 28th August at 7:15pm (Excluding Monday 15th August).


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