Mindset coach, charity founder, model and former boxer Paul Sculfor discusses the challenges of transitioning from the ring to the catwalk and thoughts on self-acceptance, sobriety and the pressure of being in the spotlight.

Reflecting candidly on his struggles with addiction, Paul talks reveals how sobriety has transformed his life and relationships, arguing passionately for the need for genuine self-discovery.


In this Episode

01.00 – Backstory

11.50 – From boxing to modelling

23.55 – Coping mechanisms

33.20 – The ongoing impact of addiction

44.00 – Sobriety

47.00 – Substances Vs plant medicine

51.00 – The depth of addiction and personal harm

53.05 – Rehab

0.58.00 – Fame

1.02.40 – Modelling in the digital era 

1.07.20 – Self-image and surgery

1.12.30 – Male mental health

1.17.20 – Stride Foundation UK

1.22.40 – Life advice


About Paul Sculfor

Paul Sculfor is an actor, model and mindset coach. He is founder of the Stride UK Foundation, which provides support to those affected by addiction. 

Speaker1: I just didn’t want to go out in the house. I didn’t want to engage. Started thinking, oh, no one likes me, but I [00:00:05] wasn’t phoning them, you know? So your behaviours changes. And I started to [00:00:10] make excuses. Oh, I can’t go out because of this or I can’t go out because of that. And at that point I [00:00:15] was like, something’s happening. I need to I need to sort myself out. I’ve clearly come to the end of [00:00:20] a carriage in this train, and if I want to go to the next one, I need to address myself.

Speaker2: This [00:00:25] is mind movers moving [00:00:30] the conversation forward on mental health and optimisation for dental [00:00:35] professionals. Your hosts Rhona Eskander [00:00:40] and Payman Langroudi. Hi everyone. Welcome to [00:00:45] another episode of Mind Movers. We’re in season two and we’re really excited about the guests coming on today. [00:00:50] Today we have an amazing guest, Paul. Paul Sculfor how I say it right then. [00:00:55]

Speaker1: Yeah, yeah. You find the first time.

Speaker2: Okay, fine. Paul and I have known each other. In fact, we didn’t, [00:01:00] you know, spend a lot of time together growing up. But I almost have known you for, like, ten years [00:01:05] because I met through your partner, who’s an incredible woman who is working for an incredible [00:01:10] brand and doing amazing things. And Paul and I got on really well, and I, you know what? One of the conversations [00:01:15] we had, I don’t know if you remember this is about sobriety. So I had told you that I was teetotal and I’d [00:01:20] been teetotal my whole life, and you were also teetotal. So that’s what struck up the conversation. Obviously, it’s [00:01:25] very interesting. Fast forward ten years. I think that you saw that I did a podcast with Arter. [00:01:30]

Speaker1: I did the lovely Arter.

Speaker2: Yeah. You remember Arter. Yeah. So [00:01:35] through that, um, you know, Arthur connected us and obviously I’ve been [00:01:40] following your journey Paul back in the day on Facebook, may I add not just not not just Instagram. [00:01:45] And I’ve obviously noticed, you know, the changes that you’ve made in your life, what you’re doing. [00:01:50] I knew you when you were a model. And then what’s your what’s your transition more into kind of the wellness space? I hate [00:01:55] using the word wellness, but you know what I mean. You know, the space that benefits our mind and our [00:02:00] body better. You know, that’s the way that I like to put it. So welcome, Paul. So lovely to have you very much.

Speaker1: Thank you. Thanks [00:02:05] for coming. Nice to be.

Speaker2: Here. So first of all, I always like to start from the beginning and [00:02:10] you know where it all started. I know about your past, you know, what you were doing before modelling, etc. but do [00:02:15] you want to tell us a little bit about where you came from and how you ended up, you know, where you were [00:02:20] just before, what you’re doing now? Because that’s the future. But you know a little bit about your past growing up.

Speaker1: Cool. [00:02:25] How long have you got? It’s been a while.

Speaker2: Tell us the juicy parts. Hahaha.

Speaker1: There’s [00:02:30] a lot of them too. Um, I am a rare Londoner. Um, born and bred. [00:02:35] Um, I was born in a hospital in [00:02:40] Dagenham, but brought up in Upminster. And if you don’t know, Upminster is a last borough east. [00:02:45] It’s a really lovely little Victorian town golf course, tennis clubs, [00:02:50] lovely. It’s like a little commuter commuter town. Um, and that’s where [00:02:55] I went to school and was brought up there.

Speaker2: Amazing. And then what happened?

Speaker1: Well, [00:03:00] how. It depends how much you want to know. Um, I went to I went to [00:03:05] school there and, um, which was nice. It was a good school, but I had quite [00:03:10] a. An interesting upbringing in the sense that my father [00:03:15] wasn’t around a lot because he was working, so I was brought up most with my mum [00:03:20] and her friends, um, and had a difficult [00:03:25] time sometimes with my with my dad. Um, so as [00:03:30] I, as I was, um, sorry, as a young guy, I was quite, [00:03:35] quite an anxious child. Um, uh, quite a self-conscious child. And [00:03:40] I used to spend a lot of time. We actually lived in the last house, um, in [00:03:45] London before you went to the fields and the woods that broke out into into [00:03:50] Essex. So I spent a lot of time there, and but I was fascinated with [00:03:55] sports cars and motorbikes.

Speaker2: Classic [00:04:00] boy, classic boy.

Speaker1: And I spent a lot of my time designing cars and motorbikes [00:04:05] when I was a kid. Um, and I was of the generation back then where we were the first kids [00:04:10] with BMX. So for our backpacks on and just ride off for hours and, um, [00:04:15] so I spent a lot of time outdoors. I spent a lot of time moving and being [00:04:20] physical. Um, I became a gymnast, which I [00:04:25] loved. I loved it because I liked the feeling of flying and [00:04:30] moving and, um, I would probably have been diagnosed [00:04:35] with ADHD now because one of the kids who couldn’t sit still and, uh, so [00:04:40] I became a gymnast, um, very successful, became a trampolinist, which [00:04:45] I was very successful at. I became a footballer, which I was horrendous at, um, [00:04:50] played in defence, played football. So I think I had a in my mind [00:04:55] at the time, a very normal upbringing. Yeah.

Speaker2: Amazing. So [00:05:00] you don’t think your past necessarily impacted you in a certain way? Childhood? [00:05:05]

Speaker1: It depends what certain way you mean.

Speaker2: Well, you said your father [00:05:10] wasn’t around, so what do you feel your relationships were like then after that? Well. [00:05:15]

Speaker1: The environment I was brought up in, there was a lot of the members, [00:05:20] a lot of drinking. Um, I come from a family of boxers. Um, [00:05:25] my dad’s side were dockers, so it’s a very manly environment. [00:05:30] And, um, I was quite sensitive as a kid, and I found [00:05:35] that quite abrupt. Um, but I learned to live and put that armour on and [00:05:40] be in that environment. Um, but when I, when I [00:05:45] started to box, I first went. My father’s cousin had a boxing club. Two [00:05:50] of them actually had boxing clubs. And, um, I went there when I was 12 and [00:05:55] he basically said, would you like to have a fight? And I said, sure. Yeah. Just not having no idea, [00:06:00] thinking I’ll. I’ll show my dad that I’m okay and just got my ass whipped around the ring [00:06:05] and couldn’t work out how this guy was so nimble on [00:06:10] his feet and could move around so well. Um, because before then, I thought boxing [00:06:15] was an aggressive sport and you had to be, like, really angry. And it’s completely [00:06:20] the opposite. It’s an art form. So after that humbling experience, I asked [00:06:25] my dad if I could box, and he took me to a local boxing club. Um, they’re always in pretty rundown [00:06:30] areas. We went to Dagenham. Um, and I started to box and I [00:06:35] loved it.

Speaker1: I really, really loved it because I realised that, um, when you [00:06:40] become good at something like that, you don’t. It takes away a lot of [00:06:45] your fear. You don’t have to prove anything. But before, I was quite fearful of [00:06:50] angry people and loud voices and stuff because my dad was very loud and had a wonderful temper. [00:06:55] Um, when he used to come in, the dog used to run out of the house. So you knew that, uh, you [00:07:00] know, probably a good time to leave. Um, but I’d like to say that I have [00:07:05] a good relationship with. My dad is a good man. He just had a very hard upbringing and didn’t have the toolkit. [00:07:10] So I found, um, I found it tough early on because I really wanted to [00:07:15] be my dad’s friend and please him when he was around, so I probably [00:07:20] worked a lot in that area. How’s that affected me? Later on in life? I realise you don’t have to do that. [00:07:25] Um, I realised that all the judgement I had on my father, [00:07:30] all I had to do was look at his upbringing. And actually from where he came [00:07:35] from, he’s. He grew tremendously well, but was still probably outdated [00:07:40] for the time when I was born. You know, I.

Speaker2: Think it’s interesting because, you know, I always [00:07:45] ask this question about the past and I do. I [00:07:50] have a therapist. We literally had my therapist on the podcast, and I’m very interested on how your [00:07:55] past shapes who you are. And obviously, as you know, there’s two groups of people, right? [00:08:00] The people that end up being just like their parents and the people that end up being completely opposite to their parents. [00:08:05] And like you said, you know, the older generation, our parents, they don’t [00:08:10] really have they didn’t have the toolkit, you know, like my parents grew up in the Middle East [00:08:15] and, you know, they’re like on survival mode, like country might go into war. Like we don’t have time to be [00:08:20] depressed, you know? And that was the mentality that I grew up with. And I think that understanding [00:08:25] mental health for my parents was more like, if you’ve got depression or anxiety, there’s [00:08:30] an imbalance in your hormones. They didn’t really understand that actually your environment has a huge [00:08:35] impact or your past, etc. but also what I’m finding really interesting [00:08:40] when I hear you speak is about the boxing. And, you know, Payman and I have spoken to [00:08:45] a lot of people in the sports space, particularly men, and recognise how healthy it is to [00:08:50] have a sport. And like you said, stereotypically people like boxing is a really aggressive sport. I even think that, [00:08:55] you know, you see people being beaten up. But I’ve spoken to some boxers and they say actually that [00:09:00] release, you know, that release of energy and emotions in the ring makes [00:09:05] you a much safer and composed person in real life with your emotions. Like, I have a friend, he boxes [00:09:10] every morning first thing when he gets up and he’s like, I have that gun. And he’s like, as a man. He’s like, I [00:09:15] feel that’s actually really important. And he goes. And then later on in the day he goes. I really find it easy to [00:09:20] control my temper as a result of that habit that I’ve formed every day. You know.

Speaker1: I [00:09:25] think I think there’s a difference between boxing training, which is very, very healthy because it helps you [00:09:30] obviously with eye hand coordination, you work every part of your body if you do [00:09:35] it properly and it’s physically tough, but it gives you an appreciation for things. [00:09:40] And, um, the discipline is really nice. And I think when you’re, when you’re in the ring with somebody [00:09:45] and it’s just you and them, it doesn’t matter what goes on on the [00:09:50] outside. Yeah. Um, I remember having a fight if you, if you’re an amateur. Um, [00:09:55] the British Championships are usually held in York Hall in East London. Um, and, [00:10:00] um, I remember having my first fight for the British Championships. I was 15, I [00:10:05] only had seven fights. I won seven, um, but I was fighting a guy from a club, [00:10:10] West Ham club called Repton Park. Which is the best? Repton. Which is the best for guys, really? [00:10:15] Or one of the best. And I was in a small club out in, um, at that time a place called Howard Wood. [00:10:20] Yeah. And um, there was no one else for me to fight because I’d fought everybody. Um, [00:10:25] so they put me straight in for the championships. And, uh, I remember [00:10:30] my old trainer, Roy. He was great. He was like the old guy from Rocky. He’s like, okay, kid, you know, you sit [00:10:35] there, you’re knocking out boxing, but you can beat him.

Speaker1: I know you can. And, uh, it [00:10:40] was interesting. So I fought the guy who was currently the British championship champion, [00:10:45] and he had, I think, 60 something like 64 fights on his belt and won most of them. [00:10:50] And it was really interesting because he was right. The guy outskilled [00:10:55] me, but I hurt him so much that he couldn’t go on [00:11:00] to fight that night. So the idea was that whoever won that you fought again in the evening and then you won the championship. [00:11:05] Um, and he because he was from a big club, [00:11:10] a popular club, he won. But there was an uproar because it was basically I beat beat [00:11:15] the guy and then he had to he couldn’t box for a while because he got really hurt. But then I understood [00:11:20] the industry then because I didn’t win either, because it was this guy’s, you know, had to had to win [00:11:25] at the point. And, um, so I gave up for a while. Yeah, because [00:11:30] I didn’t like the business around it. But as a, as a person, it really was interesting because [00:11:35] on paper, I shouldn’t have been able to win. Yeah. Um, and it was a really nice [00:11:40] battle, I guess, as a young kid that had a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear about things, [00:11:45] to know that I could stand on my own two feet. Yeah, yeah. So, Paul.

Speaker3: Would you say there’s a I [00:11:50] mean, looking at your story becoming one of the world’s top male models? [00:11:55] Yeah.

Speaker2: We want to talk about.

Speaker3: That disconnect between that and the self self-conscious child. So [00:12:00] was boxing the. Yes. Tell us how the modelling started.

Speaker1: The modelling started. [00:12:05] Um, my mother sent off a photograph to a competition which I didn’t know [00:12:10] about. Um, this was in 1991. [00:12:15] I’d been approached prior at the King’s Road. I used to go shopping down there when I was 20, and, [00:12:20] uh, this lady had come up to me and said, oh, you should be a model. And I was like, yeah, sure, whatever. Yeah, just carry [00:12:25] on. Um. And she insisted. She’s like, look, I’m a photographer. Can I take some photos? And I said, sure, [00:12:30] why not? And she literally had a camera. So we took some pictures and, um, she gave me [00:12:35] her phone number, swap phone numbers, and I went back and saw them. It was actually pretty cool. And she took [00:12:40] me into a model agency called So Damn Tough at the time, which was like a kind of [00:12:45] working man sort of place. And, um, and it was all the rugged guys like boxers [00:12:50] and whatever, and, um, they wouldn’t take me on. And then she took me [00:12:55] to models one, where Davina McCall was the head booker at the time, and, [00:13:00] uh, I didn’t have great skin. So she said, well, we’re waiting to see for a little while. [00:13:05] And then he phoned me a month later and said, no, it’s not, it’s not worth you coming in.

Speaker1: So [00:13:10] that was my first experience of model agencies. Then. Um, my [00:13:15] mum sent off this competition and it had you can win a holiday and you get a wardrobe [00:13:20] of clothes. So I thought, that’s perfect, I’ll do that. And I was in hospital at the time having my appendix [00:13:25] out. So as soon as the end of the week came, I just went to this thing. I still had stitches in and [00:13:30] it was at limelight. Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart’s wife, come third [00:13:35] and, uh, and I won. I couldn’t believe it. There’s all these really handsome, chiselled guys [00:13:40] in there that really looked the business. And I just went in a pair of black jeans and a [00:13:45] white t shirt. I had no idea what it was about. And there was a boxer called Gary Stretch, [00:13:50] who used to be a model. And, um, he was on the thing and we started talking and [00:13:55] basically like, you should win this. You’re a good kid. Anyway, I won it. And, [00:14:00] um, they kept phoning me for a month saying, do you want to do you want to start working? [00:14:05] Do you want to come in?

Speaker2: And we were builder at the time.

Speaker1: So I was never really a builder. [00:14:10] How that come around? I did do construction. I did, um, double [00:14:15] glazing and suspended ceilings. Um, but how that come around is at the time [00:14:20] I wasn’t doing anything. I was probably being a bit of a naughty boy. And they said, what do you do? And I said, oh, I’m [00:14:25] a builder. Yeah, that’s what I do. So first thing I thought of and it just stuck, basically because they [00:14:30] put that in the papers and um, I finally went up there [00:14:35] and went for a casting, which I had no idea about and got the [00:14:40] job. And that was my first introduction. It was it was very, very foreign to me. [00:14:45] I had no idea what I was doing, but I had a wonderful agent, um, called Tandy, and [00:14:50] she’s like a pit bull. And she’s like, right, kid? What you’re [00:14:55] wearing, you need to change. She took me shopping. She said, this is what you’re wearing now. This is your [00:15:00] new style, and this is how you have to be when you turn up on the job. Um, so that was the first.

Speaker3: How [00:15:05] long did it take from that to catwalks and model shoots?

Speaker1: And [00:15:10] it was a very short period of time, I think. I think probably [00:15:15] it took me about two months to get my first job, which was a magazine. Um, [00:15:20] and then I remember getting a Speedo job for trunks up in Manchester. [00:15:25] And then after that I did a thing called The Clothes Show Life. So [00:15:30] funny enough, Warren Warren. Now, is it Warren Avenue? Where are you from? Warwick? Warwick Avenue. Um, [00:15:35] someone used to have a house there that used to cast him from. And she would do [00:15:40] the shows. So I went to this casting. She said, can you can you dance? I was like, yeah, of course [00:15:45] I can dance. She goes, okay, we’re doing a clothes show live. I’m like, yeah, fine, whatever. And when I got there, I didn’t realise [00:15:50] it was choreography because I’ve been a gymnast and trampolines, I could move, so I [00:15:55] basically blagged the job. And then the next thing we’re doing eight shows a day up in Manchester or wherever it was and, [00:16:00] uh, learning how to dance with the other guys and stuff. And it was good.

Speaker2: Question [00:16:05] for you, though, because I hear this, um, do you think that you [00:16:10] just fell into it with modelling, or do you feel that subconsciously I hate using [00:16:15] the word, but everyone loves it. So buzzword manifest, did you feel that you subconsciously manifested? And [00:16:20] obviously manifesting is thinking about something that you really want and then, you know, it [00:16:25] kind of comes your way when there’s preparation and opportunity, and I guess we can call that luck. [00:16:30] Or do you genuinely feel like these opportunities just came your way and you thought, oh, actually, [00:16:35] mine must be quite good looking. You know, a lot of people are asking me to do this, you know. What do you think?

Speaker1: It was [00:16:40] two points to that, I think. I never thought about [00:16:45] it before I met. I saw one guy once on Davies Street [00:16:50] in Mayfair who looked like a model, thought, wow, he looks impressive. He looks really cool. And and my [00:16:55] mum used to get a catalogue and there was one guy in the catalogue in the motorbike section that always [00:17:00] used to wear the leather leather gear, and he looked really cool and his name was Zayn MacDonald and I did my [00:17:05] second job with him, which was bizarre. But when I started, um, [00:17:10] I would say that I manifested it in the sense that [00:17:15] I really wanted to do well, and I really wanted [00:17:20] to do well was because my upbringing, we didn’t do much. It was I felt quite bored with it. It was [00:17:25] very local, in a small, small kind of London mentality. So [00:17:30] as soon as I started to work abroad and meet different people from different places, it blew my mind and I [00:17:35] was so hungry just to have the knowledge of life that yeah, I would, [00:17:40] I would. I basically travelled for eight years and stayed no [00:17:45] more than like two months in one country. So I’d be in Paris knocking on doors. [00:17:50]

Speaker1: And back then you would literally physically go to see a client knock [00:17:55] on the door, give me your book, have a chat, leave and go and see another one. It [00:18:00] was such a busy business, you would literally go and see 8 or 9 clients a day. So I’d see 8 or [00:18:05] 9 clients a day in Paris, and then the jobs you would have a month or two [00:18:10] months full of jobs happened, or a couple of weeks. So I’d seen everybody. So I’d say to my agent, right, [00:18:15] I’m going to Milan, I’ll do the same there, and I’d work. And then from there I’d go [00:18:20] to Athens, or I’d go back to London, or I’d fly to New York. So I constantly drove [00:18:25] the business myself as much as possible, so I wouldn’t just sit there and think, [00:18:30] well, nothing’s going on this week. I’ll just hang out. I’d phone up and say, where’s [00:18:35] busy? What’s the market doing over there or over there? So sure, I manifest it in the sense [00:18:40] that I wanted to do it, but I put the work in. I don’t think [00:18:45] that you can sit in your house, desire something, and not do something about it, and it will happen.

Speaker2: You [00:18:50] know what? And I also think there’s something to be said about self-belief as well. I was listening to a manifesting [00:18:55] podcast the other day because I’m going through a transition stage myself, and [00:19:00] someone said that you could say, like, you think you really want something, but there’s also [00:19:05] a part of you that thinks you don’t deserve it and you actually prevent yourself from getting it. And I thought [00:19:10] that was a really interesting point as well. I’m not saying you should be self-congratulatory and say like, I’m [00:19:15] the most amazing person in the world, but it’s also having that innate belief, which is really hard, that I deserve [00:19:20] to do well because I’m willing to put in the work and I’m willing for good things to come my way. And I think [00:19:25] that that’s a really important part of it as well.

Speaker1: I think there’s another part to that. Yeah. I [00:19:30] think, you know, some people believe that they desire something, but they actually [00:19:35] really don’t because they think they either have to have it or they think [00:19:40] that that they would be appreciated if they have it. Um, so I think there’s another element [00:19:45] to that. Yeah. So I really wanted to be an actor at one point. Um, and [00:19:50] I studied for three years, Myers and Technique and I went into the industry, and it was [00:19:55] mostly because people were saying, oh, you’re great. You’ve done so well, you’ve done so many TV commercials [00:20:00] and worked a lot of directors. You should do TV and film. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I was like, okay, maybe I should do this. [00:20:05] And I lived in the States, like I said, and I went to castings and auditions [00:20:10] for movies. And then I realised it’s a completely different business [00:20:15] from modelling. And I had I was very fortunate because I’d done so well [00:20:20] in the modelling. I knew people I could just go straight to another agent, which I did. So I bridged across, [00:20:25] um, but it’s a different business. It’s completely and utterly a different business. So I [00:20:30] managed to do I actually sat there and I said, um, to [00:20:35] the universe, let me get three movies. To [00:20:40] see if I really like it and to see if I am a good [00:20:45] actor. I can do a job. And literally within this six months after I had had [00:20:50] three movies come up, which was bizarre, and I did them all, and [00:20:55] at the time I was going through a change, but I really was observing [00:21:00] what was going on, so it wasn’t when I started to model, I was just blindly doing it and really [00:21:05] pushing to to get the job where with acting, I was unsure if [00:21:10] I wanted to do it properly.

Speaker1: So I was watching how it worked and whole process [00:21:15] and enjoyed engaging and doing what I was doing in the movies. And I had the experience. Um, [00:21:20] and I remember we had the premiere in Madrid of this movie [00:21:25] I did called Didi Hollywood. And, uh, and it was amazing because we came [00:21:30] out and we being a film star for five minutes and we were signing autographs, we got a really good picture of [00:21:35] it down the thing, and I used to have a big market in Spain anyway for modelling, so I had quite a following [00:21:40] and it was just and it was just I kind of experienced it as like being a movie star for this [00:21:45] moment. I thought that was amazing. And I went back upstairs to my room in the hotel and just sat [00:21:50] and had a cup of tea, didn’t go to the after party and I was like, that was amazing. But I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do for [00:21:55] a living.

Speaker2: Interesting.

Speaker3: What about, um, going from the East End [00:22:00] boxing? Yes. To suddenly being this super successful model. [00:22:05] Did you have loads of sort of pinch yourself moments? Like what? What what comes what comes [00:22:10] to mind when I say, you know, amazing moments in that period?

Speaker1: Oh, there’s definitely [00:22:15] amazing moments. But I think putting all the effort in, it wasn’t like, I don’t [00:22:20] know, I’ve never won lottery. Someone winning the lottery. Oh that’s great, I’m rich now. Yeah. It wasn’t a switch [00:22:25] like that. I still had to learn what I was doing, but there was moments I remember [00:22:30] my first job in America was down in San Diego. I’d [00:22:35] never been to America before, and we were staying in this beautiful hotel, amazing production [00:22:40] team that took us all to the incredible locations. And [00:22:45] then I’m working next to some really cool California surfer dudes, and I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. [00:22:50] That for me was was incredible. And then there’s been jobs. I worked with, [00:22:55] um, incredible photographer called Bruce Weber, and my first job with him [00:23:00] was the Banana Republic campaign. And, um, they were just trying to bring the [00:23:05] company up, and there were 60 models. We went down to Montauk, um, [00:23:10] in Long Island. It was beautiful. And in this $20 million [00:23:15] home, all winnebagos around, food everywhere, amazing [00:23:20] cars. And I was like, wow, this is just another level of life.

Speaker2: Having [00:23:25] said that, though, you’ve obviously, you know, there was a huge transition into your lifestyle. Did [00:23:30] your mental health ever plummet and did you ever use coping mechanisms? [00:23:35] We also know that the Hollywood lifestyle and the fame and the fortune, you know, comes with a dark [00:23:40] side, and there’s certainly a massive element of self-soothing, you know, where people escape, [00:23:45] you know, their own reality, even though it’s meant to be on the outside, like this perfect reality. So [00:23:50] was there a transition in your mental health at any point?

Speaker1: I [00:23:55] think I realised early on that there’s a show and the show is, you know, when [00:24:00] you see movies, all you see as a, as a normal person is the red carpet, the lights, the [00:24:05] stuff. And you don’t see that there’s been four years of work going into that. So [00:24:10] I think by that time I knew there was that side of it, but I didn’t realise how cut [00:24:15] throat it was. And for me, I used to come, I was very close to my mum. [00:24:20] So when I was modelling initially I used to fly back always to sit with her and see her and [00:24:25] I found that very grounding and reassuring because you can lose yourself very easy, you [00:24:30] know, if you’re away from your stable, whether it be a family or certain friends, you can definitely lose yourself. [00:24:35] Um, self-soothing. Self-soothing. I don’t know about that. I ended up drinking [00:24:40] a lot and partying a lot. Um, and I think that was trying to fill [00:24:45] a void, but I didn’t know what the void was for at the time. So I would work [00:24:50] incredibly hard and party just as hard. Yeah.

Speaker2: What [00:24:55] do you think the void was now in hindsight?

Speaker1: Probably [00:25:00] a misconnection with myself. Yeah. I think in, in, um, a [00:25:05] lot of times in life we’re taught or we see other people’s behaviours and we [00:25:10] marketed that if you have this handbag or if you have this car, if you live in, [00:25:15] if you live in London, and then when you’re in London, if you live in this area and if you’re in that area, it’s living in this street and [00:25:20] then it’s what building you live at and what apartment you live in that building. So it can go down to whatever. [00:25:25] And that’s endless because then it’s okay, I’ve got the apartment, but do I have the gaudy wallpaper? [00:25:30] Have I got, you know, whatever kitchen. And it’s just it’s never ending. So [00:25:35] for me, it was about, um, I studied tai [00:25:40] chi for five years when I lived in LA. Um, I learnt a lot about meditation. [00:25:45] I did lots of yoga. I did a lot of time on my own. So this is what. [00:25:50] This is how I learned to deal with stuff. Um, I [00:25:55] used to. I always loved girlfriends and having a lot of time with people. So I [00:26:00] started to get agitated. If I stayed in a hotel room on my own somewhere and I was like, what [00:26:05] is that agitation? Why am I agitated? I should be fine and I needed to be around [00:26:10] people. So what I did, which I wouldn’t recommend. I took a year off [00:26:15] dating, texting any girls, looking at any girls, and [00:26:20] if I did engage at work, I was very polite but [00:26:25] just short and was not going to engage in any flirting or anything like that. So for a year I [00:26:30] spent really kind of on my own. Yeah. Didn’t watch TV, watched some [00:26:35] movies, read books. And it was really interesting. And [00:26:40] from doing that, I realised that, um, I found myself [00:26:45] through the fear of doing what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to be on my own. So I thought, I [00:26:50] better be on my own. Yeah. So spending that time gives you the space to see [00:26:55] what the truth is.

Speaker2: Do you know, I think that people have such a fear of being alone [00:27:00] and being on their own. And I see it even with like people that I know in my immediate like friendship [00:27:05] group or people, and they’re like, they come out, they’re serial monogamists, as I would call it, or they always [00:27:10] have, like the next person lined up before they fully break up with another person and they [00:27:15] might preach like, oh, I want to be on my own. I have to spend time on my own. But it gives them such intense [00:27:20] anxiety and like, well, I can’t help it that this person has come along because it’s actually a really difficult thing because [00:27:25] it forces you like, I love spending time by myself. Like I’m happy to have the house to myself, [00:27:30] as you said, like put a cup of tea, read a book, etc. but I [00:27:35] also need to feel that there’s someone there. Like I really struggled to be on my own. [00:27:40] And I think it’s some it’s something that people don’t really talk about or are happy to admit to because as you said, [00:27:45] it’s really sitting with yourself. And now that we have our mobile phones and our devices, we’re never [00:27:50] truly alone, you know? Because even if you, for example, don’t go on dates or don’t flirt with people, you’ve [00:27:55] got access to dating apps or Instagram, or you can check out people that’s not being on your own.

Speaker1: There’s a [00:28:00] difference between being diverted from yourself and being distracted. Correct, to being on your own. [00:28:05] Yep. And I really recommend, um, I really recommend it [00:28:10] because we had it’s a blind fear. So you’re willing [00:28:15] as a person to date the wrong person, uh, for however long [00:28:20] in the wrong circumstances. So you’re putting yourself second and wondering [00:28:25] why you’re not happy, and wondering why you have to be distracted to pick up the phone or whatever because [00:28:30] you can’t see yourself. And if you sit with yourself, it’s you. [00:28:35] It doesn’t matter where you are, who you. If you’re still with yourself, you can be in a room. I [00:28:40] used to have a friend of mine who’s the best conversationalist. You’d go to any party, and he’s talking to everyone. And I [00:28:45] used to think, how does he do that? And and I thought, oh, [00:28:50] I’m actually, I thought I was shy as a kid. I realised I was self-conscious, [00:28:55] which is a difference. And what that means is if we’re sitting here and I’m thinking, [00:29:00] Payman doesn’t like my shirt, oh, God, I shouldn’t wear a shirt he likes. Oh my god, or, you know, [00:29:05] or whatever it may be. I am separating myself [00:29:10] from you guys by thought, even in the same room. So [00:29:15] I’m in here while you’re out there. Yeah. So. If [00:29:20] you if you’re self-conscious or you’re thinking like that, you are separate. Whether you’re in a [00:29:25] room with 100 people or no people. So if you get to know yourself, then you get to know your [00:29:30] thought process. Then you can do something about it and then you can join everyone in.

Speaker3: Would [00:29:35] you say, would you say, that’s the it’s a crazy question, right? The secret to happiness. [00:29:40] I’ve been sort of grappling, you know, it took me 45 years to work out the difference [00:29:45] between sort of pleasure and happiness, but now it’s something I’ve really [00:29:50] been hating going towards. But my conclusion is lower expectations. [00:29:55] You’re talking about be be comfortable with yourself. Yeah, [00:30:00] but what I learned, maybe my problem is expectations. And your problem is being alone. That [00:30:05] thing.

Speaker1: Well, I’m, uh, a recovering recovering addict. Right? [00:30:10] Um. So sorry.

Speaker2: Can you to be more specific, as in, like, was it the alcohol or [00:30:15] was it substance abuse or what do you feel, what was the addiction for you. So I’ll.

Speaker1: Tell you. So [00:30:20] being a recovering addict, right. Um, you realise that alcohol, [00:30:25] drugs, relationship, shopping or food are but a symptom [00:30:30] of someone who’s an addict? So if you have a cold, you [00:30:35] have a runny nose. Generally, if you get rid of the runny nose, you still have a cold. [00:30:40] But if you get rid of the cold, you run a runny nose. So there. But a symptom [00:30:45] like we spoke earlier about the phones are distracting because I can’t sit with myself. So, [00:30:50] um, it happiness. It depends what your understanding [00:30:55] of of of happiness is. There’s a difference between excitement, joy, [00:31:00] elation, getting a hit of dopamine from something, or being happy [00:31:05] with yourself. And how I look at that is that I don’t want to be somewhere [00:31:10] else, or be someone else, or be in a different space [00:31:15] than I am at that moment. That’s happiness.

Speaker3: For me. Meditation [00:31:20] helps a lot with that sort of.

Speaker1: It helps a lot, but it also and people [00:31:25] misunderstand what meditation is. Meditation is not stopping your thinking. So you’re in a Zen place at [00:31:30] the beginning. You have to observe your thinking. Therefore you’re separating yourself from your thinking. [00:31:35] That’s right. So I can be sitting here and I could say, I did this podcast [00:31:40] and I was really uncomfortable because of whatever. Or I can say I had a [00:31:45] thought that I was really uncomfortable, but I was okay with that. Yeah, it’s a separation. That’s a big [00:31:50] difference.

Speaker2: When you were talking about happiness and, you know, being comfortable [00:31:55] within yourself. I got asked yesterday, I was on a podcast and they were talking about body confidence. [00:32:00] Um, and I talk about my journey with body confidence. I had a difficult time at university. [00:32:05] I was always in with the IT crowd, you know, and having a great time, but I always [00:32:10] felt like I didn’t quite fit in. I came I come from a middle eastern background. It was a very like [00:32:15] public school boarding school mentality, and I never quite fitted in. And there were all of these different [00:32:20] judgements on the way that I look, and I went through a very like sad period of restrictive eating where I [00:32:25] was severely underweight and very unhappy, but also at the same time, because people [00:32:30] would congratulate me on me being the smallest version of myself. I felt better because I got that validation, [00:32:35] you know, it was a kind of horrible relationship that caused a lot of [00:32:40] internal conflict. Anyway, now I’m fine. I would say I’m fine in terms of like, I love food, I [00:32:45] enjoy food, I exercise, and I get on with it. But the question was asked, are you body confident? [00:32:50] And I said, I don’t think I’ll ever be body confident, but I am okay with that. You [00:32:55] know, as an I manage now as an I manage my thoughts and when I have a negative thought or when I have people commenting [00:33:00] on the way that I look on my parents and my body, I manage it. Whereas before I would [00:33:05] go into a state of total turmoil and I don’t know, like maybe you have the answer. [00:33:10] Like, do you ever overcome the issues that you’ve experienced? [00:33:15] You know, like you said, with addiction, like you’re aware that you had it, you’ve got coping mechanisms, but [00:33:20] do you think that you can ever fully get over those things.

Speaker1: Get over the experience [00:33:25] from the past, or get over them currently?

Speaker2: I suppose in a way that, you know, could your addiction [00:33:30] ever be triggered, or does the thought ever just stay kind of like prevalent in your mind sometimes? [00:33:35] Do you ever think about it? Or you’re just like, I don’t even think about it. I’m totally over it.

Speaker1: Two [00:33:40] things you said about being body confident. Are you confident but unconfident about the body? [00:33:45] They’re two separate things. Or if you’re a confident person, what’s encompassed in that confidence? For [00:33:50] me, I know that coming from a place of addiction [00:33:55] where everything is extreme. So when I was 13, um, [00:34:00] I’ve got pictures of me like 13, 14, 15. I was like 4 or 5% [00:34:05] body fat, ripped, um, completely shredded and looked amazing. I was very [00:34:10] confident about myself and everything. Probably cocky as a kid because you don’t know the difference. Um, [00:34:15] um, and. If you’re [00:34:20] it depends what you’re focussed on. So if you believe if I believe that my it’s my body [00:34:25] is everything. And as long as I look good, everything will be fine, then that’s a misunderstanding of what’s going on. [00:34:30] Also about what you said about we all have different differences [00:34:35] in life, right? But you have to look at the similarities. If you can find a similarity, [00:34:40] then you’ve got a common goal. So being a Londoner, [00:34:45] um, um, from a working class or a normal background, [00:34:50] I could pull out so many things where I, I could have been the victim of stuff. [00:34:55] Um, but I choose not to, but certain things can bother [00:35:00] me. Um, about that. Whereas you could turn round and [00:35:05] say, I was absolutely stunning. I had beautiful hair, I was fit, I was great. Most [00:35:10] people are uncomfortable going to uni or college, etc.

Speaker1: etc. and I’m very lucky that, [00:35:15] um, coming from my background in this country and then going to be very successful [00:35:20] and going to that place of study, which was amazing. And my friend group is incredible. [00:35:25] It’s an achievement where some people might not be able to even go to a [00:35:30] school or something. So you can turn it all around. Sure. Um, there [00:35:35] is a pressure of how we look as trust me, especially in the modelling world, and [00:35:40] it was very sad. I worked, I worked not long ago in Turkey, and there [00:35:45] was a girl who came on the job and she looked at, I mean, I [00:35:50] saw her pictures and she was stunning. When she walked on, I thought, I thought she just looked [00:35:55] very, very unwell and unhappy. And you can always tell in the eyes. And I sat down and spoke to her and basically [00:36:00] she said that her Milanese agent had told her that she’s got to lose weight and size [00:36:05] and this is how you do it. And I said, well, what’s this? Oh gosh, she [00:36:10] was having coffee, cigarettes, water and apples. And she that’s all she’d had for two weeks, could you imagine? [00:36:15] And I said to her, listen, you’ve got it’s not worth it. Just eat. There’s other ways [00:36:20] of doing stuff, but eat. So there is a problem in that industry in that way. [00:36:25]

Speaker2: And this is recent, right. Because I thought perhaps the narrative had changed a little bit with them. No. So [00:36:30] do you think that still think that the high end modelling industry is very much what it [00:36:35] was, for example, in the 90s?

Speaker1: Yeah. If you go to a job, if you’re [00:36:40] not, um, and the clothes have got smaller. So when I started I was a bit small [00:36:45] and I’ve got big shoulders always have done. Um, I like them, I’m quite proud of them. [00:36:50] But I got a lot of. Oh, your back’s too wide or your shoulders are too tall. I haven’t got I [00:36:55] was too short. I did my first show in Milan and it wasn’t on a catwalk. It was around the room [00:37:00] of chairs. And it was for Catherine, Catherine, hamlet. And as I walked out, this guy literally went, [00:37:05] oh, he’s sure, isn’t he? I thought, I’m six foot. Bear in mind the guy in front [00:37:10] was probably 511 and had heels on them behind. I was like, oh. So I started to [00:37:15] see that. Yeah. And it really, it really does affect you. Um, [00:37:20] but that’s that hasn’t changed. So when I started people were 40, 42 chest. [00:37:25] Now they’re 36, 38. So I went to [00:37:30] see someone the other day and all they had was sample sizes. I’m like 41, 42 [00:37:35] now. Um, I’m like, I’m not going to fit in those. Yeah.

Speaker2: And what was their response? [00:37:40]

Speaker1: Oh, right. Um, okay. Well, maybe you can try the jacket on. I was like, I’m not going to fit in it.

Speaker2: Yeah, [00:37:45] yeah.

Speaker1: So now I’m like, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t doesn’t work. But if I still do modelling. So [00:37:50] I did a wonderful shoot for Christian Dior for The Rack magazine and I said, guys [00:37:55] don’t get sample sizes. No one fits in them unless you’re really young and slim. [00:38:00] And I’m not. I’m quite a strong guy. So they just got my size and we did a wonderful shoot. That was [00:38:05] it.

Speaker2: So the the the onus on like the your looks and your appearance, [00:38:10] did that impact your mental health in any way? Because what I always think is [00:38:15] like, gosh, online particularly like with the younger generation, they place [00:38:20] such an importance on a depreciating asset. I mean, now we recognise [00:38:25] and I believe you know, that all stages of life, we’re beautiful in different ways. And I genuinely [00:38:30] believe that like 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, there’s different, you know, there’s different like [00:38:35] cycles in your life. But I worry because people that create a [00:38:40] platform or go into industries where it’s all about the way that you look, I [00:38:45] worry, you know, for the mental health, as you said, because this is an asset that that, you know, changes [00:38:50] and diminishes.

Speaker1: Yeah. You you got to remember that not everyone’s [00:38:55] like that, right? It is a beauty industry. And there are things that [00:39:00] sell and don’t sell. But look at Kate Moss. She’s tiny. [00:39:05] Look at Oliver Cheshire. You know, Oliver Cheshire had just changed clothing. Um he’s [00:39:10] small. He. No one would work with him. And my agent, the same one who helped me, was like, I work [00:39:15] with Olly. He’s amazing. I think he’s like 510. Yeah, the guy smashed it. I’m really well, [00:39:20] because he had someone around him pushing him that had a different vision. So it depends [00:39:25] on your level. If you’re general, you’ve got to fit into something. But as you make a name [00:39:30] for yourself, as you become more talented, what you do and it’s not just looks, you have to a you [00:39:35] have to know what you’re doing. Um.

Speaker3: What is that? What do you mean [00:39:40] within the shoot?

Speaker1: Yeah. You have to know. Yeah. I mean, it’s less now because you’re digital, [00:39:45] so you can, like, change things after. But initially. Yeah, we use on film. [00:39:50] You did one Polaroid. You got that shot right. You would [00:39:55] do eight shots a day, right. So you needed to know as a model where what [00:40:00] material are you wearing. How does that. Hang on your body. What is the energy [00:40:05] you’re putting through? So everything comes from the eyes, like acting. So what are [00:40:10] you portraying? What’s the story you’re doing? So there’s a lot to it. If you want to do really well, you can stand there [00:40:15] and look angular if you want, and just look at happy in your eyes and you’ll you’ll get away [00:40:20] with it. But to be really good, to really go to the top of that game, you have to be an artist [00:40:25] in knowing what you’re doing, what works, how do you move?

Speaker3: And the creative saying, [00:40:30] now I want sultry or whatever, whatever the particular mood is, and you’ve got to try. [00:40:35] And I mean, you must be really good at this, right? Because for years you were right at the top of that game. [00:40:40] But I think the question you were asking was more about, you know, losing looks. Yeah. And [00:40:45] you see that amongst the women more. Right? Yeah.

Speaker2: Because men obviously are celebrated, as you said, for ageing. [00:40:50] And I have a friend actually who’s a model now, I’m sure you know him. And he smashes it with his jobs [00:40:55] like Hugo Woods. Yeah, yeah. So he’s like someone that I’ve known for many years, [00:41:00] and I always see him on the kind of like older grey beard, grey like campaigns, which is like the silver [00:41:05] fox, you know, type thing. And but women don’t [00:41:10] obviously. I mean, Payman and I talk about this all the time, like, women are celebrated for their beauty in their 20s. [00:41:15] If they’re lucky, they might still have it in their 30s, you know, whatever the going says. So. [00:41:20] And obviously the industry, I don’t see women really in that. You get either the really young [00:41:25] ones or the really old ones. I don’t see the in-between market at all.

Speaker1: Well, you’re selling a dream, aren’t [00:41:30] you? In reality, um, I have have a [00:41:35] female friend of mine. She’s 80 and she’s so beautiful, so beautiful. And [00:41:40] beauty really is from within. You can have a really handsome guy with an eight pack. [00:41:45] Best body you’ve ever seen.

Speaker2: Ever.

Speaker1: And you know, he’s got no personality. He might [00:41:50] be a narcissist. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, especially [00:41:55] in relationships, because once you shut that door, it’s just you guys and you’ve got to get on. [00:42:00] And beauty really is from within. Like, I really learned that in my industry regarding [00:42:05] age, um, it’s a young industry, but I think [00:42:10] the grey fox is catching up for men because people don’t have money [00:42:15] before 35. Generally, I’m generalising around the world to 65, [00:42:20] and if you go and ask a lot of guys in a members club in London or whatever and [00:42:25] say, can you relate to this picture of someone who’s 19 versus no, [00:42:30] they had there was no correlation. And I think the industry lost itself for some time [00:42:35] because it was very it was only ecosystem, and it never looked out to see what people [00:42:40] would really want. As you get older and you look at pictures [00:42:45] of yourself again, I’m generalising. It’s a desire to be, oh, I’m so young. I was actually [00:42:50] really cool. I could move around. So there’s a romantic idea where I think ladies [00:42:55] want to be beautiful and keep their beauty.

Speaker1: But if you learn to [00:43:00] grow as a person and you have more interest than that, [00:43:05] and you have more value than that, then you should you should change. Because I think in life [00:43:10] I can only speak from a guy’s point of view early on. It’s all about material how much money we can get, how many [00:43:15] women? Well, for some, yeah. And can I date these people? Can I, [00:43:20] can I go to that place? I’m going to this beach. I’m going to that party. I’m wearing this outfit. It’s amazing. [00:43:25] Then after, as you grow older or grow up, um, that wears [00:43:30] off and you realise that’s not the answer and then you go for [00:43:35] relationships. How do I relate to people? How can I have a nice conversation or have fun [00:43:40] with people? And then after that, it’s experiences in life where we’re going to travel together, what we’re going [00:43:45] to do. So I think unless you change your, um, [00:43:50] thought process or understanding, then you’re not going to grow. Then you’re going to you’re missing this. You’re missing the [00:43:55] whole trick.

Speaker2: Do you think that when [00:44:00] you entered the life of sobriety, did your friendship group and the people [00:44:05] that you hung out with inevitably change, and the type of people that you found engaging in the [00:44:10] conversations that you were having? Yeah.

Speaker1: Absolutely. Because [00:44:15] you kind of find your tribe. If you’re a soccer player, you’re probably hanging around footballers because you can talk about [00:44:20] it, you know, play football or boxing or whatever, or dentists, you probably hang out.

Speaker2: I’m [00:44:25] joking. Joking. Yeah. Um.

Speaker1: Because [00:44:30] you can relate to something. If you’re partying and you like going out, your friends are going [00:44:35] to be partiers. It’s as simple as that. And you’re going to go out. And that was crazy last night and do what you did. [00:44:40] And I think everyone should go out and enjoy themselves 100%. But at one point [00:44:45] you kind of grow out of it, or there’s those that don’t grow out of it and they’re just, you see [00:44:50] the guy who like 55 years old, 60 in the middle, you know, in the corner of a club just trying to and you’re like, please. [00:44:55] Yeah. And bless them. There’s people that still do that because they’re trying to capture that [00:45:00] past thing again. So you have to grow individually. But for sobriety? Yeah. For me, [00:45:05] I had to change a lot of friends. Not that I made the decision to change, but [00:45:10] if you’re going to a party and you’re not drinking, people get bored of it because you’re not on [00:45:15] the same wavelength. You know, I disagree.

Speaker2: Okay, I’ll tell you why. Because [00:45:20] I’ve been teetotal my whole life. So I tried a drink when I was [00:45:25] like 13, when everyone else started drinking and I was like, I actually don’t like the taste of this. And then when [00:45:30] I saw more of my friends spiral out of control, lose themselves, become alter egos, [00:45:35] etc., I was like, I don’t like this. And then I had enough self-awareness, even [00:45:40] at that young age, to be like, you know what? I think [00:45:45] that I actually have anxiety and I actually don’t think [00:45:50] alcohol will be conducive nor drugs to my anxiety. But I continued to go [00:45:55] out because I loved music and I loved moving my body, and I loved all those things, [00:46:00] and I managed to stay up with other people. But having said that, because I never drank, there [00:46:05] was a never an expectation for me to be on the same wavelength as them. I think the only challenge was [00:46:10] dating because when I would go on dates, people be like, oh, she’s not drinking and it’s classic, can I buy you [00:46:15] a drink? So I had to do the like, throw the shot over my shoulder thing, like, you know.

Speaker3: Drunk on life, though, you know [00:46:20] that, you know, some people, some people are repressed a little bit. So [00:46:25] it takes getting drunk to be themselves. Totally. So I meant.

Speaker1: I meant an extreme about [00:46:30] that. You’re right about being on a different wavelength when your friends. Yeah. Oh, my God, I love.

Speaker3: You so much. It’s so [00:46:35] nice. Yeah.

Speaker1: Don’t tell me you’re on the same wavelength if you’re out dancing and having fun. She’s like. [00:46:40]

Speaker3: She’s like that when she’s sober, though, that’s calm down.

Speaker1: That’s different. So yeah, you [00:46:45] can’t be on the same wavelength as someone who’s crying into their drink and stuff. You’re either going to be care [00:46:50] for them or you’re going to go, okay, you’re okay. But there’s difference between what I mean, [00:46:55] I was generalising from going, I love to go out and party and dance and stuff with friends. That’s different. I can [00:47:00] do that. But at one point when they are of a really slurring or they’ve gone on to substances, [00:47:05] then I’m out. No, you’re.

Speaker2: Right, you’re right. Like and then there is that point. I mean, I went to the very [00:47:10] famous Chiltern Firehouse. It’s my favourite after I did my last podcast with you. It’s my favourite, [00:47:15] um, hangout place. And I always say it’s like going to a Great Gatsby party [00:47:20] because you go and you see everyone that’s meant to be seen and you see the celebrities [00:47:25] and you see, and I love to go as an observer because as I said, like Great Gatsby, everyone’s [00:47:30] there and they want to be there, but no one actually cares about anyone else that’s there. And if someone died, [00:47:35] no one would be at their funeral, you know? So I think it’s such a strong analogy. And when [00:47:40] I was there, I, you know, saw all these different people, but again, like they [00:47:45] start going on to the substances and their personas change. The thing is.

Speaker3: We talked [00:47:50] we kind of talked about this. You don’t see plant medicine or some, uh, mushroom [00:47:55] tea as substances. Yeah, but they are substances. Yeah.

Speaker2: No, no, [00:48:00] no. But the thing is, I disagree because I think that ultimately there are substances [00:48:05] that I said are used for self-soothing and can be abused. And then there is plant medicine. You use the word [00:48:10] medicine and it’s no. But personally, for myself, as I said to you, like, [00:48:15] if.

Speaker3: I mean, as he was saying, it could be shopping.

Speaker2: Totally. And I’m sure in your mouth [00:48:20] I’m sure you’ve read the work of Gabor, mate. I always bring him up on this. But Gabor would say that most [00:48:25] people have some form of addiction, and it could be an addiction to watching the Twilight series, or [00:48:30] it could be an addiction. We all have some kind of addiction, and that’s why he really pushes society [00:48:35] to re-evaluate the way that we treat addicts and addiction itself. And it’s super interesting. I follow [00:48:40] his work very clearly, and I get what you’re saying. But also I’m interested because from a medical [00:48:45] point of view, I don’t think that we integrate enough medicines that are actually conducive [00:48:50] to our health. You know, the type of medicines that pharma, for example, want to give to [00:48:55] people are based on them being reliant and addicted to them, whereas something like plant medicines, from the research that [00:49:00] I’ve done, you don’t need to be addicted to those substances, you know. Yes, there are highly addictive [00:49:05] to be.

Speaker3: Addicted to anything, right? Yeah.

Speaker2: Yeah, totally. But it’s also about intention, as you said. You know, we’ve [00:49:10] had people on this podcast that have talked about doing ayahuasca as we’ve discussed, but and there are [00:49:15] people that abuse ayahuasca. I meet guys at Chiltern Firehouse. They’re like, I’ve done my 18th ceremony. I’m like, okay, great. You’re [00:49:20] still like messing around here with million women, like living a hedonistic lifestyle. [00:49:25] But the point is, and then there’s people that go there because they’ve had trauma. They want to confront [00:49:30] their demons. They want to overcome stuff. So I think intention is a really important part of all of this with anything.

Speaker1: I totally [00:49:35] agree. But I would say that the word addiction is [00:49:40] if you’re not addicted to Netflix, you’re happy to sit down and have a gelato and [00:49:45] watch. Netflix is comfortable and you really want to see what happens in the next one. But you’re not going to go and rob someone [00:49:50] to watch Netflix or murder. So there’s a big difference is [00:49:55] a big, big difference. And in a place like Los Angeles, people would [00:50:00] shoot you in a. Neighbourhood to get money or something to go and get drugs. That’s [00:50:05] a that’s addiction at its worst. That’s at worst. Or there’s a wonderful [00:50:10] store near us that has some beautiful bottles of wine, and one guy keeps breaking [00:50:15] the windows and running in there to take it and run off. That’s an alcoholic who has addiction problems. Yeah, [00:50:20] there’s a difference between it’s really it’s really a big difference. And people should [00:50:25] stop using the word addiction for when they’re not addicted to something because [00:50:30] they’re not putting their whole family. You know, they’re not saying, I’m not going to feed my child [00:50:35] because I’m watching this movie. Let it wait. They won’t do that. That’s not addicted. That’s [00:50:40] really enthusiastic about something. They want to see it. Yeah, there’s a big difference. And I really believe [00:50:45] intention. What you’re saying is, is, is a whole subject, [00:50:50] um, that people can see that look like they’re doing the same actions in life, but [00:50:55] the intention is the key to what they’re doing.

Speaker2: But you’ve used the word addicted. So do you think that [00:51:00] what at some point your your well-being and [00:51:05] you know, the substances around you or the relationships around you, you use that word. Do you feel then that you were [00:51:10] putting anyone at harm or just yourself at harm to, you know, get that hit, as it were? [00:51:15]

Speaker1: Um, no. Well it depends. [00:51:20] That was a very broad question.

Speaker2: What I mean is, because you said you gave the analogy, like, [00:51:25] for example, no one’s going to kill someone to watch the next episode of Netflix, but you. So you have [00:51:30] to use the word addiction carefully. So you use the word you said that you were an addict, [00:51:35] you know, so I’m saying, so what extent would it be like, how did you feel that the self destruction or the destruction to [00:51:40] others manifested, manifested itself?

Speaker1: So mine wasn’t a destruction to others? Yeah, [00:51:45] it was, I was I was a sole trader, as it were. Yeah. Uh, and while I [00:51:50] was a sole trader, because a, I didn’t know I had addiction problems, um, until I [00:51:55] went into rehab. Um, and. I used to just [00:52:00] travel. I’m not a horrible person. Um, I’m a very kind person at heart, [00:52:05] and I was very sensitive as a kid. But I think I’m going back to your first question as well. [00:52:10] Probably reaction to a lot of that was to, um, you got to remember [00:52:15] that alcohol is a painkiller. So most drugs, right, emotional painkillers and mental painkillers. [00:52:20] And if you’ve got something going on inside that you [00:52:25] haven’t dealt with, you’re going to have pain or you’re going to have a thought process that tries to divert [00:52:30] you from feeling that pain. Hence why most people don’t want to be in themselves. Right? So when you get [00:52:35] to have the ability to face that to the core, then I believe [00:52:40] that that you arrest that addiction because that energy goes so for me, [00:52:45] um.

Speaker3: Was there a moment when you’re saying you weren’t you didn’t realise [00:52:50] that you you were an addict, but then you ended up in rehab. So was was there a moment where you did realise [00:52:55] and what was what was that?

Speaker1: Yeah, I got tired of I for me, I was just enjoying life. Burning candle [00:53:00] at both ends. I was told that, yeah, if you’re going to work hard, you should play hard. And that’s what I did. [00:53:05] But towards the end I realised that actually there was partying [00:53:10] and then it started to be partying and consequences. Then there was partying and more [00:53:15] consequences. Then there was a lot of consequences. And then I realised that I [00:53:20] started to, um, not want to leave my house like I’m fearful of going to [00:53:25] the shops. And I stopped looking people in the eye. What happened to this person? I used to be a bright kid [00:53:30] who really liked to engage with people. I love to turn up at work, and there was a couple of times [00:53:35] I turned up to work and I just didn’t want to be there. I felt awful, I self-conscious that [00:53:40] they can see I’ve been out all night and and it just wasn’t right. It just didn’t feel right [00:53:45] from someone who wanted to be very successful in their career. This was now overtaking the [00:53:50] drive to be successful and happy because I couldn’t see it myself. It was more about [00:53:55] trying to. Nothing worked anymore. And [00:54:00] I had this great analogy that someone told me that in 1954, alcoholism [00:54:05] and addiction was graded as a disease and an illness in America. So [00:54:10] you’re born at this ease with yourself, or you get [00:54:15] to a point where you’re at dis ease with yourself. So you take something from the outside and put it in [00:54:20] or behaviour so you’re at ease with yourself.

Speaker1: But at one point when that stops working, [00:54:25] you’re at dis ease with yourself or you’re drinking or not. And your [00:54:30] disease disease yourself with your drinking. So you are now completely at disease [00:54:35] with yourself. There’s nowhere to go. And at that point you have to make a decision. Am I going to go in and sort [00:54:40] this out because this is where I live anyway, no matter if you’re in a big house, small house you live in [00:54:45] here, or am I going to just go to the very end and try and be a rock star? So [00:54:50] for me, it was tired of those feelings, tired of being, um, just [00:54:55] feeling really ill and unwell and not wanting to do the things I used [00:55:00] to do and behave the way I used to behave. And I had incredible shame and guilt [00:55:05] because, um, I just didn’t want to go out in the house. I didn’t want to engage. [00:55:10] Started thinking, oh, no one likes me, but I wasn’t phoning them, you know? So your behaviours changes. [00:55:15] And I started to make excuses. I can’t go out because of this or can’t [00:55:20] go out because of that. And at that point I was like, something’s happening. I need to I need to sort myself [00:55:25] out. I’ve clearly come to the end of a carriage in this train, and if I want to go to the next one, [00:55:30] I need to address myself.

Speaker3: So what what was the process? Was one one [00:55:35] session of rehab enough for you to change yourself? Yeah.

Speaker1: So rehabilitation [00:55:40] is great. It’s it’s an airbag.

Speaker2: So hold on. So you went to rehab. At [00:55:45] what point in your life? How old were you? What age?

Speaker1: Yeah, I went when I was 33.

Speaker4: Okay.

Speaker2: Um, [00:55:50] and from the States, was it in the States or what was it? No, I.

Speaker1: Actually went in London. I was living [00:55:55] in Los Angeles. I came back because my mum was not very well, and I came back [00:56:00] and also being in my home environment shone out that something [00:56:05] wasn’t well, because like I said, when you’re partying, you tend to be with parties. [00:56:10] But when I went back to my home environment, I stood out because that was different. [00:56:15] And I started to get all the feelings and all the thoughts and process. So I went into, [00:56:20] uh, a friend of mine took me into a rehab. Uh, I went in there. I had no idea [00:56:25] what I was going in there for, except I just was burnt out. Um, and [00:56:30] I really went in there for anxiety. I went in there for an anxiety disorder because I just was like [00:56:35] this all the time. And, um, whilst I was in there, I realised that actually [00:56:40] I have been using substances and alcohol to soothe myself. Words you [00:56:45] used. A bit deeper than that, but it was basically just to try and take [00:56:50] the edge off life just so I could cope. And I said to someone, it was funny. I was running out the gate [00:56:55] from this rehab to run down to a pub, and I clocked [00:57:00] what I said. And I said to myself, if you go in there and you can have some pints [00:57:05] or some whisky or whatever, then you can deal with what they’re telling you about yourself. And [00:57:10] at that moment I had an aha moment. I thought, oh my God, I. I [00:57:15] need something out to to help me cope with life. And I thought, I don’t want to be like that. I don’t [00:57:20] want to be reliant upon anything outside of myself. So I went back in. I [00:57:25] checked myself in for another 28 days, and then I did aftercare after that, [00:57:30] and that took me on a journey of doing yoga, not to be physically fit, [00:57:35] but to actually do yoga properly. Meditation, Tai chi.

Speaker3: Manage [00:57:40] your state in a different way, right?

Speaker1: Yeah, but learn about myself because what people don’t do, we’re in our bodies [00:57:45] and everything we do is on the outside. If I get that house, if I get that car, if I get this, [00:57:50] I’ll be okay when I have that relationship and.

Speaker2: Then you get it and you’re not okay.

Speaker1: No, which is a great blessing [00:57:55] because then you realise, oh, I’m not okay. So something you also.

Speaker3: Dated A-list celebrities, [00:58:00] and you must have seen that idea that, you know, a lot of very successful people are very sad. [00:58:05]

Speaker1: It depends on the person, doesn’t it? Yeah. I mean, it’s I [00:58:10] think when you say this sad. I think a lot of successful people can be lonely because [00:58:15] other people can’t identify with them. So you hear normal people, for example, [00:58:20] um, saying, oh, I spoke to this celebrity and they was [00:58:25] rude, or they have to have a car service, so they’re stuck up or they have security. What’s their problem? Can’t they [00:58:30] walk around? But no, a lot of people can’t walk around because they will get too famous completely, you [00:58:35] know, pulled upon and let me know this. Let me have a picture in your life. You become unfree. [00:58:40] So I understand that process. Um, so there’s probably a loneliness in there because I love [00:58:45] to walk around. I really love to be free. And I learnt myself early on. [00:58:50] I used to get car service in New York. I used to love walking up to the ropes, to the clubs and being [00:58:55] let in and having my own table. But in hindsight, I realised that [00:59:00] actually what I’m doing, I’m pulling myself away from people. I’m isolating [00:59:05] myself. I’m in the back of a car, which is great because you, for the first five minutes you feel important and [00:59:10] and a car service is good because if you need to get somewhere, it’s fine. But I was looking at it the wrong [00:59:15] way in the beginning when I realised that like, [00:59:20] I get I get the tube a lot in London and I do like, like most people do, but for a long time I wanted to drive [00:59:25] or get car services. I didn’t want to get on the tube. Now I love to get on the tube. I want to be in the amongst people. I want to be [00:59:30] in life, you know, because I.

Speaker2: Actually prefer the bus. Just saying. Love the [00:59:35] London bus. Top floor.

Speaker4: 22 I.

Speaker2: Love the bus.

Speaker3: But did you ever get famous [00:59:40] enough that, uh, people were recognising you in the streets and.

Speaker1: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. In the 90s, 100%. [00:59:45] Yeah, yeah, completely.

Speaker3: What’s that like, awful or amazing?

Speaker1: Well, initially, [00:59:50] um, as a young man, I thought all of a sudden I’ve arrived. This is so important. This [00:59:55] is wonderful. And it be. It was a great feeling. It was a new feeling. And it was a great feeling because [01:00:00] I’d never had that in my life before. And there was moments where he was in a bar in Majorca [01:00:05] and we couldn’t leave the bar because there was a load of screaming girls and stuff, and someone took us out the back. So [01:00:10] it’s so nice to have them experiences. Um, and they’re fun. Um, [01:00:15] but if that if that was became important for me, for my life, I’d have been incredibly [01:00:20] sad. And I think it’s dangerous for a person. So I realised I [01:00:25] love my freedom and I love my anonymity, and I love to just wear whatever I want a pair of old jeans [01:00:30] and t shirt, and I don’t have to worry about it.

Speaker3: Yeah, I mean, if you go for a Starbucks and [01:00:35] you can’t get your Starbucks because people recognise you, that’s an awful life, right? I mean, I [01:00:40] always thought what would be amazing would be to have a very famous name, but not a very famous face, [01:00:45] you know, like, I don’t know.

Speaker4: It’s interesting.

Speaker2: There’s actually there’s actually a very, um, big [01:00:50] podcaster online. She’s amazing, I love her. Her whole profile is [01:00:55] built on just without her face. And even when she, like, releases [01:01:00] her podcast, it’s like she does a cartoon. It’s a cartoon. Do you see what I mean? And then when people take photos of [01:01:05] her, when they have her, she blurs her face out. It’s quite clever. And they basically like she’s built her whole profile [01:01:10] on like what she has to say, not what she looks like, which I think is very smart.

Speaker4: Um, yeah. [01:01:15] That’s what.

Speaker3: She did, wasn’t.

Speaker4: It? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker2: So I think.

Speaker3: You know, there are jobs. There [01:01:20] are jobs. I was trying to think of it, you know, what are jobs that are where the the name is more famous.

Speaker4: Than the face.

Speaker2: For [01:01:25] example, I had, um, I.

Speaker4: I have a friend.

Speaker2: Of, um, I [01:01:30] got introduced to somebody that was a lawyer and his. He owns [01:01:35] the most famous law firm in the UK.

Speaker4: And with a chance.

Speaker2: No, [01:01:40] this is Mishcon de Reya.

Speaker3: Is he.

Speaker4: Mishcon?

Speaker2: Yeah, exactly. [01:01:45] So any time his name is seen, everyone’s like Mishcon. Like, I didn’t even really [01:01:50] know who he was. But people are like, you know him? I was like, yeah, I know him. Do you know what I mean? It’s like I didn’t think anything of.

Speaker4: It, [01:01:55] like.

Speaker3: A DJ or someone, you know, like, yeah, like, I don’t know, people probably know what David [01:02:00] Guetta looks like, right? But the name is more famous than The Face. Or I know a formula one driver. [01:02:05] Yeah.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker2: But having, you know, Paul also [01:02:10] like, you’ve had the, um, privilege of, you know, working. King in an era [01:02:15] where there wasn’t. We weren’t so reliant on digital and mobile phones and etc.. Do you [01:02:20] think it has become worse for people working, as I say, in the luxe [01:02:25] business, because of online, you know, because of what they’re subject [01:02:30] to? And also, do you think the traditional modelling industry is suffering as a result [01:02:35] of online? And also, I.

Speaker5: Think.

Speaker1: It’s a big question. [01:02:40] I think, um, it depends on the person, because when you say subject [01:02:45] two, you’re basically saying the person’s a victim, right? But you have [01:02:50] a choice. People do have we still have choices of what we want to do. I think that, [01:02:55] um, the internet and apps like Instagram [01:03:00] or whatever have given people a platform that would never get one. Yeah, there’s [01:03:05] a positive, even for me.

Speaker2: That’s what happened with me.

Speaker1: There’s a positive to that. Yeah, 100%. And [01:03:10] if you use that as a tool to do what you’re doing an incredible job [01:03:15] and have a great space, that’s wonderful. If you’re doing it just to show something [01:03:20] like bags or whatever, and you’re famous for doing silly things, I don’t think that’s a great way to be. [01:03:25] Um. I am lucky that I was in that area because, um, [01:03:30] you had to know yourself better and your trade better at what you did. [01:03:35] And it seems to me now that the person that shouts the loudest gets [01:03:40] heard. And that’s not the person who’s the most skilful person, or so there can [01:03:45] be a bit of a difficult biased in that way. Um, and I think there’s a lot [01:03:50] of someone said it was quite funny. There’s a lot of Instagram models that that don’t have. Agents could never get [01:03:55] an agent and some of them done really well, which is great because it’s given the platform. But some of them say [01:04:00] I’m a model and I do really well, but they don’t, and they’re desperate to do [01:04:05] that. And I think that’s damaging to them. And I think the people that probably follow them have a, have a, have [01:04:10] a disillusion of what it’s really about.

Speaker2: I think you get that in dentistry as well. Like Payman will back [01:04:15] me on this one. I went to go see, um, a Picture of Dorian Grey last week, and [01:04:20] I have to say I hugely recommend it. It was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen, so theatre is my passion. Sarah [01:04:25] Snook, uh, was a one man band, so she’s the woman in succession. I don’t know if you’ve seen succession. Yeah. So she [01:04:30] plays 26 roles. And if you know the story of, um, Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, [01:04:35] um, about a young boy that’s always celebrated for the way he looks. Eventually someone [01:04:40] gets commissioned to do his portrait. He’s so mesmerised by it. But then it also hits him [01:04:45] that, you know, he’ll not always look like this. So he makes a deal with the portrait and basically says, I’ll [01:04:50] trade my soul to ensure that eternal youth. Then he goes on to live like an incredibly hedonistic lifestyle. [01:04:55] Now when you watch the play, they integrate like modern day. And it was really interesting [01:05:00] because Dorian Grey was like kind of looking in the mirror, but they put Instagram filters and it was [01:05:05] a constant with the Instagram filters, and I was like, it’s so interesting because obviously this [01:05:10] is somebody that represents the epitome of narcissism, like Dorian Grey, and the [01:05:15] more hedonistic and awful he becomes, the more he gets away with it because of the way that he looks. [01:05:20] And I was thinking algorithm. Yeah. And for me, I think like we have so much of that [01:05:25] now, like people celebrate a lot of people online. And I think you’re right. But I know [01:05:30] that, for example, in dentistry, people are chasing the numbers in the fame rather than patient [01:05:35] safety skills and all of like the traditional values. And I think.

Speaker3: It must have been [01:05:40] accused of that.

Speaker4: Oh, all the.

Speaker2: Time, all the time. And that’s why I made a huge promise to myself, like, [01:05:45] first and foremost are my patients. And Payman knows, like I’ve built a clinic with some of the best clinicians [01:05:50] in the country, you know, and it’s difficult working with like some of the best clinicians because they are all incredible [01:05:55] at what they do. And I could have been taken the classic model where I built a clinic just based off [01:06:00] my name, but I was like, no, I want my patients to get the absolute best. And I have been accused of that [01:06:05] because I think people assume when you because.

Speaker3: You’re so successful. Right? Well, did you ever [01:06:10] think about cosmetic surgery, Botox, cosmetic dentistry?

Speaker1: I’ve had loads done. Payman. [01:06:15]

Speaker4: Oh no you haven’t.

Speaker1: I probably need some. Um, yeah. One [01:06:20] once there was a time where, um, I was having a very bad [01:06:25] time before I went into rehab, when my self-esteem [01:06:30] just hit rock bottom, and I did go to see a surgeon, and I said, can you just make me look like [01:06:35] this? Which I have? I have my favourite photograph. Yeah, I.

Speaker3: Have my for yourself. Yeah. [01:06:40]

Speaker1: From a shot Versace campaign, um, in [01:06:45] Los Angeles with Bruce Weber. And it was just the best picture I’ve ever seen of [01:06:50] myself. And that image had locked into my mind. And I used to look in the mirror [01:06:55] with absolute hate. Like, what happened to you? What? What have you done? So I [01:07:00] went to see a surgeon to see. He basically laughed at me, and I’m very thankful for him because had [01:07:05] he not had morals and stuff, he could clearly see I was not. Well, um, he [01:07:10] could have said, yeah, let’s do this. And charged heroin, which he charged and stuff. And he said, no, you don’t need anything. [01:07:15] And I was literally pleading with at the time, I said, no, I’m not going to do surgery on you said said, come back in a year and we’ll talk [01:07:20] about it. I never went back. I didn’t need to. Um, so that was because my self perception [01:07:25] was so low.

Speaker3: Um, I had like a body dysmorphia type of, um. [01:07:30]

Speaker1: You can call it that. I don’t know whether it was body dysmorphia. It was just a negative [01:07:35] loop of thought processes where I was comparing myself to something at some point. [01:07:40] Correct.

Speaker2: And I do that all the time.

Speaker4: By the way.

Speaker1: So compare and despair, isn’t it? If as soon as you look at something, this is the thing, [01:07:45] you see someone in a beautiful car, or see someone you want to look like, you [01:07:50] just it’s snapshot image, and then we compare how we feel [01:07:55] to what we’re seeing and is never going to be the same. It’s always going to be discord because you don’t [01:08:00] know what that person’s going through, how they got what they got. And again, once you get there, [01:08:05] you’ll realise, oh, this is not that great. No.

Speaker3: But although this came up in, um, [01:08:10] dentistry. Right. The question, you know, there’s a lot you can do in dentistry that damages teeth. Right. [01:08:15] And so there are things like, uh, where you draw the tooth porcelain veneers, [01:08:20] you draw the tooth, and then you fit a veneer porcelain bit facing on the front of it. And of course, [01:08:25] now you can do the minimally and so forth, but. The question came up, would you do porcelain veneers on an 18 year old? [01:08:30] No. Global Dental Collective with me and the [01:08:35] people were giving different answers and everyone was saying no, no, no. And then someone, Sahil said, [01:08:40] what if she’s a model and that’s her livelihood? Um, [01:08:45] it’s a different situation. You know, I.

Speaker2: I understand, I understand, [01:08:50] hear what you say. And like, obviously I’ve had, you know, elective things done to preserve my youth, [01:08:55] etc. and I’ve had my teeth done. I’ve had my teeth done as well as, you know. But, you know, I had [01:09:00] something called composite bonding. And the reason why I had that done is because I had really like thin, eroded enamel. That [01:09:05] was the reason. And I do have people, in my view, when people come to me and I genuinely don’t see anything [01:09:10] wrong with them, I’ll have that conversation where I say, look, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. Um, particularly [01:09:15] if they bring up like an Instagram or TikTok trend and they’re like, look at this. This person had like, are my teeth [01:09:20] wide enough? You know, because I start talking about Margot Robbie’s smile. And then I suddenly had an influx of patients being like, make me wider, [01:09:25] like make me smile really wide. And I had someone, she had beautiful teeth. And I said, listen, you don’t need anything now. [01:09:30]

Speaker3: But it’s not. It’s not a.

Speaker4: Need. No, but.

Speaker2: Listen. Yeah, yeah, I get that. But what I’m trying to say is as [01:09:35] well is that there are some people that do have low self confidence because of their [01:09:40] teeth. And I would disagree with you and say like for example, composite bonding. Everyone’s like minimally invasive. I’ve seen plenty [01:09:45] of non minimally invasive composite bonding. And on top of that removal of composite bonding is [01:09:50] not minimally invasive. I just had mine all redone. It is not minimally invasive to like remove it you know. So I [01:09:55] think that like anything that you do it’s a choice. And you as Paul said, you have to be doing [01:10:00] it for the right reasons. Like if you are trying to make yourself like you were in a moment in time. And [01:10:05] I’ve had people like that, you know, people who are 60 and like, look at my teeth when I was 25. Can [01:10:10] I.

Speaker4: Have that.

Speaker3: Surgeon right? This surgeon could have said.

Speaker4: But you can’t, though realistically [01:10:15] could.

Speaker3: Have said could have said he understands the risks, he understands the benefits. [01:10:20] He’s an adult. He’s come to me and said, I want this done. That’s consent I’ve got, [01:10:25] I’ve got we’ve got to think. Informed consent, valid consent. These are legal terms for you agreeing to [01:10:30] have something done. He could have said all that. He could have felt all that. Obviously his bank balance would have gone up. I don’t know what [01:10:35] procedure you were after, but he didn’t. He he he he saw something his spidey sense [01:10:40] or something, told him not to do it and advised him to come back in a year. What I’m saying [01:10:45] is, you know, we’ve got a thing in dentistry called the daughter test. Would you do it to your daughter? And [01:10:50] there is there is an element of it’s not your choice. It’s your daughter’s choice. [01:10:55] Yeah. If she really understands the risks and benefits and wants to go ahead, then [01:11:00] it’s her choice. But. But this guy saw something, and you’re [01:11:05] really grateful for him for not doing it right? Oh, completely. Yeah. So it’s a it’s a really you know, it’s [01:11:10] an interesting point. It’s a I.

Speaker2: Think that’s I think that’s something to be said though for like emotional intelligence. So you [01:11:15] probably know from fed as well. Um, I always bang on about this that there is a real lack [01:11:20] of nuance thinking and a multifaceted approach [01:11:25] to medical care within, especially within the UK. So typically when you go [01:11:30] to a doctor, a dentist and someone says, I don’t like this or I want, I [01:11:35] need to have this done, or I broke this tooth, they literally like see a diagnosis [01:11:40] and then they treat the symptom. Whereas multifaceted approaches [01:11:45] where we look at other things in life, like you said, it was your psychological condition, your [01:11:50] stress and your self-worth that were affecting you, needing to change the way that you look. A doctor [01:11:55] that doesn’t have emotional intelligence will be like he’s trying to reverse ageing. Does that make sense? And to reverse ageing? [01:12:00] We do this and it’s a completely different way of thinking. And I think that this doctor clearly [01:12:05] had the emotional intelligence, which I believe that I have as well, because and people will say [01:12:10] it’s a red flag patient, I would actually disagree and say it may be more difficult to manage, but that’s not [01:12:15] the reason you shouldn’t be treating it. You get to the core. And that’s why sometimes I ask people, why [01:12:20] are you doing it? Does that make sense? You know, like what is the reason that you’re doing it? So I think that that’s [01:12:25] a really important approach within like the medical arena.

Speaker2: One thing I want to ask you, Paul as well, [01:12:30] like I can hear and feel that you’ve done so much work on yourself and that’s [01:12:35] so empowering. I think for a lot of people, especially young men, Payman and [01:12:40] I ruminate often about young men because we worry about the role models that are out [01:12:45] there at the moment. And I think typically you would agree that a lot of the younger generation, you know, what’s [01:12:50] the one behind Gen Z, who’s behind Gen Z, Gen X? Why is that it? There are even [01:12:55] worse because they look online and they see these archetypal figures that display masculinity, [01:13:00] for example. And they see it as, you know, being macho in [01:13:05] ways that are like Johnny Bravo or something like that, almost like a caricature type, you know, person. [01:13:10] But I feel worried because I think mental health with regards to men is [01:13:15] not spoken about enough. There is still a huge stigma, and I don’t think we’re making much progress because, as I said, [01:13:20] where are the role models, where are the men like leading the way? And I think not enough is [01:13:25] given. Not enough space is given to. To these men. What’s your views on that?

Speaker5: Who [01:13:30] is the deep subject?

Speaker1: It’s, um. I’m. I do mindset [01:13:35] coaching, so I’m mindset coach. A lot of guys and I mentor a lot of guys. And I always have done in [01:13:40] the industry as well in fashion because when I was a younger man, I craved [01:13:45] to have a mentor and I never had one. So I learnt a lot of things by doing [01:13:50] mistakes, which now I’m grateful for because it’s shaped me. But I [01:13:55] really desire to have that. I love learning, I’m someone who just loves learning. I love people because you can learn [01:14:00] so much from different people’s experiences. Um. An [01:14:05] and like the guys. It’s funny because you [01:14:10] can it’s such a deep thing. Some of the guys I work with, I’ve worked with some of the toughest men in the country, [01:14:15] actually. You’ve had books written about them and we’ve sat there holding hands, crying, [01:14:20] connecting on a level that is, it takes you. I used to think crime [01:14:25] was weak. I was always told crime. Crime was weak. I remember one day I crashed my motorbike. Um, [01:14:30] it’s probably about 13, and I took all the skin off the whole side of my body, and. And my dad was called. [01:14:35] He came over. And I was clearly in shock because I’d been sick and stuff. And he’s like, pull [01:14:40] yourself together, get up, get that bike home and shower you off.

Speaker1: And I remember picking the stuff [01:14:45] off in the shower thinking, you know, it’s not not really a bit of compassion. [01:14:50] We won’t go, go mess. Um, but that’s how he was brought up. And that’s stood [01:14:55] me in good, because I’ve learned from that how to be compassionate, [01:15:00] especially with my girls. Um, but going back to the space, [01:15:05] it really comes down from your upbringing you need to have. It’s so difficult because everyone’s [01:15:10] different. But if you can find someone stable around you. So my idols when I was growing up [01:15:15] was my grandfather, my mum’s father, who who, um, was [01:15:20] the only person left in his bomb disposal unit. And, um, [01:15:25] he, he was a really brave man. Never spoke about the war and losing. [01:15:30] He lost loads of his brothers and they got bombed out in the war and stuff like [01:15:35] that. But he was always a smart, kind, strong man. There’s a difference between [01:15:40] being a masculine man or being a misogynist or someone who’s [01:15:45] trying to show aggression or whatever, because that’s not true. A masculine man, I believe, [01:15:50] is someone who is mentally, emotionally stable, has a protective [01:15:55] side to them. Um, like a lion. If it needs to go [01:16:00] and do something, it can, but generally is pretty calm.

Speaker1: Um, and [01:16:05] there are people that are making space online because, I mean, it’s [01:16:10] a deep subject. But if you look at people like around the country, the government, they’re not exactly being showing you exactly [01:16:15] how to be. So you’re looking at leaders of the country acting a certain way, [01:16:20] and that’s not helpful. Then you’ve got some people on Instagram that are trying to prove something [01:16:25] to themselves or sell something or market it. That’s not true either. It is difficult. [01:16:30] I always say to guys, a stable place, usually [01:16:35] for young men, is some something to do with sports, right? Even if you’re not a sportsman, join [01:16:40] a club of some sort. Because usually if you’re in a martial art, there’s a discipline. If [01:16:45] you’re in boxing, there’s a discipline. If you’re in swimming, there’s a discipline, tennis, [01:16:50] there’s a discipline. And you’ll find stability within doing something or finding [01:16:55] something. I always think that because otherwise you’re going to be on a street corner, or you might just be hanging [01:17:00] out in your castle, wherever it is, I don’t know, but if you can find some stability [01:17:05] around you, outside of your circle, if that’s not stable, then that’s [01:17:10] a good place to start.

Speaker4: You know? Yeah. Amazing. I love the.

Speaker3: Charity that you’re. [01:17:15]

Speaker4: Involved with.

Speaker3: To do with this.

Speaker1: Yeah. So our charity, uh, what’s it called? [01:17:20] It’s called Stride Foundation UK. Amazing grassroots. Federico and I [01:17:25] sat down. And your wife. Yes. And, uh, she was talking about, [01:17:30] um, perspective of what do people do if they have drink problems or [01:17:35] drug problems, where do they go? And we had this whole discussion at the time. If you [01:17:40] couldn’t afford to go into treatment or you didn’t want to go into 12 step program, what do you do? [01:17:45] So you could go and get a detox or something like that, um, [01:17:50] in the NHS, and then you go home and you’re left with yourself. The whole point is about yourself. Mm. So [01:17:55] we decided to set something up where we could help [01:18:00] people get therapy, put into treatment or get coaching. So we did [01:18:05] that and it’s kind of it. We set it up. We did a charity day at Jonathan Palmer [01:18:10] Racetrack, which was amazing. We did it with the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which was great. Um, [01:18:15] and then we had kids and then life got involved. So it became myself [01:18:20] just networking. And I was at a film premiere once, for example. [01:18:25] And, um, so a very important agent came over to me and whispered, [01:18:30] I’ve Sancho’s got a problem. Can you talk to them? It was famous actor, so [01:18:35] I talked to them and helped them out. So it became a real networking thing for me, kind of behind the scenes. [01:18:40]

Speaker1: And the only reason I came out and talked about addiction in the first place, because I, um, a newspaper [01:18:45] group that we finished in court a few years back had published, um, [01:18:50] articles about my addiction problems. Um, so otherwise no one would never know. But [01:18:55] actually now it’s great because I’ve got a platform to help others from. So [01:19:00] we now are doing a pilot program where we’ve got ex, [01:19:05] um, addicts recovering and I’m 20. I haven’t drunk for 20 years, I’m 20 years sober. So I’ve [01:19:10] lived sobriety as long as I was when I was partying, because a lot of people come in three [01:19:15] months, two months, start telling everyone how to do it and what to do. I think you have to live it for [01:19:20] a while. Um, so I’ve lived all of that for a while, and I went back into modelling and lived that one [01:19:25] sober, which is amazing. Um, so what I do is [01:19:30] we’ve got, sorry, we’ve got a school program where we go and do 45 minute talks. [01:19:35] Q and A after, if anybody has generally have has an issue or they have an [01:19:40] issue with a parent, we can give them a therapist to [01:19:45] which we will fund for them to have therapy and or something, or coaching or [01:19:50] mentoring or whatever. So that’s what we’re putting in place. It’s very small. We’re doing it small wasn’t to change the world. [01:19:55]

Speaker1: What I found that people that helped me really focussed [01:20:00] on me and moved me through the places and helped me, I needed to go and answer all the questions I needed. So we focussed. [01:20:05] We put a guy in 19 months ago that was in a very, [01:20:10] very bad way, um, a 52 year old man. Um, I actually knew him years ago. [01:20:15] And when we put him into treatment, he’d had a stroke, a brain stem stroke, which [01:20:20] is really bad. Survived it. Um, when he came out, we [01:20:25] smothered him with people that I know that have worked in sobriety and [01:20:30] stuff, and. He’s emotional. He’s not. He’s now 19 [01:20:35] months clean, sober. He’s got his life back. He’s really good. He helps other people. So [01:20:40] it’s like dropping a penny or a stone into a pool. The ripple effect is positive, least [01:20:45] to 15, 20 people around you. So we wanted to focus on people rather [01:20:50] than lots of people. So we’re doing the the school program now, um, [01:20:55] which is great. And um, after after we’re going to run it for six [01:21:00] months and see what the real feedback is and what the impact is, because when I was at school, [01:21:05] you’d get a policeman come in with a suitcase saying, if you take that, you’ll die. If you take that, I’ll [01:21:10] die. And that was it.

Speaker3: I visited my school to.

Speaker1: The problem with that is if you if you [01:21:15] have a joint or something, sneakily, you go, well, I didn’t die from that. It’s okay, I can.

Speaker4: Yeah.

Speaker3: So sort of honest [01:21:20] conversation isn’t it, that says, look, there’s this the fun element. There’s the amount of risk [01:21:25] we do in our youth. None of that was was talked about, was it?

Speaker1: No. It was black and white. It was [01:21:30] fear. It was fear stuff.

Speaker3: I mean, let’s face it, there was a it’s fun getting off [01:21:35] your face, right? It’s you have to admit that, I mean, not that you would know.

Speaker2: Never, [01:21:40] never done it. So I wouldn’t even know, you know.

Speaker3: Well, what he’s talking [01:21:45] about is what I’m saying. Yeah. I mean, the.

Speaker1: Fun thing, really, when you think about it, what is the actual fun thing if you [01:21:50] want to be boring? In particular about it is, is that you don’t have to be yourself. Yeah. And if [01:21:55] you think about the old, uh, sentence, which people used to say was I was out [01:22:00] of my mind last night, I was out of my head. It’s because you don’t like being in it. Yeah.

Speaker4: If you find [01:22:05] a.

Speaker1: Place like what you said. I like dancing. Like you like being there. It’s a great place [01:22:10] to be. So that’s the bit that needs to be addressed.

Speaker4: Addressed?

Speaker2: Yeah, 100%. [01:22:15] Paul, this has been such an amazing, insightful conversation. I feel like I talked to you for hours and [01:22:20] it’s I feel really privileged that you’ve come on here. And, you know, I definitely encourage anyone that does [01:22:25] want to speak to Paul. You know, he has had one of the most inspiring career paths [01:22:30] and, you know, has become one of, you know, the most amazing coaches and amazing human [01:22:35] beings. So thank you so, so much for joining us today. We’ve really enjoyed it.

Speaker3: One final [01:22:40] question. If you don’t mind, go on. Payman. If your daughters said they want to be models, [01:22:45] would you give them your blessing? Um.

Speaker1: After [01:22:50] university, after they got their studies, and if they are stable young ladies, [01:22:55] then yes, I would not before they’ve matured enough to know themselves now.

Speaker3: But [01:23:00] the classic thing is they get classic thing.

Speaker4: They get classic.

Speaker2: Yeah, exactly.

Speaker3: So no, no to that. You’re [01:23:05] saying.

Speaker1: Um, it depends. It completely depends on circumstances and what job? One of my oldest [01:23:10] ones did do a little modelling job because it was with Federica, my [01:23:15] wife, and, um, I knew all the group and it was great. And it was a healthy, fun [01:23:20] shoot. So yeah, that’s that’s different.

Speaker2: Thank you so much, Paul.

Speaker4: Thank you so.

Speaker3: Much. Thank you.

Speaker4: Very much. [01:23:25]

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