TV's Rosie Fortescue: I am a private person at heart
Made In Chelsea's Rosie Fortescue is the girl the rest of the cast often turn to for relationship advice. But her career, not love, is her agenda.
Life for the stars of Made In Chelsea appears to be an endless round of parties and dating in glamorous locations, but Rosie Fortescue insists "that's not what it's about for me".
The naturally beautiful brunette has been on the hit series, which follows the lives of affluent young people in the capital's most expensive areas - Belgravia, the Kings Road and Knightsbridge - since it started four years ago.
Unusually, unlike many of her co-stars, she's chosen to guard her privacy, especially around her love life, and stuck to her vow of not romancing on the show, only ever briefly dating one cast member.
"I don't really want to be known on the show for who I've been sleeping with and that kind of thing," she declares, explaining her decision to steer clear of the much dissected relationships, break-ups, tears, tantrums and hissy fits which characterise the series.
"Other people are willing to be in relationships on the show and talk about them and do photo shoots or whatever, but I'd rather leave that to them. From the beginning, I decided that, although a lot of my life would be out there for the public to judge, I wanted to at least keep something back because, at heart, I'm really a private person. That may sound crazy and a bit ironic as I'm part of a reality show, but it's the way I feel."
Her most famous and only on-screen romance fizzled out quite quickly in 2011 when she dated best friend, Millie Mackintosh's then on/off boyfriend, Hugo Taylor, an entrepreneur and fellow SW12 resident.
While she may buck the trend on romantic entanglements, she certainly has all the right credentials to be a cast member. Born in Chelsea, Rosie attended boarding school, Downe House, which numbers the Duchess of Cambridge as one of its old girls (albeit briefly), but she's wary of the label 'posh'.
"It can be used negatively, so I don't describe myself as that. I'm just someone who was lucky enough to have a good upbringing and a good education, for which I'm very grateful," she says guardedly.
"Really, I just fell into being in the show. Just after I left university, I was asked to take part in filming a pilot for it. I thought it would be fun - I'd be with many friends I'd known for years - and a good move as it might give me a profile and open up work opportunities in the fashion world, which I love. I never ever dreamt it would be this successful," says the savvy 25-year-old, who's working with Pretty Polly to promote their new natural tights, has her own fashion blog and is set to launch her own jewellery range this year.
"I don't think I've changed through being on it - I've always been pretty grounded and that's the way I've stayed, but I've definitely grown up during the time. I was only 21 when I joined and was quite naive. Of course, at times it's not been easy maturing in the public eye, but I've also had a great time."
That high-profile life, however, has not been without its downside and she's been targeted by online trolls on social media who've criticised her fair, English rose appearance, slim physique, and on-screen lifestyle.
"I've had to develop a tough skin," she reveals. "I'm my own person and I won't look a certain way to please the public. I like being pale and, put it this way, no-one orange is ever going to make the cover of Vogue. When people make dumb comments about me, I usually delete them or block them, but I did retaliate the other day when someone called me anorexic and told me to eat because of my effect on other young people.
"That was so wrong. I'm definitely not anorexic, I love my food and actually eat a huge amount, but I just happen to have a fast metabolism and good genes. I'm not even particularly body conscious, I just work out regularly. I just think people who have the time to try to get a reaction and make stupid, ill-informed comments should get a life."
She's also anxious to point out that editing on the show means its focus, mainly on the cast's relationships, may provide the drama and interest but leaves the normal routine of many of their lives - working and personal - unseen.
"The show's really only one dimension of me - in my other life, I'm incredibly hard working and determined to succeed in my career in fashion. I know people watch it and think all we do is swan around, meeting friends, going for drinks and talking about ourselves, but that's because the show's focus is on how relationships are developing and the ups and downs of people's love lives. It means other aspects of our lives - we all have side projects - don't get any attention," she explains.
HHer determination to further her career means she hasn't joined the rest of the cast for two months in Los Angeles where they're filming a spin-off series, following last year's successful New York City series. "New York was amazing and I'm sad not to be in LA with the gang, but I wanted to focus on my work this summer. My problem is juggling my time to fit in the filming, what with all my work commitments," she says.
She will, however, return to film the show's tenth series in the autumn. Made In Chelsea's been a remarkable success story, winning a BAFTA award in 2013.
"I think people love it because they're able to relate to the things we go through and they've invested in our lives after watching the show for so long. They are intrigued to see what happens next," she says.
Rosie Fortescue achieves a better than bare leg look for British Summertime with Pretty Polly's Naturals tights, available to buy at prettypolly.co.uk