Estimated reading time:5 minutes, 34 seconds
Everyone has a story. Celebrities have all the fun â or do they? Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts and her girlfriend, Kate Holderness, talk about why they were willing to do a massive abseil for the childrenâs charity Barnadoâs. Plus ideas for fun outings around Islington. Interview by Nicola Baird.
It used to be just a sculptural landmark, created by Sir Anish Kapoor, but from April 2018 the 262 feet ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offers daredevils the chance to experience the UKâs highest freefall abseil. The good news is that there are other ways down from the top besides abseiling – a lift, steps and the worldâs longest tunnel slide. But for charity fundraising the abseil is perfect.
>FOLLOW ISLINGTON FACESÂ by email: aÂ new interview isÂ publishedÂ everyÂ week.
You might know Adele Roberts from her Radio 1 show (4-6.30am) or even Big Brother. Adele is super sporty so when Barnardoâs fundraising team suggested she did this abseil to raise awareness about the charity she was quick to say yes. But she wasnât so sure how keen her girlfriend, actress Kate Holderness, would feel about the plan. âAdele told me the night before!â says Kate still horrified. âOne of my greatest fears is heights. I didnât sleep well. I was half-scared and in a weird daze thinking âyouâve only just told meââŠ Dangling over I had a small panic attack and cried. I couldnât follow instructions, I kept saying ânoâ. But once it was over I enjoyed it,â says Kate laughing when we meet at The General Store, a new cafĂ©/bar attached to the Garage close to Highbury Corner.
Even Adele admits that abseiling was mentally tougher than she expected, calling it the âlongest five minutes of my lifeâ.
The pair, who both grew up on council estates in north east England but now live in Holloway, N7, were willing to put themselves through abseiling hell because they are big supporters of Barnardoâs.
âItâs one of those charities I learnt about at school,â says Adele. âIt makes children feel welcome. In this world of increasing social media itâs important to let children know thereâs someone there to help them. Barnardoâs has recently been helping the hidden homeless, often teenagers, who may have been displaced because home can be dangerous or they are gay. Barnardoâs puts them on to the right path for help and makes it clear that they believe a childâs future should never be defined by their past.â
Barnardoâs in a nutshell
Thomas Barnardo arrived in the East End of London in 1866 and set up a ragged school the following year, dedicating his life to supporting the most vulnerable children. Today Barnardoâs is the UKâs largest childrenâs charity, supporting 272,000 children, young people and families each year through more than 1,000 services across the UK. Barnardoâs London operates in Islington and has regional office and meeting space off Holloway Road.
âWhen I first moved here I noticed that people move so fast. We thought theyâd walk through you!â says Adele who gets up at 2am every day for her job, but still finds time to explore London.
âItâs exciting. Londonâs young people are taught to dream here. London is a place of opportunity,â she says comparing it to the feeling she had when growing up that life would be bleaker and youâd never get off benefits or have the right to do any job you wanted. Kate finishes the sentenceâŠ âand in London thereâs such a mix of cultures. My Dad is amazed how well people get on.â
Places Adele Roberts and Kate Holderness love in Islington
Below are some of the places in Islington they enjoy â and you might too:
Adele: I like to go running and run in beautiful Finsbury Park every day. It has health benefits â mental and physical. I find I have so many good ideas running.
Adele: Camden Passage reminds me of old London â itâs like I imagine life in a Dickensâ novel. Iâm always trying to get into the Breakfast Club, 31 Camden Passage, but itâs always busy and have to queue.
Adele: When I was training for the Marathon (which she finished in 3 hours and 36 minutes) and doing a lot of running, I found that my muscles needed the treatments and plunge pool to stop injury so Iâd go to Ironmonger Row Baths, 1 Norman Street, EC1. It feels fancy, like a spa, but itâs quite cheap.
Kate: Bodeanâs BBQ restaurant in Old Street, 201 City Road, does lovely American chicken, ribs and fries. Itâs one of the first places we ate in when we came to London. We tried to find a place where we could live for a while and lucked out finding Islington. Itâs a community where everyone gets on and an amazing area.
Kate: Treasure Land at 524 Holloway Road sells crystals. I love the way the incense wafts down to Morrisons.
Kate: Nagâs Head Market is like being in New York â there are lots of different cultures and cuisines.
Adele: We love Angel Central, 21 Parkfield Street, with its massive wings which looks best at Christmas, and it has Muji and Tiger â the two sides of Kate!
- Twitter @adeleroberts
- Insta @kateholderness
- More info about the abseil (for 14+) from http://arcelormittalorbit.com/whats-on/abseiling/
- More info about Barnardoâs https://www.barnardos.org.uk
Over to you
If youâd like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird dot green at gmail dot com.
If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at theÂ A-Z Â index, orÂ search by intervieweeâs roles orÂ Meet IslingtoniansÂ to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by, Nicola.