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Gok Wan recalls ‘dark’ moment that inspired Red Nose Day Rave 'Scariest time of my life'

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Gok Wan has teamed up with Glitterbox and Comic Relief for the first-ever Red Nose Day Rave which will bring people together for a night of dancing and entertainment. Last year, Gok began Isolation Nation – DJ sessions from the comfort of his kitchen. However, the fashionista has shared the “darkness” he felt during lockdown and how that inspired the BBC after party.

After Comic Relief airs tonight, BBC viewers can be apart of an exciting virtual party as Gok, DJs Melvo Baptiste and The Shapeshifters, singer Teni Tinks and a host of amazing Glitterbox performers join forces. 

In an exclusive interview with long-term Comic Relief supporter Gok, the This Morning star on why he’s decided to share his DJ-ing talent with the fundraiser. 

Gok began: “Oddly I’ve been DJ-ing for many years, actually, but not many people know about it because if you go and DJ in a club and you’ve got 2000 people in there, then obviously about 2000 people know that you’re a DJ.

“But then when you DJ virtually you have access [to a huge audience] some of our biggest parties we have had 1.2 million people on in the last 12 months in one session, believe it or not.

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“All of a sudden everybody now knows that I DJ when I’ve actually been DJ-ing for many years now.”

“Putting isolation nation on wasn’t completely selfless, I needed to do it I am terrible with my own company,” Gok continued. 

“I hate being on my own, I rely on my friends and my family and my job to keep me occupied and to make me feel comforted and wanted and needed and all that stuff. 

“All of a sudden like everybody else, last March, we get told that all of that stuff gets taken away from us and so I needed to have something that I could [where I’ll] feel that I belong and I felt that was around people. 

“So that’s where Isolation Nation came from and it was a bit of a mistake really because I thought maybe just every now and again I’ll drop a little set.”

“But then within a couple of weeks and then a couple of months it turned into one of the largest parties in the UK, and we’re now attracting people from all over the world from Mexico, America, Asia, Australia, Canada,” he shared.

“It’s been a real success story and out of such darkness and the scariest experience of my life which has been the last 12 months, such goodness we’ve come out of it. 

“And it’s really nice to now share that with Comic Relief and be able to share that success with them and hopefully raise loads of money.”

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Revealing how Isolation Nation inspired the Red Nose Day Rave, Gok explained that he originally wanted to collaborate last year.

“The head of partnerships over at Comic Relief is a really old friend of mine and she asked if I still wanted to do something and I said, ‘Yes but now I’m in a position where we have got an enormous following online. Why don’t we put on the first-ever official after-party?’”

“Every single person has been incredible, we spoke to Defected/Gitterbox about them getting involved and it just kind of blew up and there wasn’t a single part of this process that anybody said no to,” he continued. 

“Every single person that we approached said, ‘Yeah, fine, we’re there, we love Comic Relief we love the work they do we recognise how important it is, we are there’ and everyone’s done this for free. 

“It’s been quite mind-blowing and really overwhelming the support we’ve had and so that’s kind of where the idea came from.  

“What was originally a kitchen party in my house during lockdown is now one of the biggest parties of 2021, and it’s going to be just the most brilliant night.”

“It’s just going to be such a celebration and feel good [event] which is exactly what Comic Relief is as a brand,” Gok said. 

“They have a very important message, they have an incredible story behind them and the work they do is incredible but at the heart of that brand it is about fun and joy and sharing and caring and looking after one another.”

Comic Relief will air on BBC One tomorrow at 7pm. The Red Nose Rave will be available to stream on Comic Relief, Defected and Gok Wan’s Facebook Live and YouTube on Friday from 11.30pm.



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