- Words Cal McIntyre
- Photography Thompson
With a career that spans over a decade, 24-year-old Cel Spellman is back to capture hearts globally in the gripping new Netflix drama 'White Lines' - prepare to binge your heart out and to fall for Cel.
Mancunian hero, Cel Spellman, has been grafting and flexing his talents for a while now – you probably know him from ‘Cold Feet’ on ITV, or you would know his distinct and embracing voice on his hosting slot on Radio 1 (no biggie!).
The all-around talented powerhouse is continuing to adapt and evolve with each role or opportunity that is thrown his way. Essentially growing up in UK spotlight, Spellman is pretty much as good of a guy as they come. With philanthropist and environmental work dominating his free time, there’s a certain light that shines from Cel as it’s visibly clear that he is happy doing what he loves.
With the world pretty much under lockdown in this unprecedented and strange time, there’s never really been a better time to binge a Netflix series like there is now – so Godspeed and dive into Netflix’s newest hitmaker ‘White Lines’. The drama fluctuates between Manchester and Ibiza in the 90s and in the present day, so of course, expect a high dosage of drugs, sex, murder and raves.
Cel Spellman shines within the series as he did in his previous roles, as his acting abilities always come off natural and effortless. The same can be said about Cel IRL – when I take my call to interview the Northern powerhouse the warmth that reaches out from the digital world is immediately positive and embracing. Despite everything going on (it’s hard not to talk about it) Cel is simply happy to have ‘White Lines’ out on Netflix.
Dive into the interview below and enjoy the virtual portraits of Cel shot over FaceTime by Thompson (because we gotta make do these days). After that, dig into ‘White Lines’ on Netflix, you could probably finish it all off this Bank Holiday weekend!
“I’m doing good!” Cel tells me when asked the now difficult question ‘how are you?’. “All things considered, I’m feeling pretty grateful right now. Trying to see the positive in things, I guess it is good that most people have been able to press pause and for the space to breathe a little. For all of us, we are on a hamster wheel – which is society I guess – everything’s pretty nonstop. The chance to get off and take a moment is really nice after the first couple of weeks of lockdown where everyone was pretty shocked. I’m just very lucky and very fortunate to have a garden and to be with my family, so I can’t complain as there are a lot more people in worse situations.”
When it comes to releasing anything in the current times, whether it’s music or film, it’s a pretty strange time to be doing so. When it comes to ‘White Lines’, Cel tells me, “I’d prefer to be releasing the show under normal circumstances but, looking at the silver linings here, maybe our show can be an antidote to people who are looking for a bit of escapism. You know, ‘White Lines’ is so unapologetic – I think we are probably coming to accept that this summer may not be the summer we hoped for, this show can hopefully bring a little relief to those wanting to get away from everything for a little bit.” Cel’s definitely right – ‘White Lines’ thrusts the glory days of the Manchester raving sessions into modern-day drama and it is the perfect relief to your days trapped indoors. Better than nothing, right?
When it comes to the career Cel has, it’s an understatement to say he has done well for himself. Between acting in some of the UK’s biggest shows, Cel is a dominant force to be reckoned with on the airwaves also. When it came to that crossover, Cel tells me, “I don’t quite know how that happened, I feel like I blagged that almost [laughs].” Remaining humble, Cel tells me, “Being on radio was something that I never saw myself getting into, but I started presenting when I was around 15 off of the back of ‘Waterloo Road’ – they moved my presenting slot on CBBC which opened up the slot of Radio 1. Next thing I knew, I was in a meeting with the big guys and they were wondering if I wanted to fill the slot on BBC Radio 1. I was speechless and I’ve never looked back since!”
When it comes to his environmentalist work, Cel tells me it was something he was always drawn to. “When I was around 15 I emailed WWF to offer them my support and from then it just kind of grew into what it is now. It really motivates me – trying and wanting to make a difference. I’ve always been a believer in using our voice to make a difference and to stand up for what you believe in. I’m fortunate enough to have a bit of a platform, particularly with younger people, where I can use my voice. The world needs change, and I believe using your voice to help motivate that change is what matters.”
It’s pretty evident that Cel is a positive guy, that’s not to say it’s always sunshine and rainbows as he is human, but talking with him and listening to him speak about his passions, it’s clear positivity is something that is embedded into who he is. “I guess when I was around 16,” Cel tells me, “I found that being negative and worn down doesn’t really get you anywhere. I’ve always wanted to make people happy and try and do some good. I don’t know where it comes from, it’s just in me to be positive and it makes my life easier. We all have our moments, but at the end of the day, nothing good can really come out of being negative.”
Cel’s journey and career is admirable for anyone looking at it – he has evolved and grown into everything he has down whilst remaining true and authentic to who he really is. Cel’s advice for younger people looking to follow in a similar path would be to “first of all, do it – step outside and make the decision to commit fully to whatever it is you want to do. It’s really about making that choice to commit to it and not let anyone tell you otherwise. It has to start with you and believing in what you want to do.”
Saying goodbye to Cel was like saying goodbye to an old friend, he continues on walking his dog in the park and I continue preparing to binge the rest of the new Netflix series. And we think you should do the exact same if just to see the brilliant Cel Spellman do his thing.