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13 January 2020, 12:49
Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa slept on various’ friends sofas after struggling to keep up with his bills.
Working at Harrods and various other temporary positions as he went from audition to audition, the budding actor struggled to make ends meet when he first moved down to London as a 21-year-old and ended up homeless.
Speaking with The Big Issue magazine, Ncuti said: “I am from Scotland and moved down to London when I was 21. I was working constantly – and at some good places – I spent a year at the Globe Theatre, I did a lot of work at Kneehigh, who are a physical theatre company."
He continued: “But you have to feed yourself, you have to get to work, with rent, bills, travel, days off from temping to go to an audition. I couldn’t seem to handle it all financially.
“I was supposed to move into a new place and it fell through. So for five months before Sex Education, I was couch-surfing among all my friends. I didn’t have a home. I was homeless.
“The only thing stopping me from being on the streets was the fact I had friends. But you can use up that goodwill. Or you feel scared to ask people for help. Your pride kicks in.”
The star would also have to ask friends for money so he could get to his auditions.
Ncuti, who recently became an ambassador for youth homelessness for Centrepoint, added: “So my life before Sex Education was so different. To go to my audition, I had to get my friend to transfer me 10 quid so I could top up my Oyster card.”
At the time, the youngster was working as a perfume salesman at luxury Knightsbridge department store Harrods at the time, saying people would have had no idea about his personal situation at that point in his life.
He continued: “I was thinking it was so mad, because if someone was to see me on the street – on my way to temping at Harrods in my trenchcoat and brogues – because you have to be so well-polished and look the part – they would never believe I was about to spend two hours on the phone to people trying to find where I could sleep that night…
“I couldn’t believe I was homeless and working in Harrods. How many people must be going through this in London?”
Sex Education season two drops on Netflix on 17 January.