Updated: Jul 16
I catch up with the fabulous Steph, founder and presenter of the chat show 'The Butterfly Princess Show'
Tell me about yourself
I'm Steph, a young woman who has a physical disability Cerebral Palsy, and wheelchair user. I don't let my disability define me, I know that some people in society just see the disability and not the actual person but I want to show people that am more than a person in a wheelchair, the only difference between me and anyone else is that my legs don't work so I have to use a wheelchair, but apart from that I am no different to anyone else.
Tell me about The Butterfly Princess Show
I do a series of interviews with different people, from different backgrounds and walks of life. I say it's an interview, it's more of a friendly chat between two friends who are sharing a glass of wine or a cup of tea/coffee.
I want to create a relaxed atmosphere as I want people that I chat to be really relaxed, and I think it is more natural that way. Everyone has a different story to tell as in life we have all had different experiences and been on different journeys, and I want people to open up to me and share stories about their lives that they may not have openly discussed before.
How did you get the idea for the show and where did the name come from?
This is a really personal story that is upsetting. When I was a young child from 3 months to 11, I was in the care of a caregiver who was not a very nice person, and I suffered years of abuse and mistreatment. During that time, I created an imaginary friend that I called Emma, I know she wasn't there with me in a physical sense, but she was there for me in my mind as I didn't have anyone to talk to. I left that person's care when I was 11, but it still had a negative impact on my mental health, and this has followed me through my early adulthood. People say to me 'Stef, you are fabulous at what you do, you are pretty, and really outgoing' but I don't see all that as the negative things have been drummed into me, so I focus on the negative things rather than on the positive things. The Butterfly Princess was born through really wanting to show people I am not all these things people said I was when I was a young girl.
Describe a typical day
The things I love about this job are that I have done it all myself, I have had no support from anyone apart from my mum, so I have to find people to interview, send and respond to emails, book people in available slots and conduct the interviews. I record all my interviews via Zoom so it is all virtual, although I do like to get out of the house, sometimes I am limited on transport. I love to chat to people, I could be talking about one thing to one person, then in the next few hours, discussing a different subject to another person.
Do you have ready prepared questions?
I love to do a bit of research because I am a history lover, but I don't like to be too prepared as you never know how you will get on with that person, how much they are going to share with me, one person could be more open and another, a closed book, again it's that whole variation and I just love to have a genuine conversation and go on that journey with that person as you never know where that journey or conversation is going to take you.
If you could interview anyone from history who would you like to interview?
I am really interested in World War II and also into Judaism, I'm not a religious person, if I had the choice I would choose to convert to Judaism. I think the history is really interesting what they went through with the holocaust and their history, so anyone from that era, I've read so many books about people who survived the holocaust.
Anne Frank would be one particular person I would like to interview, I would have like to know what it was like in that small area with all those people, it must have been really scary as a Jewish person in those times with the persecution and everything they went through.
Which celebrity would you like to interview?
I really like a historian called Lucy Worsley, I love watching all her programmes, the Russian Tsars, The Wives of Henry VIII and she's the curator of historic royal palaces too. I would love to chat to her about why she became a historian and why she has done the programmes she has done.
If you had a time machine where would you go?
Being a history fan I would go and visit the Tudor courts in the time of Anne Boleyn, she was very misunderstood, so I would like to go back to that time and get to know her as a person and work out for myself and see if she did all those things she was accused of.
I'd also go back in time to experience when Judaism started. I like to find out why these people persecuted during the 2nd World War? What was behind Hitler? - we know he was off the scale, but what drives someone to hate a set of people so much that he wanted to eradicate them?
Do you have any requests for specific interviewees?
I would love to interview people from the travel industry.
This September I am going on a cruise and will be visiting places like Rome, Corsica, and Barcelona. I have always wanted to visit Rome because of being into history, I don't know if I will get to see Rome because on that cruise they can't offer adapted vehicles, or when do they do they charge you £100s of pounds. I would like to chat to anyone or have a panel discussion about travel. Because you are disabled it isn't fair you can't explore the places you want visit in the world because the facilities aren't available. It's important that people are included.
What would you chosen superpower be?
I would love to have butterfly wings and to take on the role of a strong fictional character like the characters in Game of Thrones like Daenerys the Mother of Dragons, I'd like to be the Mother of Butterflies.
'I wouldn't describe myself as an influencer instead I'm a chat show host and presenter I'd like to think that I'm a educator. The interviews and content that I produce are a form of education. I hope I produce content that will appeal to everyone from every walk of life. I think my USP is that I interview people on a range of different topics I don't just focus on one area or topic
I carry out own research and have good memory recall to make my content engaging and informative.'
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