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Interview in The Hot Tub … Andrew Cooper

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Probably better known as the new Diet Coke ‘gardener’, Andrew Cooper is every woman’s man of the moment (particularly if the advert is anything to go by).  We caught up with him to find out a little more about the man behind the abs!

What did you do before becoming ‘The Diet Coke Man’?

I have been modelling since I was 15, but I have also been studying drama for the past two years with a view of moving into TV and film.  I was spotted as a kid while I was hanging out with friends and as a young man it was a good job - spending time with beautiful women and travelling a lot - I am addicted to travel.

Do you have a favourite place?

Different places for different things.  My favourite city is still probably New York, but I have been able to do some crazy things like safari in Botswana where we did a photoshoot with baby animals, and it’s great to go to the Maldives and the Caribbean - places where you can have a few days either side of work to recharge and relax.

Keeping in shape for your career is obviously important, how do you train and what do you recommend for any young budding Diet Coke men?

I have always been very active and did a lot of martial arts from an early age such as Muay Thai boxing, kickboxing and boxing.  I need something that is outside the gym and I try to mix it up - hiking, running, and yoga for example.  My new fad is TRX which I can fix up in parks or hotels; it goes with me everywhere.  I try not to overdo it with any one thing to keep it fresh, and I always advise anyone to stretch or do yoga as part of their training.  I am super healthy these days - I exercise, and eat well; when I was 21-25 I used to go at everything at 100 miles an hour, but now I have a bit more rhythm and balance.

Body confidence is a big problem for a lot of people, and young men in particular - what do you think is the key to body confidence?

I think the hardest thing for anyone is beginning and getting into a regular regime.  Fitness takes a certain amount of dedication but you need to take pride in yourself - you have to exercise, and diet is a massive part, you can’t kid yourself.  No one is 100% comfortable with themselves all the time but you can do things to make sure you feel as good as possible.

The Diet Coke ads have a reputation for a certain amount of gratuitous half-nudity - do you mind being the object of fantasies?

In this case, it’s my job, and I don’t think too much about it.  I like the commercials, I think they are playful!  I know what I am doing in them and I play back.  I also think they are a very good representation of where we are now - women are just as equal as men and it shows confident women.

What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you working as a model?

Since the advert?  The amount of coke that appears everywhere - pictures, bottles - everyone’s a comedian … generally though there have been loads of strange experiences; I once shot an underwear advert in  minus 18 degrees, so it’s not all glamorous!

Are you a spa fan and do you have a favourite spa treatment?

Yes, especially when I am on holiday!  I am a bit obsessed with massage, I have a Thai massage for two hours each week which is my idea of heaven - it’s like yoga for cheats.  I also like all the different experiences in a spa - saunas, steam rooms, ice baths - it’s great before getting on a flight … although you then need to do it all again at the other end! I actually think everyone needs a bit of pampering - I have a dog spa in Notting Hill, The Mutz Nutz, and have just launched a new range of all natural pet products called Wild Wash.

When are you at your happiest?

When I’m in the sun on the beach, I love the warm weather.  I also love to run - it’s my time to think … now that I think about it I could go on forever, I am generally a pretty happy guy!  That’s the healthy answer, but I am also quite happy after a bottle of red wine.

What’s your idea of the ultimate day of relaxation?

Probably a proper detox in Thailand or something - a place with lots of good food, massage, yoga, and raw juices (which I love), and somewhere I can swim a lot - bliss!

We have to ask because all the girls are wondering (you must have a cult following by now) what’s your idea of a perfect first date?

Just a nice afternoon out.  I have never liked that scenario of going out to dinner for the evening, there’s too much pressure.  I would probably take someone to the zoo or to the theatre - somewhere you could have a discussion afterwards about a common interest.  If I was being flash I might whisk someone off to Paris and have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower … my wife is going to read this and wonder where all this was when we met!

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