Award winning TV presenter, actress, and writer, Tatiana Ashborn is perhaps best known for her hit podcast dirty talk. With experience studying at the BRIT School and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she has a unique ability to draw viewers in and connect with her audience. This is evident through her success with dirty talk. What started as a play, written, produced, and directed by Tatiana herself, has grown into a cultural movement. With a podcast and TikTok account, dirty talk tackles socially taboo subjects under the umbrella of sex and relationships — from sexual health to emotional health and all the questions you’re too scared to ask.
Tatiana beautifully balances humour with information and important messages, encouraging people to feel comfortable talking about topics and becoming aware of what they want and need in sex and relationships. Playful instructional videos such as “5 ways to get your partner aroused…” and “how to have sex quietly in a campsite” are intertwined with serious conversations: the effect of being sexualised from a young age, dealing with inappropriate customers while working in hospitality, and more. Building a positive community and opening the discussion to all via Discord and Reddit channels, Tatiana is creating a movement.
We hear from Tatiana about all things dirty talk: how it came about, why its topics are important to her, and what’s to come.
Read the interview…
Hey Tatiana! How has this year been for you so far? Do you have any particular highlights?
This year has been great so far. I started off in Asia & Australia filming for my social media project so can’t really complain. I was Production Manager on a film in Vancouver which got the ball rolling this year with then hitting 300K followers on my podcast, dirty talk. That definitely has to be a highlight and something I am so grateful for.
Presenter, actress, writer and podcast host, you have so much going on! Did you always see yourself going into this industry? What sparked your passion?
Always. I was the loudest kid in the room! I started off with the Nativity in nursery and my headmistress made a comment about making her laugh. Well I knew then, that is what I wanted for the rest of my life and then continued to do all the school productions. My vision has never changed but the path I take will always. I have gained a few titles on the way than just as an actor but it just makes me feel more alive and would love to gain a few more strings to my bow and continue learning. Of course when I was younger and still now actually you get the classic comments of ‘it’s never going happen’ but it just makes me work that bit harder and want it that bit more to prove people wrong.
As a former BRIT school student, would you say you had an “easy” entrance into the industry? What did that process look like for you?
Definitely not easy but I would say being able to meet like-minded people and with the teacher’s support I would not be the same person as I was a few years ago before I entered the school. I am super lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the BRIT school and am eternally grateful to everyone that I have crossed paths with. The thing I like most about BRIT is that you have to work hard, it’s what you put in that you get out, they do not serve a career in the business on a platter but instead guide you and make you more aware of the world you are getting yourself into.
What would your advice be to the current students hoping to pursue a career in entertainment?
Dream bigger than you already are. I don’t believe in backup plans, why can’t it be for you if you want it badly enough?
I wanted to say a huge congratulations on the success of your podcast, dirty talk! Where did the inspiration for the show come from?
Thank you so much. ‘Sex’ was always the number 1 conversation with my peers but we realised that we knew little or nothing about the subject. It started off as an education piece but whilst researching I discovered a well known segment of a TV show in the 90s called The Big Breakfast. In that show, host Paula Yates interviewed subjects on a bed and I thought that that was the perfect scenario on which to develop my podcast. I have always felt that the UK lags behind many countries in the sex arena and I feel it is important to end the taboo.
What is it about writing dirty talk that fuels you? Why do you think it is important for these stories to be told?
I learn so much from my interviews. I’m shocked and fascinated by everything. There is a lot going on in the world now with sexuality, gender dysmorphia and the whole concept of sex. I feel strongly that everyone has a voice and their story needs to be told to as wide an audience as possible. We have to learn from other people’s experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly and you never know what could really help someone in their moment of ‘love, need or lust’.
Do you have a favourite guest you have had on the podcast? Are there any moments that have really stuck with you?
I have too many. One of my newer episodes with a woman named Danielle really got to me. She opened up to me about past traumas and how things can be very different in an instant whether you think it’s your family friend or just a work colleague and next you’re stuck in a hotel room trying to get out. She spoke so positively and that was the most incredible part. So open just to help the other girls who are ever in the same situation or to reach out to those who have been. I think all my guests have been brilliant and I have taken something unique from every episode.
You’ve also won awards for your acting gigs in several short films, as well as your own screen-play winning the audience choice award at the Strawberry Picking Festival! Where do you feel more at home? Behind the camera or in front of it?
Behind or infront of the camera gives me a great buzz and it’s hard to pick a favourite but as nerve-wracking as it is, I would have to say in front of it. I like pushing myself and being able to experience things as it comes, tell a story and depending on what sense, being someone different for a while. I love being part of the action.
Through all of your work, you’ve amassed quite the following. How has this impacted you? Do the extra eyes and ears come with any added pressure?
Of course there is pressure and it makes you think more about what you put out there but my projects wouldn’t work without an audience. What I do love is the contributions and the feedback from the audience and the feeling that a particular subject has resonated. I love the idea that the show is a growing family. I constantly want to work harder to please my audience but then again if I didn’t have anything, I’d be working harder to get some. I think no matter what, it is a constant battle. It does make it easier knowing there is support.
What are your hopes for the future? Are you working on any other projects currently?
Last year I spent some time in Los Angeles at The Academy of Dramatic Arts and I cannot wait to go back later this year, so that is definitely on the cards. I am currently developing ideas for a fringe show and a few short films. I want dirty talk to keep on growing so that’s what’s keeping me busy and am always looking for more guests if any readers are interested!
Are there any topics you haven’t covered yet within your work you would like to approach?
My plans for dirty talk centre around ‘group’ episodes… think girls sleepover where we discuss relevant topics in a group format. Regarding other projects, I have plans to convert true stories into stage productions and collaborate with people/organisations to achieve something bigger and have a whole new creative flow.
What do you hope your fans, readers, listeners or viewers take away from this interview? What is it you want them to know?
Like everyone who has a passion for this industry, I’m just working hard everyday to forge a path. Keep being passionate, experience life and take every moment offered. I’m just the same girl I was learning, making mistakes, growing and still trying to figure stuff out.
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