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Aesha Scott’s life in TV (Image: Archi Banal)
Aesha Scott’s life in TV (Image: Archi Banal)

Pop CultureJuly 29, 2023

The iconic Shortland Street line Aesha Scott snuck onto Below Deck

Aesha Scott’s life in TV (Image: Archi Banal)
Aesha Scott’s life in TV (Image: Archi Banal)

The star of Below Deck: Down Under talks Shortland Street, Succession and what it’s really like to make a TV show in the middle of the ocean. 

Aesha Scott might just be the most successful New Zealander in the world of reality television. She first rose to fame on Below Deck: Mediterranean, the popular reality show about working on a superyacht that’s watched by millions around the world, where her fierce work ethic, unwavering positivity and no-filter sense of humour quickly made her a fan favourite. She then became the first chief stew on Below Deck: Down Under, and most recently, charmed her way to third place on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here: Australia, winning over a tough Aussie audience with her adventurous spirit and sense of fun.  

But Aesha doesn’t just love making television, she loves watching it too. During a quick trip back to Aotearoa last month, Aesha posted on social media about the comfort she gets from watching homegrown shows like Shortland Street and Country Calendar. “Because I’m travelling all the time, I’m always in different places, and as the years go on, I crave Kiwiana familiarity more and more,” she later told us over Zoom. “So when I come home and there’s something like Shortland Street or the news or anything that’s just so Kiwi, it just makes my soul happy. It feels like I’m really home, it’s the nostalgia of it.” 

Before Aesha sailed off for more drama in the new season of Below Deck: Down Under, she shared some of her greatest television memories with us. 

Aesha Scott in Below Deck: Meditteranean.

My earliest TV memory is… Shortland Street, 100%. My whole life was based around Shortland Street. Mum and Granny still watch it every single night. When we were really young, we had to have dinner and have showered and then we went to bed just as Shortland Street started and Mum would watch it alone. And then we got a couple years older and we got to have everything done and then we watched it, and then we went to bed. Then you get a little bit older and you watch it, and then you shower and go to bed. Seriously, everything in our household was based around this half an hour window.

The show I used to rush home from school to watch is…. Home and Away at 5.30pm. Everyone was just so hot. I’d come home, turn it on, and just think “Wow, look at all the pretty people”. There was always some juicy romance going on. I feel like my earliest Home and Away memory was when everyone thought Tash was a mermaid after Robbie found her on the beach. Stunning.

The TV moment that still haunts me is… There’s so many situations where I still use “You’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata”. I mainly say it when I’m overseas and I’m provisioning, like if I’m in Mexico and the guests want a Dr Pepper or something, I’ll say “Well, you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata”. No one understands me… but I get it. 

You’re not on Below Deck now, Dr Ropata

My earliest TV crush was… Lincoln Lewis from Home and Away, he was my first crush. I would have loved to kiss his lips. 

The ad I can’t stop thinking about is…Big is good.” 

My TV guilty pleasure is… Below Deck, it’s not even a guilty pleasure but a very proud pleasure. I’m watching Sailing Yacht at the moment. It’s so good, but sometimes I get anxiety watching it, especially if I’ve just signed up to do another season. It stresses me out so much because I start thinking about having to do that work too. When I’m in New Zealand, another thing I really, really like to watch is The Chase. I love when they do the quickfire questions against the Chaser. My favourite Chaser is The Sinnerman [Paul Sinha].

My favourite TV character of all time is… The Mum on Schitt’s Creek. Davviiiiiiiid. I’m a huge English freak, and her vocabulary astounds me. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. 

The most stylish person on TV is… Myself. I’ve got an amazing stylist Bailey, and she’s absolutely incredible. I don’t get to wear my own clothes on the show apart from when we have our nights out, and I normally chuck it all together with haste about a day before I start filming. 

My most used streaming platform is… Probably Peacock because it’s got all the Below Deck series. Netflix I don’t really watch, there’s a lot of rubbish on there, a lot of hot air, you know?

Aesha on the 2023 season of I’m a Celeb: Australia

My favourite TV project I’ve ever been involved in is… Below Deck Down Under. It truly has been really cool because not many people get offered the opportunity to start a new Below Deck series and give it their own flavour. So we were able to do that with season one and give it the vibe that we wanted to give it. That was really special. 

The one thing I wish people knew about making reality TV is… That we’re not actors. I saw an article on Instagram about me, and everyone in the comments was just talking about how we were all actors and influencers pretending to be yachties. It just annoys me because Below Deck is the realest reality show you will ever see. Production is so anal about the fact that they cannot interfere with us at all. None of it is made up but it doesn’t need to be, because yachting is so difficult that everything is going to blow up anyway. 

The TV show that defined my lockdown was… I didn’t really have one. The first lockdown that I had was in a flat in Auckland with five other people. We were just really into playing cards and playing games. Every now and then we would watch a movie, but there wasn’t really anything that we all watched together apart from the news. That was probably my defining TV show, hanging out for those 1pm updates

A TV project that I wish you were involved in is… I really want to keep doing Below Deck but I also really want to move into hosting. One of my ultimate dreams is to host The Amazing Race, because I just think it would be so cool to get flown into each location and see the world that way. 

The biggest thing I’ve learned from being on TV… Is how shows are made and how much effort really goes into it. When you see the production crew for Below Deck, they’re working the same amount of hours as us, but then they have to bugger off back to the office and keep working on it all day after day after day. Now when I’m watching TV, I have a whole new appreciation for how much effort must have gone into creating this thing that we sit on the couch and watch for an hour. 

Aesha and Ryan aboard Below Deck: Down Under’s Thalassa

My most watched TV show of all time is… The only show that I’ve watched the entire series from start to finish would be Parks and Recreation. It’s so funny. There’s just so many different memorable characters in it that make it something so special. 

My most controversial TV opinion is… I watched an episode of Succession and I thought it was average. It was one of those shows that everyone just went on and on about so I watched it and was just like “I feel motion sick”. There was just so much happening. Too much. It wasn’t witty enough for me, I like something that’s clever. 

A show that I will never watch no matter how many people tell me I should is… Game of Thrones. The scenes are too long. If they made the scenes about a quarter of the length I would watch it. It’s also so dark, if they could up the exposure that would be great. 

The last thing that I watched on TV is… Easy, I just watched it this morning: Below Deck. 

Season two of Below Deck: Down Under screens on Tuesdays at 8.40pm on Bravo and streams on ThreeNow. Read the previous My Life in TVs here.

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