April 2002
Utt erly Cool
by Marie Tan, Female Men's Edition


Lisa Marie Tan questions MTV VJ Utt about life as a celebrity, even if he thinks hes only almost famous.

Uttsada Panichkul is the kind of sweet-faced 28-year-old you want to bring back home to show Mum, if only he could keep his mouth shut.

Once that trap opens, he'sundoubtedly the cheeky talker that most fans know him as; the gregarious, youthful Utt who hosts MTV Bangkok Jam. The one who, if you were brave or drunk enough to use the usual dumb pick-up lies like have I seen you somewere before or (as he claims was used on him before) 'do you want to see what colour undies I'm wearing', would provoke, "Well, I'm not wearing any. So you want to see my willy"

Funny and witty enough, but probably not for your mothor. Especially not one who professes "natural' havits of not talking properly, having a dirty mind and dirty manners, eating my booger, smeling my socks, my armpits and stuff that disgusts the other VJs We can only hope hes joking.

After all, attention-grabbing is only an occupational hazard for one like Utt. And his self-opinion on being cute? Barf, barf and more barf," he defleds on his boyish good looks. think its because I'm camera-happy so I come out looking better in photos and TV than I do in person. With his extensive hosting, modeling and recently, acting roles. it looks like Utt's definitely camera-happy.

Hmmph. Whatever. Still, good looks and fame do come in useful some days, Recalls Utt of his velvet-rope tricks, I tried getting into a club in London by telling them I was a VJ. And it worked I had to show them my ID though. But my friends couldnt get in. so I didnt too in the end.

Of course, back in Bangkok where Utt is based, he doesnt need to flash his ID to get into his favorite party spots, Ministry of Sound and Tapas on Soi 4. Elsewhere, I just go where other people bring me, Utt defends on not being able to name other party faves around the world.

Thankfully, celebrity status does bring some more fruitfUl encounters. The best perk so far was sitting next to Zhang Zi Yi at the MTV Asia Awards, Jackie Chan couldn't make it at the last minute so I took his seat. I got a rush sitting next to little Miss Crouching Tiger. She's real cute and beautiful. Sometimes too, I get out parking tickets in Bangkok when they recognise me. But it doesnt work all the time, Utt says of celebrity limits too.

Other times, there's still advantage in being famous (or almost famous according to Utt). "The cool side is getting free stuff ... a mobile phone clothes .... but it works both ways because, then, you're also a walking advertisement."

Despite the hit that MTV's made out of Utt, he reckons he's not quite Robbie Williams-manic-mobbed statues yet. "Idon't get mobbed. I just get recognised in Bangkok ... I do get the occasional clothes tearing, nipple pinching, crotch grabbing..." says Quite-the-contrary.

And let's take Utt's words with a really huge pinch of salt whe he says, "I was the geek, the moron at school, not the popular kid. I still am! I was really nerdy. It was me and Bill Gates. He into his computer stuff and me, well look at where we are now! Whoa!" We've got a masisive joker here, but we'd tolerate it for those looks. Wouldn't you?

Back to Headlines