Exclusive: Lisa Vanderpump’s nephew Sam on Made in Chelsea romance – and how his aunt became his ‘rock’ after dad’s death

As the queen of reality TV, Lisa Vanderpump is no stranger to the melodrama of starring on the small screen. So when her nephew Sam decided to join the cast of Made in Chelsea, the former The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star had plenty of advice to pass on.

“My aunt is always extremely supportive and proud of me,” Sam, tells HELLO!. “She always gives her two cents, though – she wouldn’t be her if she didn’t keep me in check and give me advice. She always tells me: ‘You don’t need to raise your voice. Keep calm and don’t let anyone get the best of you.'”

Sam has followed in his aunt's reality TV footsteps by joining Made in Chelsea© Rachel Joseph / Channel 4
Sam has followed in his aunt’s reality TV footsteps by joining Made in Chelsea

The pair’s bond has grown closer since the death of Sam’s father Mark, Lisa’s only brother, in 2018. “Losing my dad at a young age was very hard and Lisa has become my guidance on that side of the family ever since,” he says. “She is my rock.”

Following in the footsteps of London-born Lisa, 63, who stars on spin-offs including Vanderpump Rules as well as running a restaurant empire, was a natural move, he adds. 

“Seeing my aunt on reality TV was quite aspirational; she does it really well. Even before she was on Real Housewives, I went to the same theatre school that she went to. We were always alike in that way.”

Lisa stars in Bravo's Vanderpump Rules, which is currently on its eleventh season© Getty Images
Lisa stars in Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules, which is currently on its eleventh season

Sam is one of five new personalities joining the show, with other fresh faces including Jack Taylor, the younger brother of existing cast member James, and Julia Pollard, whose “sweet energy” has earned her the nickname “Muffin”. 

“I don’t blend into the background; a lot happens,” he tells us. “There’s definitely a bit of romance and rivalry, a few kisses here and there.”

Sam is one of five new faces joining the Made in Chelsea cast© Rachel Joseph / Channel 4
Sam is one of five new faces joining the Made in Chelsea cast

How does Sam feel about his love life being in the spotlight? “I had just come out of a long-term relationship [when filming started] so I was – and still am – enjoying being single. It felt natural to let it play out on camera.”

Although, he adds: “My school friends are quite boisterous so watching myself talk about kissing girls with them might be a bit embarrassing.”

Sam had to balance the three months’ filming, which saw the cast visit Mauritius, with his day job – he is managing director of payment platform Dapio and founded currency exchange brokerage Vanderpump FX. It’s an impressive feat to be helming two companies at the age of 27, but Sam’s entrepreneurial mindset was instilled in him at a young age. “My grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts have all owned their own businesses.”

Will he make Made in Chelsea a family affair by getting his aunt on the show? “Everyone would love to see a cameo from her, but her diary is full,” he says with a smile. “But hopefully in the future. Never rule it out!”

Made in Chelsea starts on E4 on Monday 15 April at 9pm and on channel4.com

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