This week, I did something a bit exciting: I appeared on live breakfast TV. It was exciting but bloody nerve-wracking. In the 24 hours leading up to my appearance, I worried and fretted, imagining myself to say something stupid and embarrassing myself. I don’t find being on TV or radio particularly easy. Some people I know (stares at Molly from Mother’s Always Right) are just so natural on the mic or camera, but I often talk too fast, mumble and worst of all – my mind can go totally blank when asked even the most basic of questions.
This is all despite the fact that I’ve had media training as part of my day job. In the past ten years or so, I’ve done radio interviews while working on teen mags (highlight was when actual Anne Diamond interviewed me for a local BBC station – yessss) and I’ve done talking head TV stuff (have you seen me on Sky Living’s Extreme Skinny Celebrities, filmed around seven years ago? No? I think they’re still repeating it) but that still didn’t help me feel less nervous this week.
But I did it! I went on, I talked and I didn’t make a fool of myself. PHEW. The topic was pressure that mums feel at the school gates – a Netmums survey has revealed that over 60% of mums dread the school run. Cliques of other mums, fears over not wearing the ‘right’ clothes and a whole load of schoolgate politics are apparently the culprits. My fellow sofa guest was Gill Hornby – author of novel The Hive (which I am about to order on Amazon – it sounds fantastic) and she was just brilliant (and a true natural on camera).
So what are the three things I learned from appearing on Lorraine? Scroll down….
1. Facing your fears is GOOD. I knew, deep down, that saying yes to appearing on live TV would be a good thing. And despite my slightly nauseous feeling in the 24 hours leading up to it, I went through with it and I actually enjoyed it. I think pushing yourself out of your comfort zone every so often is a great thing to do. (And it feels so nice when you’re back IN your comfort zone, doesn’t it?)
2. A Whistles dress and some professional make up can make ANYONE look good on telly. I’ve had lots of compliments on how I looked on the TV show, which is really lovely, but I can promise you it’s all smoke and mirrors. I had two (lovely) ladies working on me in the make up chair at the same time. Sat next to me in make up was Miriam Margolyes (legend) and behind me was Coronation Street’s Jennie McAlpine. SUCH a showbiz way to start the morning!
3. Lorraine Kelly is one of the kindest, most professional women you could meet. She has this amazing skill of being able to make you feel like that six minute segment of TV you just took part in was the most AMAZING, ground-breaking piece of television since John Logie Baird invented the thing. “That was super,” she said warmly after the cameras stopped rolling. “Really great. So interesting.” High five, Lorraine Kelly, you’re ace.
Psst – you can watch me on Lorraine (if you’re in the UK) until Sunday 8th September over on ITVPlayer.