Hello! Just popping over here quickly to share what I hope will be some good news with you all – and lord only knows we need some of that right now!
From Monday 13th April the BBC will be showing a brand new live morning TV show, at 10am on BBC One, Monday to Friday. It’s based on the Saturday Kitchen format, and will be hosted by ME! And Matt Tebbutt, who is a brilliant and experienced presenter and broadcaster and an excellent foil to my awkward, clumsy weirdness.
For years and years my readers – you – have been saying that I should do this, and I have been approached dozens and dozens of times. And every time I turned it down, because I didn’t have the confidence, I didn’t believe in myself, I thought I was too odd and anxious and nervous and that everyones belief in me was misplaced. I know I can write, I do that instinctively, but pointing a camera in my face has been a recipe for disaster, time and time again.
And then, earlier this year, ITV’s This Morning asked me to come on their show. And I dug deep inside myself for some Courage, and I said yes. Again, and again, and again. Here’s me being courageous and enjoying myself making a hash of something in front of an audience of millions.
And then a couple of weeks ago an absolute storm broke out on Twitter, with people suddenly demanding that I have my own show. I must admit, as cavalier and sassy as I am in 280 character bursts from the warmth of my dining-room-office, I was actually overwhelmed and quite frightened of the strength of feeling that was behind this wave of public support. Again, imposter syndrome and shyness whispered to me that I wasn’t good enough, to stay in my lane.
But with the absolute love and support of the This Morning team over the last few months, guiding me through cooking live on TV and glossing over my slip-ups and being super encouraging all round, a little seed started to sprout in my head and I wondered if maybe, if the production companies came knocking again, if I might give it a go.
Lo and behold, they did. And my wonderful agent and friend, Rosemary, firmly but lovingly told me that this was my time and I would be brilliant.
So I said yes.
And I’m nervous, frightened, excited, gleeful, very noisily exclaiming random shouts of unbridled joy, disturbing Mrs J in the next room who is trying to work, and also trying to do my own work while my phone goes absolutely BONKERS with lovely messages, but I’m doing it.
You can tune in Monday to Friday, 10am, BBC One. I’ll try not to be too much of a plonker. And now I need some sleep and a wash, because I literally look like I’ve been living in a bin for the past few days and have had an average of three hours sleep a night for the past few weeks, and that’s not going to comfort or inspire confidence in ANYONE.
Thankyou all for your support and kindness and generosity over the years, and for watering that little seed til it grew roots and shoots etc – I wouldn’t be here without you all and I want you to know I read every single comment, email, letter, and reply to as many as I can, because I’ll never forget where I came from and who put me where I am now, and that’s my readers. Of the books, blog, newspaper articles, twitter, all of it. You helped grow this, and I’ll be eternally thankful for it.
And for the record – because people will ask and may wonder – yes the pay for this is good. Of course it is. And I’ll be putting it all to one side and continuing to draw the living wage out of it, as I have done for the last few years, until I feel secure enough to do otherwise. I’m still a freelancer, I’m still petrified of life all going wrong again, and I’m not about to bugger it all up again. It’s been hairy in places over the last few years; it would have been hairier if I hadn’t been this cautious. Although I may splash out on some decent clippers to sort my undercut out before this all kicks off! And maybe a new denim shirt or two!
With so much love and squealing and glee and excitement (and please tune in and say nice things and be as supportive as possible, because it’s a 2 week commision but if it goes down well it could well run on from that!)
PS The official BBC press release is here if you want a coherent and succinct version of my absolute rambling joy.