So I had a bit of an exciting day yesterday, you might have seen on my various social media accounts (or the tele for that matter) but if you haven’t…
I went on live TV.
On the Victoria Derbyshire show.
Oh my goodness.
The day started with meeting my two Macmillan support team girls. They were incredible. I seriously love them so much, I want to be friends with them (Creeper)! They came in with me and even sat in the wings supporting me while I was on set (creepers). Having them there made it so much fun!
We had a coffee and a bit of a chat in Pret beforehand, all super excited about the adventure we were about to embark on. None of us could stop smiling. Next thing, off we went to the BBC STUDIOS.
Did you know that there is a Dalek and a TARDIS in the foyer of BBC Studios? Halfway through getting our passes made, I spotted them and excitedly said to Ellie that I needed a photo. So she and I ran off only to get called instead to get our bags checked by security, and then she had to go back to actually pick up her pass. I was being such a tourist, way too excited. But we got the photo (shown at the end of the post).
Someone came to get us and we got taken in, first walking above the BBC News room. I was in awe, this place was just incredible. Working at BBC has kinda been a dream for me so seeing the insides of it was exhilarating. One of my support team, Sima, had worked in broadcast journalism before for many years and was being so cool about it all. I was not cool. I was like a kid in the biggest magical sweet shop in the world.
Next I was in to hair and makeup and the lady who was making me ‘camera ready’ was so lovely. We chatted about how her husband had cancer and just generally about things – she said I have nice cheekbones as she put blush on me. I will endeavour to start wearing blush (blush? Blusher? I’m so makeup uninformed).
Then it was into the ‘Green Room’ to wait. On the show with me were some Head Teachers who were part of a demonstration outside Downing Street. As a result, The Green Room felt a little bit like a staff room. They were all lovely though.
First I was to be in the opening scene, so I got to sit on the couch and smile at the camera while my segment was introduced. That was quite good because I got to see the studio before I was actually required to do much. We started and I was wondering why the host was so quiet, but I smiled at the camera on queue. Turns out it was only 10 minutes to 9 and that was a run-through. Phew. I had another chance to perfect my smile. She was eventually mic-ed up and in 2 mins… 1 min… 10 seconds… 3, 2, 1, we were on!
Being in the studio was so cool, I can’t even explain how amazing it felt to be seeing it all in action. I must note here how lovely everyone I met at the BBC was. I suppose that’s important for a show that has non-professional people on it, it helps to make them feel comfortable. But from the host (Joanna Gossling hosts the Victoria Derbyshire show on Fridays) to the person who brought us in and told us where to go, to the person who set me up with my mic, to the person who got me on and off set, to the camera girl… And of course hair and makeup. Even after the intro I got a smile and a ‘well done’ from everyone, including the host. In fact Joanna even came up to me specifically before the show to introduce herself, say hi and tell me how good I look. I was among friends here.
I was walking around and sitting, grinning like a maniac, having such a great time. Was I nervous? No. I love being the centre of attention, any chance to show off.
The interview itself went for about 10 minutes. They put it together really well, including using the pictures I took after surgery as a kind of time-lapse presentation. It kind of made me realise that I now have this ability to relate to quite a few different people – those with cancer, those who have had extensive, invasive surgery, and those with a facial disfigurement or has had their face changed in some way.
And I really hope that some people saw this interview and felt less alone, less helpless. If anyone has found their way here on the back of that interview, please don’t hesitate to say hi! Welcome.
To anyone who hasn’t seen it, I will link to the BBC Iplayer below (unfortunately this is only available to my British friends and family. If you’re outside of the UK I am not endorsing the use of a VPN to watch it because that is naughty, but I’m not sure of any other ways you can all see it). I will also link to the article that the BBC wrote, which has a small clip at the bottom.
Thank you to everyone who made this happen. I feel so lucky for these opportunities and the fantastic people who make my life so damn enjoyable no matter what I’m doing. I’m grateful for every smile, every show of support, every person who listens to what I say. Thank you.
Edit: I got it on YouTube! International friends and family, please watch here! Hopefully BBC won’t get grumpy and take it down:
Iplayer link (only available for a month from airing date) – see 39mins for my segment:
BBC article with clip:
A couple of other short clips of it, depending on your favourite platform… (The two twitter ones are practically the same as the one Facebook one)
And some photos…