Thrills and tears: a day of debt, ITV, motorbikes and the BBC

The day in a nutshell: Train to Leicester – film an emotional day about debt for ITV, get motorcycle’d to Birmingham for The One Show, change shirt and go on air! I feel like a proper TV person doing this… strange!

I’m once again on the train back from BBC1’s The One Show. During the day I was filming a Tonight with Trevor MacDonald programme I’m presenting for ITV1. It’s on hidden debts and how to deal with them.

It was an emotional day. I met Gina, who’s moving in with her boyfriend Brian tomorrow. He’s great with money, and she’s in debt – worse debt than he knew. We started the day looking through the situation, it wasn’t nice. It was by no means the worst I’ve seen, but still a crisis.

Gina’s a lovely woman, and she and Brian, both in their 40s, seem very much in love. More than anything she was embarrassed to admit the problem to him, and as we spoke she started to cry. I never find this easy, but knew that to truly help, it was important to slap her across the face with the wet kipper of financial reality. It’s what those MoneySavers in the Debt-Free Wannabee Board call the lightbulb moment and it’s never easy. Now, being a bit of a softy, while explaining the situation, I always feel myself going a bit, and the eyes getting wet – it’s quite tough to steel myself from going too!

It was a difficult tone to get right for this programme. The message was important but I didn’t want to ‘Jeremy Kyle’ it and hype up the ‘confession’ element for dramatic effect. So it was important to me that we went through her options and how to improve her situation first, so that when she told Brian, there was a solution as well as a problem – always a good way to do it. However, actually he was wonderful, supportive, caring, and luckily a MoneySaver and prepared to support and help her through. Fingers crossed it will work for them.

At 5.30pm prompt a Virgin Executive bike arrived to whisk me to Birmingham in time for The One Show. I’d already been booked to film for ITV today, so when The One Show asked yesterday if I could come in and do an extra slot, the only way to get there in time for the live show was by bike. And there it was (I’ve taken a pic with my phone, I’ll add it later).

I’d never been on the back of a motorbike before (a Yamaha 1300 for those who understand these things), and definitely never been on one on a motorway in the pouring rain. I’ll be honest I was nervous, yet the driver was fantastic – calmed me down and we got going. Now, while he was a lovely bloke (and annoyingly I’ve forgotten his name), short hair and a beard was never really my type of woman – so rather than grabbing in front, I held on to the bars behind me for dear life as we whizzed through traffic and made it in, in around an hour.

We arrived in great time, a car simply wouldn’t have made it. My clothes were quite dry considering but not dry enough for the show, so I had to borrow one of Adrian’s (Chiles) shirts, pinned up at the back to fit. Then I was on with Carol Thatcher to talk about how pensioners can save money.

Now I’m knackered and on the train, catching up with emails and hope to be back for 9.30….

Discuss this blog