Jessica Ennis, the universities minister & a man bending his head through a tennis racket

Captain Frodo aka The Rubber Man

One day, when I’m old and grey, I’ll read back this blog and think – was my life always like that? On paper it seems much more surreal than the reality – most of it took place in the Daybreak green room…


  • Ban Christmas Presents! I was on the show to discuss my ban Christmas presents campaign, which had involved making a film marching up and down Carnaby street with a placard, while explaining why I think giving gifts to beyond the extended family is often a bad idea, then a debate with the presenters.  

    During the midst of filming (about two weeks ago) the police stopped us and asked if we were involved in the student protests (you can watch m’ITV ban Christmas rant here).

  • Discussing student finance with the minister while man bends his head through a tennis racket. David Willetts, the universities minister, came off air about six minutes before I was going on, so I nabbed him to briefly discuss the new students loans structure.

    Yet three feet away was contortionist Captain Frodo, sitting on the sofa, whilst stretching and placing an unstringed tennis racket over his body by voluntarily dislocating his shoulders – and muttering to himself as he rehearsed his act. It was kind of distracting for both the minister and me.

    My aim was to chat through (with David Willetts not Captain Frodo) concerns over the level interest is being set at and the potential inability of early repayments (see my Stopping graduates repaying student loans early would be a terrible mistake blog for more).  If I get time I’ll try and blog in detail on this later.

  • Jessica Ennis – enough to make me get my camera out.   It’s not often I’m persuaded to take a snap with someone famous – the nature of being on TV means bumping into Hollywood stars, TV personalities, pop giants and more in Green Rooms is commonplace. 

    Yet this morning, I couldn’t resist when I saw world champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis walk into the Green Room. I must admit to going all doolally, I love my athletics and have a bit of a crush on her (not in a way Mrs MSE should worry about – I just think she’s the world’s best female athlete, graceful  and elegant to boot).

    So I plucked up the courage to ask if she’d mind having a photo taken with me – adding to the eclectic mix of those I’ve bothered to ask in the past such as misfits man and Jamie Archer.  And here it is…


Jessica Ennis, Heptathlete and Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert

Jessica Ennis, Heptathlete and Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert

She was lovely about it, as were the colleagues she was with, especially when they realised I’m a bit of a track and field nut and statto (see Star struck at the British Athletics Awards blog).

By this stage it was 8am, then the day really started. Since then I’ve watched my workout film go out on Lorraine while doing a Daybreak webchat, been to a meeting, done some column writing for News of the World, answered the 130 emails sitting in my inbox since I last checked at 10pm last night, been to 5 live to do my hour long consumer panel slot (which I love) where they were reporting that I’d been suggested for the UK’s new Financial Policy Committee, and now at 1pm knocked up this blog. 

And if me in 50 years is reading this back, “Yes, it really was like that.”

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