Although I’ve dreamt of becoming a TV Presenter since childhood, if you’d asked me a few years ago if I thought I’d actually ever have the opportunity to present on primetime UK TV, I’d definitely have said no. Hell no, in fact. Yet since becoming a professional blogger, I’ve started to realise anything is possible quite frankly, that all we bloggers are operating on a democratic platform where creativity and opportunity finds the willing.
The beauty of blogging is its versatility, that no one day is ever the same; the hats we wear are varied. It has opened up many doors I’d previously deemed impossible and I believe it might just be the most fulfilling and diverse career out there. I refer to my blog as a magazine of my life-it is a culmination of all my passions, the written word, the moving image, photography, food, fashion-we all write what we love and an audience discovers us, instantly.
Pre-blogging, I worked as an award winning filmmaker, directing films, TV documentaries, drama, music videos and commercials.
I loved my life behind the camera but I did feel it limited me somewhat as I assumed it wasn’t appropriate or the done thing to divert from my work behind the scenes. Silly I know. Blogging has liberated me hugely, it still enables me to use my skills as a screenwriter and director be it video commissions or directing myself Clint Eastwood style, but it has given me the flexibility to follow other paths-to front modelling campaigns or present, but most importantly it has allowed me to find a job that works on my own time and own terms so I don’t miss out on family life.
…Like most bloggers when they start out, I never expected to turn my blog into a business. Initially, I used it as a way to rediscover my voice and identity following the traumatic birth of my eldest son, Oliver.
Blogging empowered me at a time when I felt unemployable and voiceless, and it was in fact thanks to the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards where I was made a finalist in the Fresh Voice Category 4 weeks after starting, that I regained my confidence enough to get back on set. It made me feel my voice mattered at a time I was broken.
By the time I was pregnant with my second son, Alexander, the blogging industry had exploded to such an extent that we digital influence had become entrepreneurs, pioneers, digital storytellers, our work was highly coveted and in demand. Today, I have a team of three at Honestmum Limited: a publicist, a designer and assistant and that’s not taking into consideration my photographer husband who shoots on some weekends for me or my parents who help with childcare. We are a team and I couldn’t do it all without them.
…And of course, it was thanks to blogging that I landed my recent presenting stint. It wasn’t down to some high powered agent (I left my modelling agency long ago). Instead the producer – Beth – found me via the ‘On Camera‘ section of my blog while searching for new talent.
Testament that by simply expressing and being ourselves online, the most incredible opportunities await us all.
And what can I say about presenting other than it was ridiculously fun!
Unfortunately, Beth was unwell on the filming day so Oliver, another fabulous producer/director stepped in.
Prior to the shoot, Beth had emailed me with lots of questions on how I prepare the kids for school and ideas of our favourite family recipes. This input was then used to create the content and scripts for the 3 short slots.
I learnt the scripts the morning of the shoot day and then we were off! Lights, Camera, Action!
We filmed most of the day which resulted in 3, one minute segments, which were each aired on different days during the week, a few weeks ago.
The first two were on my top tips for getting kids back to school and the third was one of my all time favourite family recipes, my ‘not just for breakfast’ pancakes.
You can watch them below (3 1/2 minutes in total)
I’ve never cooked on TV before so I was pretty nervous, but I channelled my inner Nigella and being in my own house and kitchen meant I felt truly comfortable and could be myself. I hope my personality comes across on camera.
Yes, I’m pretty used to appearing on camera thanks to my YouTube channel and I presented a film programme for BBC2 a few years back, but I’d forgotten quite how much you need to juggle on a timed shoot where everything needs to be ‘in the can’ that day.
Remembering lines, sounding natural and walking on and off camera or cooking, is not to be underestimated-it needs to be timed, the sound must be right, the shot, perfect before it’s a wrap!
I have a newfound respect for all TV presenters that’s for sure. It’s a tough job but I loved every second of the shoot and hope they hire me again.
I must add too that the biggest joy of all was the fact the whole experience was a real family affair.
Both my kids, Oliver and Alexander, appeared in the Back To School segments with me and there was even a cameo from my Dad, Papa G!
We even nicknamed Xander, James Dean as he took direction like a dream and relished all the attention, so much so that when the camera wasn’t on him, he kept asking to be filmed! Hmm… wonder who he’s taken after 😉
Both boys were (thankfully) mostly well behaved (lured by the promise of a small toy each after the shoot) and I felt like one proud Mama on the day.
There’s nothing more rewarding than doing what I love with my kids. Definitely a dream come true.
Did you catch me on the box?