Well, who would have thought, the power of TV is a truly incredible thing. I am not really a telly watcher if I am honest, I like a film or a nature program and every so often I will binge watch a series like Killing Eve or Chernobyl. I didn’t really get the power that TV can hold until now. So when I was asked to appear on BBC NorthWest Tonight last week I was hoping it would help my fundraising for the Hospice but I didn’t realise that it would be so instant.
So how did it happen? Well, a couple of weeks ago I had an email out of the blue from Annabel Tiffin, who is one of the Anchors of the program. She said she had heard about my story and was I interested in having a LIVE interview in the studio the following week. My first thought as usual was NOOOOOOOOO I can’t do that! I can’t go on the telly. I can’t speak in front of the camera. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!!!! So I obviously made a cup of tea and sat down to reply to her email.
My blinking disobedient fingers hadn’t heard my brain saying NO. They were taking instruction from the ‘New Improved Brave Heather’ who annoyingly says YES to things outside her comfort zone. So next thing I knew words like…. Yes that would be fantastic, Yes I can come any day next week, Yes Yes Yes…… were appearing on my computer screen and then SEND. What had I done? How can I get out of it now? What if I can’t remember who I am and what I am doing on ACTUAL LIVE TV? What if I clam up and can’t even speak? Oh the shame I will bring on myself and my family. In the words of a proper northern lass I was brickin’ it. I was relieved a couple of days later when for reasons outside my control the interview was postponed. ‘Yippee’ I thought, perhaps it will get cancelled and I won’t need to go. It will look like I said yes and then it wasn’t my fault it was postponed and never rescheduled. But that New Improved Brave Heather sprang annoyingly back into action and spoke to Annabel and discussed a new rescheduled time a few days later. It was back on!!!
So, the big day arrives and the first worry is what the heck to wear on the tellybox. Do I wear a dress and heels and try to look all diva and sophisticated? Do I wear a trouser suit and snappy shirt and try to look all efficient and business like? Do I wear a flowery skirt and floaty blouse and try and look all free spirited and Earth Mother. Nope, none of the above are me, so I stuck with what I do best. Jeans, t-shirt and Converse, fortunately we had recently received a team t-shirt with the Clipper Race crew logo on at the last training level so that was perfect. Next worry is hair and make up, those of you who know me will know that these things don’t come naturally to me. I usually take the outdoorsy, take me as you find me approach to make up so it felt really strange unzipping my makeup bag mid afternoon on a Wednesday! Well I was ready, hair in order, a bit of slap on to take off the shine of my face and best Converse laced up and jeans pressed. Ready to hit the studio.
I arrived about an hour before I was due to go on and the team from the Beeb were fantastic. I was shown upstairs at Quay House in Media City to the studio and there I met the backroom team. I met the presenters, Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin, who put me at my ease and showed me around the studio, I watched from the sidelines while they did the Headlines. We then sat and had a chat on the actual couch while the main news was on. With a cuppa on the floor behind the magic coffee table that houses several computer screens, Annabel and Roger ran through some of the questions they were likely to ask and I was miked up and ready to go. Heart pounding I realised it was time for NIB Heather to take over for the next few minutes and I tried not to think too hard about how many people were watching. The next four minutes passed in the blink of an eye, I didn’t cock up! I managed to remember who I was and what I was doing and most importantly why. I managed to talk about Adam without breaking down, I remembered to mention the Hospice @ Home Service that I am fundraising for. I remembered how to speak! Alex, my daughter said I was using my little TV voice, apparently it’s a lot like your phone voice, I am so proud that I even have a little TV voice to be honest.
The upshot of all this TV nonsense is that my fundraising page exploded, I had previously thought I was doing well with £15,000 raised but in an instant, the donations started coming in £10, £50, £100, £200, £5000. I am proud to say that those terrifying four minutes were enough to boost the total by nearly £7000.
Thank you BBC for giving me the chance to speak out for the Hospice, thank you particularly to Annabel Tiffin who contact me in the first place and thank you everyone who has donated.
£21,750 total to date