Filming For Channel 4
I awoke early the morning they contacted me and while carrying out my daily rituals of trawling through emails noticed one with a heading ‘How to Get Fit Fast’.
My initial reaction was to move it to the junk or spam folder, but for some reason I was distracted and didn’t get round to it, coffee was calling.
Feeling more awake my phone began to ring, I answered to hear with a very excited tone in his voice Del ask if I had read our Facebook page messages.
The researcher from Betty Television who had been commissioned by Channel 4 to produce the show had come across my posts on social media.
They had been scouring the internet for someone who would be suitable to appear on the show and explain how Paddle Boarding had changed their life.
Following some to and fro emails I was invited to a Skype interview with the producer. Unaware it was an audition he concluded with we will be in touch.
A few days later I received the phone call to invite me to appear on the show. And now the reality kicked in, the nervous excitement was hard to contain.
My first meeting with them would be in Kensington, London at a Nuffield Health Centre where the first stage of filming would take place.
The team behind Betty Productions were amazing and so good at making me feel at ease before going in front of the camera and producer for my interview.
Having had no media training before and this being my first time in front of a television camera I was very nervous to say the least.
Trying to describe what was a really weird experience looking into a mirror in the lens of a camera so I could see the camera mans face and not talk to myself.
With the studio filming a wrap it was time to head home and prepare for the next part. That would be me paddle boarding, we just had to agree on a location.
South Norwood Lake in Crystal Palace was a beautiful idyllic setting to film from.
Home to a very accommodating sailing club who more than took care of us.
After several hours of shooting me from all manner of angles, from land then on the pontoon and then the water aboard a rib, they had all the footage they needed.
My last contact from the team at Betty Television, responsible for shows such as Bear Grylls and First Dates was to inform of the date of airing.
With a cushion in hand and a very stiff drink I sat with my family in front of the TV for the start of the show. My first time watching it all put together.
Was that actually me I was watching and had to pause the sky tv. I didn’t sound like me and I certainly didn’t do the Essex girls any justice.
My moment of fame had come and gone in around 60 seconds. I didn’t know wether to cringe or laugh. My partner and families faces said it all ‘Proud’.
The whole experience for me was surreal but one I will surely never forget. A wonderful time from beginning to end, and who knows maybe you will see me again.