… and the daughter will always upstage you…
Television debut day for three of the Berney-Edwards four. Daddy Graeme has previously been spotted at a A.A meeting with poor old Helen on ‘Call the Midwife’, has popped up on ‘The Crown’ as at least three different characters, and was seen enjoying Christmas Day Dinner with his Waitrose family several times throughout November and December 2015.So being a reasonably experienced hand in the world of TV should have been a little less of a class one – rhymes with stitch- when the alarm went off at 0530.
Daddy Simon had meticulously planned our pre-departure movements and in deference to my mainly Maleficent mode at that hour in the morning jumped into the shower first allowing me to get at least one coffee into my system before the little ones stirred. Nana Edwards had volunteered/been emotionally blackmailed into assisting us for the day and was already up and had a coffee waiting for me. I may have bestowed a sainthood upon her as I shuffled about the kitchen getting the milk heated for the Weetabix and getting the nappy bag and toy bag together for the morning ahead.Daddy Simon appears downstairs and has done a pretty good job of dressing himself given that we’re still living out of boxes. Alexandra and Calder are starting to stir and are surprised to be whisked out of bed almost immediately. Breakfast duties are carried out by Nana and Daddy Simon who is given strict instructions on what outfits and back up outfits the kiddies are to wear – ” …and no going maverick – this is national television remember.”
I’ve got a bit more time on my hands than I thought so I took my second/possibly third coffee upstairs and start to get myself ready. Hair needs a bit of a tidy up – not the sparse tufts on top of my head – the bits that have diverted and are sprouting out of my ears,nostrils and eyebrows. I’ve not shaved for a few days – so that’s going to take a bit longer if I don’t want to look as though Sweeney Todd has had a crack at it. Perhaps I don’t have as much time as I had initially thought. It’s only when I’m in the shower that I realise that I have no idea what box the clothes that I had planned to wear might be. Pretty sure that trousers are hanging up, there’s bound to be an ironed white shirt somewhere but if I can’t find that pink jumper I’ll need to rethink socks and possibly even pants. It’s a bright pink jumper.It should be easy to locate – but I’m not committing myself to a colour scheme until I find it. I could go with a blue one but that means that Daddy Simon and I will look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee on the sofa. There’s the ‘Kermit’ green one and similar hue in socks – but I’m not sure how it fares on the whole size carry on these days. There it is hiding beneath an ‘I’d forgotten about that Fair-Isle’one at the bottom of a box. Panic over. By now my red face clashes horribly in with the errant pink jumper but I’m optimistic that I’ll look less like Hiawatha by the time we get to Wogan House. Ten minutes to spare before the car is due to arrive at seven o’clock. Probably not time to squeeze in another coffee before we head off. Kiddies are wide awake, dressed and probably on their 56th lap of the kitchen/dining room/lounge as Nana announces that the car has arrived. This is where having kiddies keeps you well and truly grounded. I open the front door looking forward to taking in the sleek lines of a black,stretch Mercedes or at the very least a seven series BMW and see that it’s a Mercedes …..van! The driver is smartly attired in a shirt and tie so I know that it’s not a removal van. I consider that perhaps it’s a private ambulance that has parked up and that ‘our car’ is in waiting behind. But then I see Gloria smirking in the driveway and remember that I have to decant two car seats,an assortment of – why do we not have matching luggage anymore – and then get, Alexandra, Calder, Nana, Daddy Simon and myself in there – at least we don’t have to take the buggy today. Our little stars are strapped into their relocated safety seats and the rest of us all pile in – “hang on I’m too hot. I need to take my jumper off.” and set off to London Town. The same London Town that we left five days ago.
As expected,we hit rush hour (two hour and ten minutes) traffic but Alexandra and Calder keep us entertained with lively chatter and a few songs and I encourage waving out the windows to the people in the surrounding cars,trucks and buses. Fortunately neither are disappointed at the lack of response so I don’t have to explain the black out windows to them( only remembered twenty five minutes into the trip)and concentrate on getting a really good look at our fellow commuters whilst they’re being watched unaware. There were a lot of illegal mobile phone users and nose pickers on the A217 this morning.
We’re conscious that we’re supposed to be at the studio by nine thirty and the watches are creeping closer to this time quicker than we’re creeping towards the studio. I suppose they’ll just to have us on last. Calder is taking a wee power nap and Alexandra’s incessant jabbering makes me think that she’ll be happy to cuddle into one of her Daddies during the interview.
The driver advises that he’s been briefed that he will be taking us back so we can leave the car seats in the van – phew! – and that he’ll pick us up in the same place that he’ll drop us off … at 1015. The show only starts at 10 o’clock- looks like we’re first up.
We arrive shortly after 0930 and check in at reception at a very impressive Wogan House. The security guard scanning our bags takes great delight in telling us that their X ray machines are far superior to those currently used at the airports but I’m too busy trying to stop Calder from climbing up and into the impressive bit of machinery to take into much more detail. The children have spoken to each one of the security guards at the revolving doors and have checked how well the disabled access door was locked before someone comes to meet us.
We’re all escorted down to the studio and into the green room – it’s not you know – and Victoria Derbyshire comes to meet us all in person. What a blinking lovely lady. Incredibly down to earth and immediately puts Daddy Simon and I at ease. Introductions are done,names are clarified and we’re given a quick run down of our part of the show. Names are clarified again and we’re asked if we have any questions. Nope.We’re good to go. Let’s clarify names again and agree who will carry/sit with each munchkin so that we’re sure of names.
Surprisingly less make up required than I would have thought would have been needed and we’re wired up with microphones. (Must NOT mutter/swear under breath I remind myself). We’re taken out onto set and take our seats. Quick rehearsal of opening introductions goes well and we’re good to go…
Well kids will be kids. Victoria and her team had said that if Alexandra and Calder wanted to get up and explore they were chilled with that and the ever fabulous Nana Edwards was waiting in the wings . Our kiddies are their happiest when they can go exploring and that’s just what they did. Started off with us, went to check on Nana and came back onto the set to do a bit of entertaining.
Daddy Simon is well rehearsed in the whole process and was confident and relaxed discussing a topic that he is passionate about. I sat back and let pink jumper, stripey socks steal focus while watching our two happy, contented kiddiewinks enjoy another marvellous adventure.
A huge, big, massive thanks to all of the Victoria Derbyshire team for their time and patience. We had a great time.
We even made it to the BBC News Online home page.
Alexandra strops off whilst Calder reflects on his morning TV debut.