Yesterday was a whirlwind of awesome! I appeared on ITV’s morning show This Morning and got to meet the very wonderful Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and talk about my all time favourite subject, poo!
I was invited on by TV and radio personality Judi Spiers, who along with her husband, invented a product to help people to change ostomy bags. I reviewed the Riksack for them last month and they had been invited onto the couch for National Bowel Month and asked me to go with them. Hooray!!
The researchers got in touch and had seen my blog and thought I would be great on TV, which was a huge compliment, almost as exciting as when they told me that Philip had been reading my blog and loved it! Arghhh!!!! So, if you are reading this now Mr Schofield, hiiiiiiii you are a living legend and a total fox!
I got the train down to London the night before after a traumatic decision over what to wear on the telly box. I asked my awesome followers on Facebook for advice and advise they did… Over 300 of them, though unfortunately all saying different things!! In the end I went for a flowery dress by Lindy Bop which I felt comfortable in and also felt fab in. Of course, I also wore my sparkly, gold boots.
I got picked up in a car from my hotel and taken to the studios, hilariously there were some paparazzi hanging out and they got excited as I pulled up. Unfortunately they were super disappointed when I got out of the car, I still waved and smiled just in case! (HA!)
The staff at This Morning were all lovely, very welcoming and trying to put you at ease, there were drinks and pastries and snacks but I didn’t eat as I didn’t want my stoma farting and bag filling up on live TV. I went into hair and makeup where I was attended to by #MrFaceMaker and then back to the Green Room I went.
I filmed a pre recorded piece where I changed my ostomy bag using the Riksack, I was hoping to be the first stoma on live TV but alas, they cut that part out of the live show. It was a bit odd to change my bag in front of strangers, the team were very sensitive though and made sure it was just a producer and a cameraman. After changing my bag, I asked the producer what she thought, she admitted that she had been concerned as she was squeamish and was worried that it was going to be difficult to watch, but she was amazed that my stoma was so small and not nearly as terrifying as she had imagined.
This is why I do all the things I do, to change perceptions and break those taboos.
So we then went onto set (which is much smaller than you imagine and all in one room) and I met the King and Queen of daytime TV, Philip and Holly. Philip came over and kissed me and welcomed me to the show and I went over to Holly… and curtsied.
WTF? Whyyyyyy would I do a curtsy?? I was just a bit star struck and then I laughed and said “Oh. I just curtsied” THEN CURTSIED AGAIN!!!
This is why I shouldn’t be allowed out in public.
Anyway, they had a laugh at my weirdness and then we sat on the sofa, I was with Judi and surgeon Mr Ian Daniels and off we went…
The interview went quicker than you think it will, it seemed to be over in a flash and then we were done! I wish I had said more but the slot was about the Riksack product and about signs and symptoms of bowel disease and bowel cancer and so it was important to get that info out.
I loved every minute of it and would love to do more TV as though it is terrifying before, it is so enjoyable once you are there doing it. It is hard to get a lot of info into a 7 minute slot, especially when there are three people being interviewed it is nigh on impossible to say everything you want. So apologies for not getting a bit more So Bad Assness out there!
Holly is as beautiful in real life as she is on TV. Seriously, I was a bit in awe of her and she was really sweet and lovely. She was very friendly and complimented my dress and they both congratulated me on this blog and my work in disability. Philip is a total fox. I loved him in the early 90s with Gordon the Gopher and can’t believe I got to meet such a famous celeb. He was really friendly and put you right at ease. People have asked me to dish some dirt on the two of them, but I cant! They were just lovely!
I am really proud of myself. The past few years have been hellish and there were times when I was in HDU or crying in pain in bed or leaking and feeling like a monster when I felt so low that I couldn’t imagine going on. So to be on live TV four months after my last surgery was a HUGE milestone.
I do what I do to make others understand what life with an illness or disability is like, I do it to break taboos, to educate, inform, support and inspire. I do it to make a difference. I do it because I need a reason that I have had to go through all this.
I didn’t plan for my life to be a series of battles, of medication, surgery, illness, pain and suffering. But this is the hand I was dealt and so I will use every single one of these things to help others and make a difference in the world.