Madmumof7 on the BBC

When I was young I imagined a fabulous career in print journalism. I never imaged that at almost 50 I would be working full time online OR that I would be invited to talk about my life as a mum of 7 on the BBC.



Actually, when I was young the internet wasn't a thing and I never dreamed I would end up having 7 children. Oddly I did think cars would be hovering above the road surface by the year 2000 and that we would all be wearing silver space suits.

Anyway, back to the Beeb story.

So it turns out that the nice people at Sunday Morning Live which airs on BBC1 from 11.30am every Sunday found out about me and our super size family and wanted to know what I thought about the idea that Brits should limit family size to save the planet.

I was asked over the phone what I thought, asked to send an email with further thoughts on the subject AND pre-interviewed before the filming, presumably to ensure I wasn't going to panic and blurt out something horribly inappropriate. Which as those you who know me in "real" life know hardly ever happens. *insert guilty face here*

So - for those of you who didn't cave to my diva demands and watched it either live or on catch up on BBC iplayer, do you think I actually got to talk about environmental responsibility in a large family setting?

Let me skip back a bit though before I tell you what happened.

The day dawned bright and quite early and after having major wobbles about my major wobbles and what outfit might disguise them, I settled on some clothes and as I was putting the last touches to my now rock solid hairspray enhanced hair, DH called out that my car was outside.


Yes, since the trains from Hertfordshire into London are less reliable than  a 40 year old Ford Cortina, especially on a Sunday, I had been offered transport to Broadcasting House in Central London.

Outside my house was a sleek electric limo complete with a suited and booted chauffeur who hopped out and opened the car door as I walked down our weed-infested driveway as if I was as important as royalty, an MP or one of those people off reality TV.

I sat in the back wondering whether it was the done thing to talk to the driver - I tried but he wasn't very chatty-so I played Candy Crush on my phone whilst trying to pull a face which might imply I was actually doing something terribly worthy and important via email.

Arriving at the BBC I was excited to see paparazzi waiting. Sadly they didn't seem as excited to see me but a few random tourists took photos presumably in case I was in fact a famous person. I regretted leaving my sunglasses behind which might have made my act more convincing.

I tried to put some confidence in my steps but this took a hit when the receptionist took a while to find my name. Turns out I wasn't on the doorman's list at all.

Armed with a photographic pass I regained some of my confidence and walked to the green room as if I did this kind of thing every day. I peered into a few rooms on the way but didn't see any famous people. I did spot a room filled with Pudsey Bears which was quite exciting.


The green room was fun and actually had a greenish wall. No champagne and oysters but water, tea, coffee and pastries and lots of interesting people to talk and/or listen to. There was a TV on silent and lots of photographs of famous people.


My home-done makeup was tweaked by an expert and it was time for me to do my bit. I was disappointed to learn I had not earned a spot on the actual Sunday Morning Live sofa and would instead be doing what they call a "down the line" interview on my own in front of a camera in another area of the building.

I was fitted with a mike and an ear piece and perched on a stool realising that no-one would get to see my carefully chosen outfit but on the plus side, wouldn't be able to see my mum tum either.

I could hear the sofa chat getting lively and all of a sudden Cherry Healey's voice came down my earpiece - I was live on the BBC!

After chatting about our family and an annoying but in retrospect predictable question about whether we are on benefits (both me and my husband work in case you are wondering) Cherry said good bye leaving me hanging without actually getting my point across. I waited in case they planned to come back to me but no, that was my not even five minutes of fame over and done with.

Still it was lots of fun and lovely to see nice comments from supportive friends who'd seen the interview which I read as I scrolled through social media on the chauffeur driven ride home.

It's another ambition ticked off my life goals bucket list and takes me one more fairy step closer to appearing on Loose Women.

I even got a bit of trolling from someone who took offence to my teeth and the usual "burden on the state" and  "don't breed if you can't afford to feed" people who seem to have overlooked that we do work to be able to feed them very well thanks, and in fact four of our children are working and paying their own national insurance and tax and generally being productive and useful members of society.

This is why we usually turn down opportunities to do TV about large families. People just assume all large families are rammed with lazy, feckless, resource leeches but I believe actually we personally probably contribute more to society through our volunteer work and actual work than many "normal" sized families.

We own our own home and have brought all our children up to have a sense of duty to their community (at a local and global level) and I'm very proud of the work they have done and time they have spent doing everything from sleeping outside in minus temperatures to support and raise money for local homeless charities, to campaigning for gay rights within the Anglican church and raising awareness of the situation in Yemen. Anyway, small rant over.  *climbs down off soapbox*

If you'd like to watch me chatting to Cherry, you can see me on series 9, episode 18 for the next 25 days from the date on this post on BBC Iplayer.

NOTE: Viewers in countries outside the UK and those without a British TV licence will be unable to access the content.







Comments

  1. Sounds like a great morning, although a pity you didn't even get to put your point across about large families and the planet, (the entire point of the programme supposedly!) it always irritates me when people jump to conclusions about large families and benefits, I would argue that both your family and mine have done more for society than many families with one or two children.

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