Phone caller: “Hi Shelle. I’m a producer for Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4. Thanks for writing into us about the fundraising work you’re doing. Are you available to be in Leeds on Monday to appear live on the show.”
Well, that was a no brainer! So, for my 31st challenge, I completed three mini activities live on national daytime TV.
Steph’s Packed Lunch is on channel 4 every weekday and, on a Monday, they have a ‘Steph Supports You’ feature, where people raising money for charity come onto the show and chat about what they’re doing.
The producers had me presenting a couple of minutes of the show, then trying my hand at skateboarding, and finally getting into a barrel of ice cold water, and I also had a few minutes to tell my story. I did well with the presenting and the getting wet, but the less said about my skateboarding skills, the better…
The production company kindly paid my travel expenses and put me up in a hotel the night before the show, so I drove up to Leeds Dock on the Sunday ready for the big day. There were two other fundraisers appearing as part of the feature and we met at 9.30am then spent the morning rehearsing our parts, and filming cutaways before the show kicked off live at 12.30pm.
It was such a highlight to meet Steph McGovern and the other presenters. I’ve been a fan of the show since it launched from Steph’s kitchen during lockdown, so this was like a little dream come true! It’s a small production team that bring the programme to our screens every day, and they were all lovely. Must admit, I was especially fond of the runners who appeared with a dressing gown and towels after I’d been in the barrel of water!
£240 in donations
The one thing that completely bowled me over was receiving £240 in donations from numerous people who’ve never met me in their life but just happened to see me on the show. Several of them had a story to tell about how Dementia had affected their lives in one way or another, and I shed a little tear reading some of them.
This just made me realise how much our stories need to be told, and how I’m doing the right thing by bringing attention to the need for research into this dreadful illness.
You can watch a condensed version of my five minutes of TV fame here: https://youtu.be/xcmZbBk5MUk
And while you’re on my YouTube channel, have a listen to the interview I did with Jumoke Fashola on BBC Radio London a couple of days later. I’m a bit less excitable than when on SPL so I talk about my motivations, why research is so vital and how Dementia isn’t an inevitable part of aging, as well as having a giggle about some of the challenges I’ve completed.