Thoroughly enjoyed this morning's filming for The One Show. I've never been to Holland Park, although I've heard a lot about it. For some reason I expected a large area of grass bordered by a footpath, but it is far more like a country park - lots of trees and muddy tracks. I even saw some pigs (above).
I was met by a production crew of three people plus the familiar sight of journalist Matt Allwright (Watchdog, Rogue Traders, Fat Nation etc).
Matt's on screen persona has always struck me as witty but sharp, bordering on sarcastic and, occasionally, cynical. In person he was charming, although I may change my mind when I see the final edit and hear his comments!
I imagine my contribution will be measured in seconds rather than minutes. "This is The One Show!" Matt laughed when I mentioned it, but we were nevertheless filming for 15 or 20 minutes.
On the first take Matt and I took up a position 100 yards from the camera and walked very slowly towards it, talking to one another. (We were both miked up.)
"That was great," said the director when we had finished. "Unfortunately, we couldn't see you at the end because of that bush." She pointed at the offending shrub. "We'll have to do it again from halfway."
So we walked back up the path and did it again. This time we kept to the right to stay in full view of the camera but if you see me with my head permanently bowed it's because I was trying to walk and talk at the same time without falling over or saying something really stupid AND IT'S NOT EASY!
After that the director wanted a close up of the pair of us in conversation, so we walked side-by-side with the cameraman walking backwards a few feet away. We did that twice, I think, and then they took some set up shots of Matt and me chatting to one another.
Off camera we talked about Berlin. Matt visited the city recently so I mentioned that Joe Jackson, one of our supporters, had moved there a few years ago and one of the reasons was the smoking ban. "Joe Jackson? He's one of my favourite musicians," said Matt.
It was all very relaxed, which in my experience is the most dangerous situation to be in when you're being interviewed by an experienced journalist. It's very easy to say something you might later regret.
I had three or four key messages about smoking around children which I repeated ad nauseum. I imagine they will use one, possibly two, because they are also interviewing Duncan Bannatyne later today and Antony Worrall Thompson tomorrow morning.
What I'm trying to say is, don't expect too much (if you watch it), but it was enjoyable to do and Matt was a breath of fresh air (no pun intended).
Fingers crossed ...