It was with great joy that I was asked back this year as a regular to ITV’s summer food & entertainment show ‘Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel’. I appeared first on the show last summer as a one-off challenger for Gino, where I gave him the task of having afternoon tea correctly. The lovely executive producer Sharon Powers (great name, great lady) then asked if I could come back and so we did Royal dining and then a turn for 2012’s Christmas run.
I returned in episode three of the third series to give Gino & Mel a lesson in wedding etiquette in the part of the programme where the male host is ‘challenged’. The piece we did on weddings is probably my favourite having now completed the series. We ended up doing one more than was originally planned, the penultimate one I did was on dating etiquette and that happened quite last minute as the show’s item about pickled eggs fell through and so I was called 24 hours before to ask if we could piece something together for the next day’s show.
Everyone at Let’s Do Lunch is so lovely – I really couldn’t have asked to work with more charming, accommodating and tolerating people.
Many have asked me what happens behind the scenes, so I felt a short blog may help.
9.30 – I arrive at London Studios and am shown to my perfectly decent dressing room, although it is lacking a window. Watch 10 mins of Jeremy Kyle and get terribly depressed at what I see on that show
9.40 – The darling makeup artist Abi arrives and trowels on the makeup, generally insults me, I insult her, we laugh, I scream as she puts in eyedrops to make any redness vanish
9.50 – The assistant producer comes into the dressing room and goes through the item with me
10.10 – Makeup done, I then hang about or go and meet my friend who works in the building but on another show
11.00 – Part 3 rehearsal. I go into studio 3 to rehearse the item. Mel & Gino have always asked never to hear my replies as they wish to ‘learn whilst the viewer does’ so Melanie asks me the questions, I reply with ‘blah, blah, blah’ (literally) and the director rehearses the shots
11.20 – I go upstairs to dressing room to find my costume has been brought back from wardrobe after being beautifully pressed. Most of it is my own stuff but there are occasional borrows from wardrobe. I change into costume
11.30 – I sit in studio café downstairs (as it has windows and natural light) and go over the facts I am to say
12.30 – Show goes live and I wait outside studio chatting to the lovely studio’s nurse, the lovely runners, assistant floor manager, and anyone else who passes
12.55 – I am taken into the studio and take my position. Karl the fab audience warm-up act usually waves to me and says generally nice things about me to the audience
13.10 – Part 3 is over and I go back to dressing room and change
13.20 – I get in the car and am away
Although the live shows are finished, we have just pre-recorded two slots for the two-week Christmas spin-off series (‘Let’s Do Christmas’) which airs at the end of the year. As for what those entail, you will have to wait and see, but below is a clue for one of the instalments.
Finally, everyone keeps asking me on Twitter whether I like Gino/Gino likes me. Firstly, Melanie is really, really lovely and is incredibly good at what she does – especially having to cope with the verbiage between her male host and me. As for that million dollar question about Gino and me…