If you were up early at the weekend you might have switched on the TV and spotted me on BBC Breakfast. I was invited to Media City for their weekend newspaper review - when a guest appears to chat to the presenters about the stories making the headlines. It’s something I’ve done before and was invited back, probably because as an ex-newspaper editor I don’t mind spouting an opinion or two about journalism.
Appearing on live telly is one of those things that you can only decide you’ve enjoyed after the event. After you haven’t tripped over, left something stuck between your teeth, or slandered someone live on air. It isn’t for the faint hearted and I’ll fully admit that the thought of putting my foot in it in front of 1.5million viewers was one that featured regularly in my dreams in the days leading up to it.
You are also, inevitably, pretty sleep deprived by the time you appear. In this case, it involved setting my alarm for 4am to get to the studio and start rifling through the papers as soon as I could get my hands on them.
You have to chose ten or so stories in all to discuss, with approximately an hour before your first slot (of two) try to think of something vaguely intelligent and lucid to say about each one of them. This as well as squeezing in crucial matters such as visiting the make-up department to make sure your hair isn’t frizzy.
The hour disappears in minutes and before you know it you’re being miked up, led to the studio and there’s no going back. I opted for stories about Grand Designs, Jane Austen, Boris Johnson and Melton Mobray pork pies, my opinions on each of which ranged from gushing fangirldom to ill-concealed disdain. I’ll leave you to guess which category each falls into.