I used to be an undercover reporter.

Ok, I embellish a bit. But I did do it once.

Gwyneth was working on a TV show that sought to confront unscrupulous garage-owners who were ripping off their customers. I’d not long had eldest child and wasn’t working. Because I’d not long had eldest, wasn’t working and was feeling all left-out and washed-up, I agreed to go undercover for him.

This involved rigging me up with secret cameras and sending me in to these dodgy back-street garages while Gwyneth and the presenter would be listening in, ready to pounce the moment the dodgy deal was done. One time, the menacing mechanic did a runner, tearing off down the road with our presenter hot on his heels, barking upsetting questions at him like on The Cook Report.

It was proper undercover reporting. I had to do proper acting, pretending to be a lovely, innocent young female customer being all, oh I just don’t know what to do about my exhaust falling off, can you help me bad man with gold teeth who doesn’t look at all suspicious or dangerous in any way… 

We were not like the Fake Sheikh. We were legit. We were trying to catch very bad people who kept doing very bad things to very good people. We were not setting up elaborate bogus scenarios in order to catch vulnerable, fame-hungry, Z-list celebs in the act of being vulnerable, fame-hungry, Z-list celebs. 

We were not forcing usually law-abiding people to break the law by pretending to offer them something they had only ever dreamed of.

I dream of a major newspaper spotting my writing and offering me a regular column. I dream of it to such a degree that I have convinced myself it will happen any day now. This is because I have a poor grasp on the reality of the situation which is that people writing columns in newspapers have been writing in newspapers for years before they’re offered a regular column.

Still, if an editor at The Guardian sent me an email saying they just ADORE my blog and would love to meet me to talk about a potential column and so I get all dressed up and even shave my armpits and take a train down to Big Ol’ London Town and meet this editor in a swanky hotel and they are dead nice to me and give me loads of wine to drink and tell me I am the best writer they’ve come across in years and not only talented but also incredibly photogenic and they desperately want me to write a column for them every week for the rest of my life for which they will pay me a minimum of £5,000 a week and I’ll get a book deal and a page on Wikipedia that isn’t written by my sister, but first there is someone who wants very much to meet me and that someone is none other than the legendary Guardian columnist Tim Dowling who is just desperate to pick my brains about how I manage to be so hilarious every day and also so very beautiful and he’s waiting for me in another cool London hotel and here’s a cab to take me there so that I don’t have to faff with the tube and also so that I can easily carry this enormous packet of cocaine and deliver it to him coz he doesn’t half like a bit of snow…

Would I take the packet?

No. I would not take the packet. I would GRAB that packet and kiss it and the editor, overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity to break the law in order to turn my life around…

Oh I’ll do anything for a bit of money and/or attention/love/a good story.

On that dodgy garages programme, the absolutely dodgiest behaviour was displayed by me. In order to present myself as a convincingly innocent customer, I agreed to taking eldest undercover with me. She was four months old. They rigged her pram with secret cameras and microphones and then I, her mother, her chief carer and protector, wheeled her into a series of potentially violent and dangerous encounters with known criminals…

Howzat for a parenting fail?

The footage from the pram-cams was the best though, lovely tracking shots…