I awoke at 6am this morning, wrenched from a brilliant dream where I was having botox on the permanent crease between my eyebrows…of which more later.
My eyes were a bit pissed. Last night, on the eve of my national TV debut, I made the very sensible decision to drink an entire bottle of wine in an hour and a half. This ensured immediate sleep which is why I did it, but facing consequences has never been my strong point and I have no recent experience of drinking that volume and then getting up at 6am.
Thank the Lord of No 7 for white eyeliner.
Youngest awoke at 7am, but I was far too about-to-be-famous to speak with him and left the house trilling “you’ll see me later darling, ON THE TELEVISION!!!”
They sent a car for me. It was a very smashing car, all clean and celebrity-ready. Me and my chauffeur (haaaaaaaa) had a lovely chat about our seventeen year old daughters; how many iphones they’ve smashed-up over the years and how much vodka they consume each weekend. I thought to myself: good for you Anna, you can still converse with the ordinary folk.
On arrival at the studios, I sashayed into the foyer like I’d been there a million times. ‘I’m here for BBC Breakfast’ I said in my best broadcast voice. God of Gardening, Monty Don was standing next to me and I could see he was thinking: golly she has an excellent broadcast voice.
Waiting for the lift, Monty told me I was beautiful. I cannot reveal anything else about this exchange (’tis the celeb code) except to say that I accepted his compliment with a cool ‘why thank you Mr Don’…and then followed up with a grotesquely unpleasant guffawing noise.
Straight in to make-up…
Marianne was lovely. She said my eyes are a beautiful blue and that I can really work a red lip. I thought you couldn’t add any more make-up to my already heavily painted face, but I was wrong. For half an hour she made me up with expensive cosmetics and smoothed over my frizzy hair and my nerves.
At the studio doors I met my fellow guest, the splendid Rev Sally Hitchiner. Her eyes are more impressive than mine. She was very nice to me and I was so grateful for her loveliness that I went on a bit too much about her amazing face…she suggested we take a selfie to calm me down:
We enter just as Monty is leaving. I have now been in his presence twice in one day but this mind-bending fact doesn’t register because I am totally distracted by how TEENY the studio is. On the telly it looks like it could be the size of a West End stage but is actually not much bigger than my downstairs (of my HOUSE people, not my anatomy).
The presenters Dan and Louise (as I call them now) were so lovely and so chilled, I felt I’d just popped round for a coffee with them, except for all the cameras and the growing awareness that my gigantic arse was right now facing those cameras and therefore ALL OF GREAT BRITAIN.
I thought about an old frenemy from school and if she’d be watching and thinking: Anna Macgowan – still a right fatty! I thought about an ex-boyfriend and if he’d be watching and thinking: blimey, I had a lucky escape from that heffer. I thought about a vile lecturer from Uni and if he’d be watching and thinking: I knew she’d never make it as an actor.
Then I thought of my Dad. I thought of how proud he’d be feeling right now, with his youngest girl on the box. He’s been on the box a gazillion times during his career. I remembered the advice he gave me before I gave the eulogy at a friend’s funeral a few years ago: just get the first line out and the rest will follow.
Deep breath. And we’re on:
And it was GREAT. I loved it. I loved it so much:
It was over in what felt like seconds. I felt relieved I hadn’t sworn. Or insulted anybody directly (apart from our entire middle-classes but we deserve a bashing)…
Afterwards Sally and I agreed to stay in touch and it didn’t feel like she was just being nice to the hired pleb. We’re both in the business of myth-busting and truth-telling (yes I know she’s a vicar, but she’s also a funny, bad-ass, lipsticked, gay, clever, WOMAN vicar) and I love the way she talks about The Big Guy.
I declined the car home as I was desperate for a fag and a wee and a squeeee down the phone at my Dad and Gwyneth. On the tram people were really staring at me. I thought: goodness, is this how rapid the rise to fame can be? Then I got home and looked at myself in the mirror:
…and realised they were all aghast at the presence of a pantomime dame on public transport…this pic doesn’t do justice to the full horror of my mannequin face.
Watching it back later, I thought 4 things:
- My subconscious was right. I do need botox on that crease between my eyes. I look permanently angry.
- I also need to lose seven stone before I expose myself and all those chins again on national tv.
- I need to get over myself. That shizzle doesn’t MATTER. I did ok. Maybe I can actually do this.
- I managed to say the word ‘shizzle’ on live tv! #getyourshizzleoutannagram!
Oh, didn’t I have a lovely time the day I went to the beeb…