Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Our five minutes of fame

So Roger Federer and his wife have had their 2nd set of twins and all of a sudden the media is interested in us less glamorous normal folk who have also produced a couple of sets of multiples. So much so that in the last few weeks I have featured in the Daily Telegraph and been interviewed on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. All very exciting indeed. I am very good at saying yes to things before I have had chance to think these things through…
I have now had a few experiences of being interviewed for the papers and magazines which is fine, I quite like talking and I know my subject matter very well. But the home visit from the photographers is a whole different kettle of fish. My children hate being photographed especially when it involves sitting together and all looking at the camera and smiling! Personally if I was writing an article on a family with two sets of twins I would want to see the chaos of everyday life reflected in the accompanying photographs. But it seems that the media disagree and the photographer’s brief is always to capture our happy family of six beautifully presented and all looking at the camera in unison. The result is tantrums, tears, dummies and thumbs in mouths. One of the most painful afternoons of my entire life was when a photographer, an assistant and a stylist arrived an hour late and then took over my living room turning it into a mock Christmas scene. Then whisked me away from all my children for an hour and half plastered me in makeup and squeezed my post two twin pregnancy body in some god awful clothes, after asking my Mum, who was looking after 4 children, to iron them. Then asked me to dress my bored, tired, hungry and very grumpy children in an array of different outfits, only for the photographer to turn round and announce she was going out for a sandwich. Three hours later I had to ask them to leave my house after my husband went out for a walk to avoid a nervous breakdown and one of my wee twins had thrown up all over me and her outfit through stress and upset only to be told she would have to phone her editor to make sure they had got enough photos.

Surely a trip to BBC Radio Newcastle to talk to Dame Jenni Murray would be stress free, simply a morning out from the children and not a photographer in sight. I arrived and all was well and I was shown into what looked like a broom cupboard and given a cup of coffee. I put my headphones on and was told someone would talk to me through them when it was time for me to talk to the nation. I was then left alone and I started to get a bit nervous. I had no idea what time it was or when my slot was on and I started wondering whether I should have gone to the loo before entering the broom cupboard. The more I thought about it the more I needed the toilet and I started to come out in a cold sweat. Eventually panic stricken thinking I was going to have an accident whilst talking to Dame Jenni I opened the door and shouted ‘HELLO’ and luckily a nice woman stuck her head round the door. I explained I was going to be on air in a matter of minutes but I was desperate for the loo. We ran through endless corridors until eventually we found the ladies. I was in such a hurry and a fluster, what if they had cut to me in the studio and Dame Jenni was met with stony silence, that the button pinged off my jeans when I tried to fasten them and I had to run back to the store cupboard holding my trousers up ! Luckily I had a good five minutes before I was on air to compose myself and all went well, although it seems I did conduct the entire interview in my best posh accent, but I will never know as I can’t bear to listen to it as I hate the sound of my own voice. Maybe next time there is a media request I will say no...

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