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Aggie MacKenzie

Writer, broadcaster, cleaning expert and mama to two big boys

Early in 2003, while head of the Good Housekeeping Institute (the consumer and cookery departments of the magazine), I was invited to take a screen test alongside housekeeper Kim Woodburn. Just a few months later Channel 4’s How Clean is your House? became an instant hit with over four million viewers. The show ran for six series, plus two produced in the US. The How Clean? format was sold to numerous countries around the world and the UK version currently airs in 16 of them – from Norway to Namibia!

I was born in Rothiemurchus, Aviemore in 1955 and left in 1973 for Aberdeen to study to be a bilingual secretary, after which I went to work for the Foreign Office in London. On my first day I was told I was actually at MI6 and did I want to stay with them or go and work for the real Foreign Office? Always one to favour a challenge, I agreed to stay and take on a Miss Moneypenny role. After two years I was offered an overseas posting but felt I was not cut out for embassy life so I left to spread my wings and pursue a career in women’s magazines, which eventually led me to Good Housekeeping.

As the Dirt Detective who swabs surfaces then delivers the grim results, myself and Kim have produced three books: How Clean is your House?, Too Posh to Wash and The Cleaning Bible. My long-running weekly domestic column in the Saturday Times is now published as a book, Ask Aggie (Penguin, £7.99). I also write a monthly food page in Good Housekeeping.

TV credits include How Clean is Your House?, Too Posh to Wash, Come Dine with Me, The F Word, Never Mind the Full Stops, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Richard and Judy, This Morning, GMTV, The Jonathan Ross Show, Graham Norton, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Children in Need, Loose Women, Saturday Kitchen, Ready Steady Cook, Big Brother’s Little Brother, Dead Ringers (by proxy!), The Wright Stuff, Breakfast News, The Paul O’Grady Show, Hider in the House, Market Kitchen, The One Show, Dancing on Ice, Daily Cooks' Challenge, Grumpy Old Women, We Need Answers, Britain's Best Dish, BBC News 24, Rodge and Podge (RTE), Daily Politics Show, The Hour Show (Scottish Television).

Radio work A week's holiday stand-in for Fred Macaulay on Radio Scotland's live morning daily magazine show, Macaulay & Co, Nov 09.

Aggie Cycles Kenya: After 400km, I'm Back Now!

I liken the experience to childbirth: absolutely relentlessly hellish in parts, goes on painfully for a good long while but when it's all over and done, the feeling is of euphoria and achievement...and any tough memories are instantly erased. And, like having babies, I know I'll sign up for another at some point soon.
11/11/2011 00:55 GMT

Aggie Cycles Kenya: Kisumu - Home!

The ride is over but this isn't the end of the journey! Today we transfer by road to Nakuru. to spend the night at Waterbuck Hotel. I can't wait to sleep in a bed and let what I've just done really sink in.
09/11/2011 11:38 GMT

Aggie Cycles Kenya: Nairobi - Nyeri

We're up in the Central Highlands on the edge of the Aberdale National Park but even here we can't escape a reminder of Blighty. Our warm-up ride is around Baden Powell's grave so a cheery start to the trip.
31/10/2011 21:48 GMT

Aggie Cycles Kenya!

Never one to be shy of taking up a challenge (Dancing on Ice, Total Wipeout, MasterChef to name a few), my next death-defying adventure is a 400km cycle ride in Kenya, on behalf of Women V Cancer.
28/10/2011 23:58 BST

Aggie on Masterchef

If you've ever watched MasterChef and thought it looked as if it might be a stressful thing to do, you are spot-on.
18/09/2011 23:55 BST