On Saturday I got up alarmingly early to beaver across to Sky TV studios for the privilege of reviewing papers.
When I arrived the lure of mascara, foundation and socket line being applied by a make-up professional was too much for me, and as I succumbed to the gentle tapping of a professional, I realised I'd left myself with no time to read the four news stories I was expected to select and review.
A very nice but anxious researcher hovered while my socket lines were addressed, before offering (through slightly clenched teeth) to choose the stories for me.
Well I'd only just sat down and I wanted to choose my own stories thank you. The make up girl hovered with her sponge mid air. "Ok, you choose 'em then" I reluctantly caved in - whilst not really wanting to talk about The Mousetrap on tour, if I'm being truthful...
Worse was to come. We were about to go on air - radio pack now firmly tucked in my pants by a scurrying microphone person who seemed to be doubling up as an everything else person, saying cheerily "what else can go wrong this morning". Meanwhile I'm chasing the researcher for the photocopies of the stories she'd selected (she'd gone off with the top copies), before I rudely snatched two of them out of her hands and dashed off to the sofa.
A nice journo man from The Express, Michael Booker, mercifully was doing the papers as well and - having avoided all the shortbread in the green room I noticed, unlike me - offered to bail me out should push come to shove. It did.
Michael did his first story (properly - but then he'd not needed mascara had he) and then the presenter turned to me and said, "And what's your view of the strike Helen?"
Well that hadn't officially been my story had it? But I mustered a response, "Yes, definitely", I said and waited for the subject to move on to the Mousetrap.
It didn't - the nice presenter swiftly moved to the story I hadn't read - since it hadn't yet been photocopied - about a son stealing money from his mum to buy a house.
I lamely said, "Well, its always a tricky one when a son steals from his mother, isn't it?" The stable and kind presenter gave closure by saying "And of course there's more info on that story that we haven't time for..."
My response to the topic of the strike was one of a reasonable and fair "give people the right to express themselves" position chiming globally, I thought smugly afterwards, with Egypt.
Enough said. Then I spotted a tweet which said "#SKY News presenter cuts @HelenLederer off as soon as they discover they've let a supporter of trade unionists on air by mistake. #CONDEM"
Wow - might not be asked back on to Loose Women now. Drat and damn.
However for the second paper review slot Mike (I call him Mike now) and I cosied up to share views about the plethora of 'perfect Christmas countdown instructions' across all the red tops by varyingly rich TV chefs.
Mike was sure that in his office, real men didn't like to cook the turkey for more than two hours (controversial) - and as we continued to debate this topic in the studio together as a team I felt I had finally arrived.
I do hope I'll be asked back - I felt I brought something to the table...
Tuesday will be at the screening of the recent Ab Fab shows - unfortunately I have had my fringe cut too short - and it's SO scary attending anything glam with a short fringe, but nevertheless doable for free fizz.
The screening is at BAFTA because apparently when they launched Merlin at TV centre they got complaints. Something about costing around 30 grand and there being a recession?
So now corners must be seen to be cut...not too many I hope 'cos I can predict I'll be quite thirsty when I get there. Nothing worse than a thirsty short fringed ligger...
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