When a random email dropped into the Parenting Phil’s inbox asking if we’d be interested in becoming regular guests on Radio 5 Live’s parenting slot, ‘School Runnings’ with Nihal Arthanayake, it’s fair to say we got a little excited… OK we had to literally scrape Pips off the ceiling!
Within just a few days and after a brief chat with a producer… BOOM we were booked to appear together the next week!
It was a whirlwind of excitement versus nerves leading up to the day. We weren’t nervous about talking about ourselves… we could do that in our sleep, and we weren’t particularly nervous about actually being on radio talking about parenting stuff, we could do that in our sleep too.
Our worries and anxieties were mostly on Philippa’s potty mouth… OK, both of our potty mouths! I would say day-to-day I’m pretty good now since having kids, but when Pips and I get together we both seem to relax and the ‘F’ bombs become oh too regular!
Thank goodness it was a jam-packed Easter weekend before our first appearance as it was a welcome distraction!
Arriving at Radio 5 Live
The day finally arrived. I had a crazy busy morning attending our first speech and language assessment followed by flying over to Manchester to dump the kids with Pip’s other half before heading to Salford Media City. Pips will tell you she had a crazy busy morning too, but all that will mean is she probably washed her hair (for radio)!
The producer gave us a quick call to say we’d be talking about screen time and social media, so Pips and I had a quick briefing session on the way there to decide what we would and wouldn’t say… mostly Pips telling me not to show her up or drop her in it… which in hindsight was quite ironic given she totally threw me in the firing line on the social media stuff…
Nihal: “So Phil, you admit you use your phone too much in front of the kids?”
Phil: “erm, yeah I guess, well I, erm, try not to…”
We turn up at the studio and are left for a little while in reception where there is a mock BBC Breakfast studio set up, so we of course head over to take some picks. Pips turns to me and asks if I think the mugs are glued down and my immediate reaction was horror! “Don’t you dare put one in your bag… not until the way out at least!”… turns out she meant to take a photo with… typical scousers haha.
Eventually, the producer Gary, a lovely guy, comes to collect us and takes us upstairs where the nerves really set in, and the cake Pips forced me to eat in Costa beforehand started to repeat on me.
Gary lands a bombshell on us that we are now going to talk about cryptic pregnancies because they’d had a guest on earlier and the response was great. A frantic 60 second search on google to find out WTF a cryptic pregnancy was and then into the studio we went. Nihal did come out just before to say hi too which was nice as it helped the nerves walking in.
My mouth was dry as the Sahara and Pips was trying to force her water on me. I’d opted not to take any in as I’m renowned for spilling, ok, chucking glasses of water in nervous situations! She was sure to move the glass right out of knocking distance for me, so that crisis was diverted.
We sat down opposite Nihal and put on the head phones. The news reader was just to our right finishing off her segment. Suddenly the moment arrived and the light came on to say our mics were live. I think I blacked out for most of it and just sat staring at Pips as most of the questions were getting fired at her. I managed to pull a few one liners out to bail her out when she was getting twitchy.
After it finished, Gary and Nihal were really kind saying it was great and that they definitely want us back in, took a quick [awful] photo and before we knew it we were back outside and thinking WTF just happened!?
On the ride home, we cringed a bit, laughed a lot and cringed a bit more. No one likes hearing the sound of their own voice but my god I didn’t realise just how scouse our accents still are. I was convinced I was almost purely Yorkshire now!
All in all, it was a really fun experience and whether we actually get the call to go back in or not, we can say we did it and look back fondly (and hysterically) on our 15 mins of fame… actually 20 minutes to be exact! You never know, the next Holly and Phil we could be!
If you didn’t catch us then luckily for you (and embarrassing for us) you can still catch it here until the 30th April 2019. It’s the 24/4/19 show and skip forward 2 hours 40 mins to just before the start of our bit. Enjoy!
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