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Sunday Brunch

Behind the Scenes

For the last 8 years I’ve been getting up every Sunday at 05:30 in the morning and working at the best job in the WORLD – presenting Sunday Brunch.

So I thought I’d share my Sunday with you from a recent show.

Things that will surprise you before you start reading; rehearsing, outfits and constant improvisation.

• We rehearse (yes I know – think of Dolly Parton saying “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap” well for us it’s more “it takes a small amount of rehearsal to look this chaotic”

• Tim and I chat outfits before every show

• Sometimes we’re not sure what we’re doing….actually that one isn’t a surprise is it?

So here you go...my day being a big grown up telly person

05:30am – Alarm goes off and I get up.
I could be dramatic and say it’s a struggle etc etc. Truth is I’m an early riser anyway and I’m always awake before the alarm.

06:15am – Go to studio.
My hotel is literally opposite the studio. It takes me 8 mins to walk out of my hotel room to the studio and drop my stuff in my dressing room.

06:30am – Food rehearsals.
I have 4 home ecocnomists (Claire, Yaz, Sarah, Janet) 2 each week on alternate weeks. They do all the advance prep on Saturday. Then we cook the dishes to check any staging issues, tweak recipes. The food rehearsals are loads of fun. Our floor manager, Seb stands in for Tim and, I’ll be honest, we get all of our innapropriate language and content out of our systems!

07:30am – Script read through.
Oh yeah, we do have a script, of sorts. It’s more the links in and out of each item. Tim, myself and Paddy and Nel (producers) read through and discuss the guests, interviews, items, gags we might do. We also drink coffee, talk nonsense and Tim usually has a theory on life.

08:45am – Tim and I discuss outfits – yes it’s true.
You see we can’t dress the same (tragic) but equally we can’t really clash. As gentlemen of a certain age I believe you should never wear 1. Pastel shades 2. Skinny jeans 3. Patterns 4. Labels 5. A hood 6. A shirt with more than 2 buttons undone 7. Trainers that aren’t laced up.

09:00am – Make up on, outfit on.
In to studio for rehearsal (that word again) of Top of the Show, plus pre record the menu and the promo for next week.

09:30am – WE’RE LIIIIIIIVE!.
I always get asked if I get nervous before the show. Well, yes I do but in a good way. I want the show to be brilliant, I want to have fun and I want the guests to have a laugh. So in the studio we had Vernon Kay (great advice on figure 8 mopping) Dane Baptiste (indignant over the lack of respect for the custard cream) Vick Hope (great story about Rat Glue) and Kara Marni singing live. Then on the magic internet we chatted to Rick Stein, Phil Spencer, Eddie Hearn and Don Warrington. Plus a great piece on ageing with Andrew Steel and a very very funny drinks item with Ned and Max Halley.

12:30pm – It’s all over.
Then we tend to chat with the guests, chat to our producers and wind down. Then I get back in my car and drive myself back to Manchester

So that’s it in a nutshell. It’s the greatest job on earth. Fun, daft, irreverent and right for a Sunday

Oh I also cooked three rather yummy dishes – fried, pickled cauli. Katsu curry fish pie and peanut butter conundrum… and you can find all three here.


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