We all have courage, but it's kind of locked away and we're too scared to just sort of turn the key and let it out, and we're scared for so many reasons. We're scared of failing, and we're also scared of doing really well.


You're so right. The people who many of us look at and think they are there, hitting all their targets, they are über successful, a lot of the time they’re very unhappy because so often people's idea of living your best life is leading an Instagram life, that is, to impress everyone else.


How has this last 18 months or so been for you? What kind of challenges has it thrown up?


For me, the best way I think to put this is that obviously the past 18 months have been challenging for everybody in their own unique way, and I heard it put really nicely by a friend of mine who said that “we're all in a storm but we're all on different boats.” I think that really sums up how the changes that I made were sort of unique to me. I decided to take something that had been my absolute passion, which is I started a business called This Girl is on Fire. I say a business, it was a side thing where I was doing it for free, basically helping women feel better about themselves in so many different ways. It was their mental health, physical health, the full 360.


Then, just before the start of the pandemic, we had decided to sort of ramp it up a little bit, and then of course the pandemic happened and nothing worked out the way that it was supposed to. But for me, it had always been sort of on the back of my mind, I want to go all in on helping women. People use the term female empowerment, and it can sometimes have quite negative connotations.


How it's perceived?


Yes, but actually it's empowerment in that we help you think better thoughts.


Empowered in themselves.


Empowering in yourselves. So, how I like to describe it is what I do is I have a gym for the mind. If you think a few years ago, no one would even have thought of having a personal trainer for your body. It was what athletes did. Whereas now, it's very very normal, people have a gym membership and they go and work on their body and people understand that feeling physically strong is a way to help you feel mentally strong. I really want to turn that on its head, that having a gym for the mind is something that we should all be going to, it should be as normal as 'Olympic athletes have coaches', that helps with your mindset, that helps so that 80% of what you do, comes from here. Physicality will only carry you so far. So, for me, I wanted to take that whole thing and make it available to all my women that I was working with on the side.


So, you asked, what changes did that mean? It meant a lot. So, basically, I had been working in TV for 26 years, a quarter of a century of that at ITV. I'd worked on daytime for my whole TV career. I was known, I was liked, respected, all of these things. Why would anybody do a really stupid thing, like walking away from a perfectly good job? It was the pandemic, because I thought there were people who made really sensible decisions for 2020, you know, big plans, big game changing ideas and then the pandemic happened and all of it was just thrown to the wayside. It made me realise there are people who are way smarter than me that made big decisions and didn't see this coming. I'm constantly waiting for the perfect time to make these changes and go all in on what I really believe in, and I've always believed in. So, I made a really bold decision and I'm going to walk away from TV and just try, because that's all you can do.


The pandemic showed you have one life, you don't know what the future holds, so don't sit and wait for the perfect time. If you're really passionate about something, obviously do your due diligence, don't just quit your job – the way I see it is you make a plan for achievement and excellence, and you also make a plan for failure. So then you know exactly where you're going, but you also know what your back-up plans would be for when things don't work. I sat and wrote them down, lists of pros and cons, what would I be prepared to take if it didn't work – okay, could I take that? Could I take that? I decided yes, so I quit my job. The pandemic made me quit my job.


How's that been?


Tough, it's been really tough. When you switch careers at any point, you know, whether it is an athlete where you've trained your whole life when you're very young and this is all you know and you have your routines in place, your mindset is very, very channelled, and how I like to see it is, our brain has like grooves in it where your habits are that, you know, your routine, you get up at this time, you train or you do whatever. For me, it's like I get up, I prepare and I go in and do my show. I just needed to form different grooves in my brain and that was really difficult because I left in December 2020, and I would say the first three months of 2021 were really hard. Because not only is it bloomin' winter, and it's dark and grey and miserable and cold and everything else, but suddenly my whole routine had changed. So, whereas, you know I'd get up in the morning and I'd know exactly what my day would hold. Suddenly, I'm working from home, I'm having to get used to this day-in day-out sameness, which I've never had.


The glory of my past job was although yes I knew what I was doing but every day was totally different, you know, meeting different people. It was very difficult and challenging, and how I got through that was I realised that I was trying to lead myself and actually I needed to look to someone else. So I got a coach, and it was an investment in myself. It was, you know? People have a really strange idea about coaches and think, 'well, why do you need one? Just go on Youtube and look it up, or read a book,' or whatever, and that's information but that's very different… knowing what to do is very different to doing it. So, for me, it was all about retraining my brain.


Was it just someone to say, “yes” or “no?”


So, when I first stopped doing the job that I'd been doing for 25 years, it was really hard I'll be honest. There's this flurry of excitement that you've made this decision, 'right, I'm going all in, I'm going to pivot, I'm switching career,' and that's really hard to do at any age whether it's someone like you who is an athlete and you've trained your whole life to go in one direction and then things change and you're either pivoting or you've realised, 'right, I can't necessarily do that at the level I want to anymore, so, I'm going to pivot.' I realised that what I needed to do was stop trying to lead myself, because I was really good in one arena and I'd gradually grown with that skillset myself over the years, because in TV nobody really trains you. They throw you in at the deep end and you either drown or you manage to swim to the side and they go, 'oh, she's alright,' or, 'he's alright', but with other parts of your life it doesn't work that way. So, I thought, 'I need someone to be my accountability buddy, but also to champion me when I'm doing things right, but also really push me when I'm either doubting myself or holding myself back.' So, I got a coach.


Although I'd read a lot of books, I'd been on a lot of courses and this sort of thing, I'd never had someone work specifically just with me, and it's a game changer, because you're working with someone, as you know, who grows to understand you. It takes a little while, but they grow to understand where your strengths and weaknesses are, and where your self-doubt comes from because, you always do the bits that you find easy first no matter what it is, and then to sort of push you a little bit… 'well, why do you think you feel so uncomfortable with that?’ and push that bit forward. That massively, massively helped me through I'd say the first quarter of the year… the transition from completely changing what I had been doing. Getting used to whole new routines. I like to see it as we have grooves in our brain, and I'm a very visual person so I picture this as you know when you see sheep walking up hills, and you know they flatten the grass and they form grooves? I think of my brain as like that, because I've walked the same path so often I almost have little grooves on my brain like sheep do. So, I just needed to form new grooves on my brain so that my daily patterns, my daily habits that I did, felt as weird as trying to brush my teeth with the other hand. Then it just became really normal, and I would say it took three or four months for that to kick in.


Do you feel like having that person was the key for you?


Yes, 100%. I work with my husband and I love my husband very much, but it's a really difficult thing to change from going out to work every day to suddenly sitting side-by-side. He'd been running the business, which like I say, it wasn't even a business it was a side thing that he was at first helping me out with, and then he stopped his work to focus on it purely as well. Suddenly, you get a couple who are sitting side-by-side, who've never actually worked properly together before and we're in a pandemic, and it's winter and we're basically locked in our home office together. We needed to find ways that worked, and I needed to have someone who was not involved with any of this that I could just run things through with, I felt like I was coming to the table then a bit more prepared. I didn't want him to have to carry me, I didn't want him to get frustrated with me. I like being good at what I do, so I look at 'what's the best thing I can do to make myself better at this? Right, I'm going to do that.'


I've always done that right from I think when I was a teenager, right from when I was very young. I'd have a dream, then that becomes a goal and then you work backwards and think, 'well how do I make that happen?' When I was in my early 20s, I moved to London with nothing, and everything in the backseat of my car and slept on floors, because I thought 'London is where I want to be to be a journalist.' So, I did. I worked for free and managed to eventually get a job. So, you know, you have a dream, you make a goal, then you figure out ways to make it happen and go to the best people and ask their advice.


How did you find your space?


The world is a really noisy place, and whilst it's a great thing that we have access to amazing amounts of information – whether it's on social media, or online, or books or podcasts, however you get your information – sometimes it's really hard to distil down what you're listening to so that it speaks directly to you. What I mean by that is, when you're bombarded with so much, you kind of forget what you think about things, and if you have your own passion, try and be quite specific about it and seek out people who are experts in their field, because otherwise you can just be overwhelmed with so much information. So, for me, how I try and make myself stand out in that way when there is so much noise is I just stay true to what it is that I'm interested in, rather than trying to be all things to all people which, you know, all you're doing is adding to that noise.


I'm careful about what I put out on social media, I'm really quite focussed on what I read and what I listen to, and that means that whatever I speak about and what I pass on stays really true. Also, it does make things a little bit easier. I think you don't necessarily have to know everything about everything, but if you stay focussed on what your passion is – for me it's on our behaviour, how our mind works, how we work, how we can change our thought processes, and also just how that can help us feel really good about ourselves, whether it's your mental strength or spirituality or what have you, rather than trying to be a chef or a fitness guru, or a whatever.


I don't know that, but I'll happily speak to someone who does and pass that information on. The way I stay true is I just make sure that what I talk about reflects who I am, which is someone who is just I think a perfectly kind and nice person who wants to pay it forward. Everything I learn I just want to pay it forward.


You've started with trying to help people and then it's turned into a business rather than the other way around.


It's interesting because I know when I left my job and I moved properly in to this space, yes there were certain people who thought that's what I was doing and didn't realise actually it has taken me three years to get to this point. And, whilst everything that I was offering up was free to everyone else, it wasn't free to run. So, I have a team of freelancers that I was paying to make sure that everything offered was the best quality because I don't want to just put any old stuff out there, and that costs money. So I realised actually I needed to change my mindset to this and the way to do that was to make it a business, and I mean, I fought it which is a ridiculous way to start any business is to fight the idea of making it a business, but actually I realised that once you do that then; one, you're all in, because you're not working every other job to keep this afloat which was what I had been doing. You're so focussed it actually means you offer up so much more and when people come on board, they're really invested because it's not just something they've come across. They've made a decision and they've decided to invest in themselves at whatever level, and I offer things at all sorts of different levels and I've still got lots of free stuff out there because I think that's important as well. What I realised was that actually that means that mentally you've made a commitment. Then it makes it a really beautiful experience, because it means that I know that everything I'm offering up is going to people who are really up for listening to it, and it becomes a really beautiful exchange. It was a steep learning curve for me actually, but I'm really there now and I feel like I'm really in my groove and I'm enjoying what I'm doing, and I understand what I'm doing now, which I didn't before.


You've got loads of different outlets, do you think that's the best way to get out 'you' – your vision, your passion?


Yes, I do. Working as a TV presenter is a brilliant job and I really genuinely loved it, it's a great job but a lot of the time you're hired because of your skillset and a bit of your personality because obviously everyone is unique, but you don't necessarily talk about things that you yourself are interested in. Whereas, for me now, it's so selfish, it's fantastic. I'm literally just talking to people that I'm really interested in the subject matter with, so that I can pay it forward. It is, it's a wholly selfish exercise because I can take out all the skills that I learned over 25 years and now put it into something that is really 'me'. I'm not saying that I wasn't me before, but there was a big part of me that I didn't necessarily show.


You get more freedom now?


Yes, I have so much more freedom now. Also, when you're working for a broadcaster, you're appealing to a much broader base of interest. Whereas now I'm appealing just to people who are interested in the things that I'm interested in. So, it makes it lots of fun.


How is the perception of women in media now, compared to 25 years ago?


Really different. I think when I first started out it was the 90s, there were very stereotypical ideas as to what a woman working in TV was like. As I joined was when it was just starting to change. So women were allowed to be a lot freer, probably a bit naughtier, which was a lot of fun because I was in my 20s and actually you were allowed to sort of be a bit cheekier and be more yourself, rather than just looking neat and tidy and perfect and reading autocue or doing whatever. So, that's great, but I think the biggest change that has happened is the fact that the cut-off age for women working in TV seems to have gone and hurrah – because it doesn't make any sense that you get to a point where you build up all this knowledge and experience and everything else and then suddenly you're not useful anymore, just because you don't look how you did when you were in your 20s. Everybody is useful, everybody has knowledge and experience and skillsets, they're just different from when you're in your 50s, as I am now, to in your 20s. So, for me, that's actually really good. People are now hired to work in TV because of their passion, rather than just sort of fitting in to cookie cutter ideas. So, we have come a long way. There's still obviously a long way to go like there is with every part of our lives, but in terms of women in TV, it's moving in the right direction.


What do you see as the next logical progression?


I think that whilst obviously when you're talking about the media, there's so many different facets to it. So, for example, just talking about TV, it's a very specific thing and that's why it's great that you have the internet, so people can watch a different type of broadcasting. But in terms of TV, I think whilst we've come a really long way in what you see representing real life – in terms of we come in all shapes, colours, sizes, creeds, religions, everything – that wasn't necessarily reflected on the TV, it was that was all you saw, and we got so used to all that, 'that's just how it is.' I think it's really great now that actually it's becoming much more of a reflection. Yes, and I don't mean diverse in the sort of one sense that everyone thinks it is, I just mean diverse in terms of, 'we're not all just interested in five things.' We're interested in lots of different things, and we all look different and have different jobs and abilities and interests. All of that is starting to feed through now, and that comes down to there's a lot more choice on TV. You know, when I first joined there were four channels. You're looking at me like, 'four channels?' Whereas now obviously there's hundreds and hundreds, so it's good.


Do you feel like you learned more about yourself when you wrote your book?


100%, and I'm a big believer in journaling. I don't need to journal now, I just write books. It just all comes out and I just publish it. Yes, and the reason for that is; one, I think journaling is really, really important and I think that if you can, offload – there's been studies that show that there is a direct link from your brain to your hands, and don't necessarily do it on a keyboard, and you free flow – just write what you're feeling about whatever it is. If you can, do it every day – it can be a few lines or sometimes it will be pages. For me, like I say, this is my fourth book, my first book was purely autobiographical so yes, that 100% was about me because I've had a very interesting life. I'm Scottish but I grew up in the Caribbean, because of my dad's job we travelled around the world a lot. I went to nine different schools by the time I was 17. I fell into TV, I didn't mean to. I wanted to be a journalist.


So there was a lot to pack in, and then every other book after that has been paying forward information that I've learnt about. It's always started with an issue that I've had myself. I've researched, 'oh, okay that's really fascinating, I'm going to pay that forward.' So, my second book was about the menopause, my third book was about burnout and breakdown, and my fourth book is about being brave and finding it within you. We all have courage, but it's kind of locked away and we're too scared to just turn the key and let it out, and we're scared for so many reasons.


We're scared of failing and we're also scared of doing really well, because things will change for us. So, my last book is about unlocking the courage that actually we all have inside of us, and you can either open the door and tiptoe out, or you can open the door and go, “tah-dah here I am,” it doesn't matter. I'll show you basically the process the of '10 ways in 10 days'. By the end of this 10 days, I guarantee you will be braver. What's fascinating is it was through my own research on myself and listening to other people, and then basically I put a challenge together and I tried and tested it on hundreds of women in my community – and I now, just get choked, I feel like a proud mum. I've literally seen women turn their life around and do things that they never would've thought that they could do. I don't mean bungee jumping and leaping out of planes, I mean life. Just life. You know, women leaving relationships that didn't serve them. Women entering relationships they were too scared to have. Women quitting jobs and starting new ones, or going for promotions that they never thought they were brave enough to do. So, all my books come from a place that I've been in myself, then I learn all about it and pass it on, because it's like, that's what your friends do. That's being a really good friend, if you learn stuff and then pass it on. I just pass it on to thousands and thousands of people.


What was your biggest self-revelation?


That's such a good question. What did I learn? I learned that I'm a lot more resilient than I thought I was because I didn't actually realise I'd been through so much. When you're just living your experience, you're just kind of getting on and getting through, and this is again why journaling is so important. When you write it all down and then you look back, you realise, 'God I've come so far.' It's the equivalent of you get in the car and just drive and you never really look back at how many miles that you've done, and how many obstacles you overcame. That's why, you know, everyone really should do their own version of writing their own autobiography, because you realise how amazing you are. We do a version of that at home which I would recommend everyone to do. We have a big jar in our kitchen, and a big pad of post-it notes, and the whole family does this. The reason we leave it out in the kitchen is so that everyone can do it. So, it's like an annual autobiography. So, anytime something good happens, and it can be absolutely anything, write the date, jot it down, give me a line or two, 'today I did...' and put it in the jar. Then on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, we tip it all out into the kitchen and we look through and it reminds you of all the great things that happened that year, because otherwise you'd forget. It's such a joyous thing to do because we have dreams, we set goals, we hit targets and then we just move on to the next one and we never take a moment to reflect, 'well, that's really good,' you know, 'well done me.' Whether it's kids or grownups, it really doesn't matter, and then I put it in an envelope, stick it to the side and then we're just building up, like, a thing of envelopes.



That's an amazing exercise.


I was speaking to someone just a few days ago actually who was hugely successful in his field and we had just met that day, and over the course of the conversation it became more and more apparent that, yes he was hugely successful – he's not famous, but he's really well-known in his field and very good… but he was so unhappy. So, this happens to me a lot at parties I end up sitting in the corner and listening to someone, which I enjoy and don't mind at all. One of the things I said to him was, 'when do you ever stop and acknowledge what you've done?' You know, yes, it's great you've done all these things, but when do you ever give yourself a little pat on the back? And he said, 'oh, I've got everything I need to get, I don't need to reward myself. I've got a nice watch and my apartment's nice,' and all this. I said, 'it's not about rewarding yourself with things, when do you just reward yourself for having achieved what is amazing stuff? You know, you don't sound very proud of yourself.' So, I made him buy a journal. I sat with him and he went on Amazon, I was like, 'right, buy this thing,' and I'm going to take a photograph of mine and all of this and show you how to just get a bit more balance in your life. Write down for example, iIf I do this, I'm going to reward myself by,' I don't know like, for me, I know it sounds crazy but I do literally, I sit in the jacuzzi. I just sit and I give myself 20 minutes, half an hour and just stop for a minute and watch the world go by. Watch the planes in the sky and all this sort of thing. Go for a walk, breathe, listen to something that isn't educational or don't take your phone with you. Have a moment and stop. You're rewarding yourself. Don't see it as just this other thing that I've got to tick off my list.


The most successful people are often unhappiest because they often just don't enjoy the moment.


Yes, you're so right. The people who many of us look at and think, 'they are there, they are hitting all their targets, they are über successful.’ A lot of the time they are very unhappy, and I was that person. The reason I can speak about it now in terms of all, 'how are you rewarding yourself' and that sort of thing, is I've been through that whole thing. I burned out, I experienced a breakdown, and people are very ashamed about admitting this, because they see it as a sign of weakness – and people get to a point where they know they're unhappy, they know they're stressed, but they don't know how to stop because whilst on one hand they're achieving all the things that society has told them is great, it's not feeling great. So, then they're thinking, 'I must be doing it wrong.'


Actually, before your body lets you know and you end up getting physically ill and before your mind lets you know and you start experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, dark thoughts and depression and all of these things that are really signals that you are not in balance. Things are not going as they should be. Recognise that it's starting to happen and sit down and really ask yourself some really honest questions, and this goes back to what we were talking about with coaching. That can really help you keep on an even keel. Then ask yourself, 'am I still enjoying what I'm doing? Okay, if I'm enjoying parts of it, how can I make that I'm still doing those parts, but how can I gradually remove the bits that I'm not finding so great?' Now, there might be people reading this who'll think, 'I'm not a big superstar or an athlete or a Hollywood actor or whatever, how does this relate to me?' But it still can. Even if you're just doing the job just to pay the bills and you don't necessarily enjoy it and it's making you very stressed, have a word with someone who you're working with, whether you've got a HR manager, and explain how you feel, and ask if there's maybe a sideways step that you can make so that your pay level stays the same so that you're not suffering in that way, but maybe you're moving into a different area that you enjoy. If you can't do that, is there a hobby that you can form a group of people at work with, that you can all do together? Maybe meet once a week after work, you all meet up and talk about this or it's a movie club, or a book club, or a whatever club, and then suddenly you've got things that you're meeting and chatting about with people that you work with the isn't about work but it's something that you find really enjoyable.


Technically, nothing's changed. You're still doing a job that you don't necessarily enjoy to bring the money in, but the experience of it has changed. That in itself can sometimes be enough just to keep you going.


Could you tell us a bit more about the breakdown?


Well, I ignored every single sign that my mind and body was telling me that, 'you need to stop, this isn't working for you' and it was like I was on a runaway horse. So, what was it like for me mentally, my brain was whirring 100 miles an hour, just whirring, whirring, whirring, it was so much. I was saying yes to every single job that came in, because I needed the money to make my side business work, which was This Girl Is on Fire, but also especially in my business at the time, if people ask you to do things you say yes because you may never get the opportunity again. So, there's fear. I realised that I was actually operating 100% from a place of fear. Fear of letting down the team that I had built and was paying to have this side hustle if you like, is what it's called, but also this fear that I may never get these opportunities again. Fear is a horrible motivator but it's actually what propels us 90% of the time.


Fear of failure often as well.


Yes, fear of embarrassment.




'What if this doesn't work and everyone laughs at me?' Well, I say 'pfft' to that now because actually the people who would laugh at you will laugh at you anyway. They will sneer at you even if it goes really well and you become a multi billionaire they'll think, 'wow, you've clearly done something,' or you know 'it's alright for you.' So, don't even pay any attention to them, but you don't know that when you're in that mind space. So, then I started getting very low, very depressed, very anxious, and I was taking anti-anxiety medication, beta blockers, which were just to slow the heart rate down all the time, and physically I was pushing myself harder than I ever have. I was getting up at half five in the morning, hitting the gym, I was working out harder than I ever had done because I thought, 'strong mind, strong body, I can do this.' I was in the gym before my colleagues were awake, it was too much, I tried to do too much and in the end, a friend called me out and said, 'you're not right,' and I started crying. Couldn't stop, went home, and made changes.


What pillars do you think we're overlooking as people to be well?


I think in terms of our mental strength, for example, it's about creating better habits that are things that just become such a part of us that they're no longer a chore, it might feel a bit weird at first. So, tiny little things like making your bed. The first thing you do in the morning when you get up, make your bed. Then you've made it this beautiful thing and you've ticked something off your list that you're proud of, and it's also a reward at the end of the day – you're getting into this amazing made bed. I never understand people who don't see it that way. It's not a chore, it's a reward to yourself. Drink more water. It sounds like a crazy thing, 'what's that got to do with anything?' But if you're hydrated, then every part of your body is working better and actually, you're less likely to just snack on rubbish which instantly will make you feel really bad about yourself. So, just drink more water.


Do some sort of movement every single day. You don't have to thrash yourself. I had this mindset where if I didn't do an hour of really punishing workout, then I was failing in some sort of way, and I've had to readjust that within myself. So, even if it is going for a few miles walk listening to a really interesting podcast or an audiobook or even the birds, it doesn't matter, some sort of movement every day… and get enough sleep.


These are such boring core pillars of what actually makes us work more efficiently as a human being. None of those things have to be a chore, they feel like a chore when Netflix is really good and there's something on Amazon Prime that you really want to watch, but keep the remote next to you and just switch it off, and go to bed. It will become a routine that you get into the habit of doing, and once you get into the habit of getting a good night's sleep and waking up ready and fresh to start your day, then you start achieving more. Then you become kind of addicted to achieving really great things, and then you want to do those things, so, it doesn't feel quite so strange and then it just becomes your habit and before you know it, you have habits of excellence. They've started out as chores and things to get used to and before you know it, you actually have habits of excellence and you feel great all-round.


People see the end product as well, but they don't really see the hard work that goes into it.


Everything's an overnight success.


Exactly. It's so important that it's normalised that everyone will struggle in some sense.


I think this whole idea of being the 'best version of yourself' and 'living your best life' and all that sort of stuff, it's a double-edged sword. Yes, it's amazing to live your best life and be your absolute truest best self, but be really careful that you're not doing it to somebody else's script, because so often people's idea of living your best life is leading an Instagram life that is to impress everyone else. Living your best life doesn't have to be recorded, it's just how you feel about yourself and I think we've flipped that around somehow. So I think we just need to be really careful, that the whole idea of living your best life is something that is 100% unique to you. It's not something that someone else has prescribed. You might think that someone else has got it easier than you and is more successful than you and is living their best life, but that's theirs. Just do what you can with yours and remember you don't have to post about it all the time.


How do you feel being a parent has shaped who you are today?


Again, that's such a great question because until you're a parent, you don't get it – in that you only think of parenting as when they're really little and, you know, you get pregnant and have a baby and you raise the baby and try and teach it all the things that a parent teaches. Actually, you realise that when your children get older, you learn from them. I hadn't fully appreciated this until now, my children are aged currently from around 20 to around 14, so Nick and I have four between us, and you learn so much, not just through watching them go through their own experiences, and you realise you can't just say to them, 'well, I handled my experiences like this,' because their world is very different – but you also realise that you're just a grownup who is the same person you were when you were a teenager and through your 20s and 30s, and you're just learning as you go and you don't actually have all the answers.


For me, the biggest lesson that I've learnt as a parent is that you will mess up. You will make mistakes, but if you can put your hand on your heart and say, 'I did the best that I could with the knowledge that I had, with love in my heart and the best intentions,' as long as I've learnt from that and I won't make that mistake again, you're still being a good parent. I think so much at the time, at least with me, I was so fixated with getting everything right when they were babies, and feeding them organic and mushing everything up and sleep and all of that, actually accepting you're going to get it wrong doesn't make you a bad parent, it makes you a normal human being. It's not about making mistakes, it's about what you do afterwards and that's what my children have taught me.


What pressures do you see that your children are having to deal with that you didn't?


Criticism. The biggest issue that young people have today is dealing with criticism, and I really, really feel so sorry for younger people today. I'm older so it hurts, and I can block it and I can cut it out and not listen, but there's still a core of it that’s like death by paper cuts. It hurts. I would say the biggest pressure is being so afraid to put something out because someone's going to judge you. Being afraid to make a mistake because someone's going to laugh at you, and being afraid to grow and learn through trial and error, and actually there's this whole misconception that you have to succeed first time and everything you do, you have to nail it. You don't. You learn by getting things wrong. You look at all the best inventions in the world, they came about through trying something thousands of times, and you can say each one was a failure, but scientists and inventors who I love because they're kind of bonkers in the best way, they see every failure as a step closer to finding something that works, and I worry that there's a younger generation who don't embrace failure, and don't see that someone having a different opinion to them doesn't necessarily mean that they're against them, it just means that you have a different opinion.


Is that related to when you wrote your book around being brave?


It was a part of it. There's a section in it that's definitely about that, because I was aiming the book at a whole age range. I do think that there are people of my age who are afraid to put things out because they think maybe, 'I don't understand what's happening at the moment' with various trains of thought and there are young people who are frightened of putting things out into the public domain or even speaking amongst their peers now, because people are very quick to trash and jump – and yes, judge. So, again, how I talk about it in the book is a lot of this fear comes because we feel like we need to put everything out there. You don't. When you have a normal conversation with someone you don't then broadcast it on the news, but really that's what you do when you put every opinion that you have out. Why does the world need to know what you think about everything? I don't understand why. Or why does the world need to know what you feel about everything? It's great that there's this place of exchange, but it's become a place where it's not an exchange of ideas, 'oh, gosh that's fascinating I hadn't thought about it like that before, that's interesting. I don't think that way but that's really fascinating that you do,' and then everyone cracks on with the rest of their day. It's 'you think differently to me therefore you must be against me.' That's not how the world runs, everybody thinks differently about everything. The joy is finding a commonality and some sort of place where we can meet in the middle and that's what I worry about that isn't happening right now, and I'm hoping that will gradually change.


What's next for you? Is all your energy going towards This Girl Is on Fire?


Yes it is, obviously I have lots of other little projects and passions – I'm still interested in fashion, I'm still interested in presenting and this sort of thing, and I enjoy it – but what's great is that’s now my side thing that I do. Everything that I choose now, it's flipped, that's all in-line with my true cause and my passion and everything else, whereas it used to be the other way around. So, everything that I say yes to, it's because I believe in it or I enjoy it or it's just fun, or I think, 'I really like what they're doing I'm going to get on board with them' but it has to all come back to the core values of This Girl Is on Fire, which are, 'does what I'm doing make people feel good about themselves? Is it educating them in some way? Is it something I can pass on? Or is it just fun?' Really, they're my core pillars right now, and it's taken me a long time to get there.