Thanks to everyone who's contacted me asking what I've been up to over the past few years, and (in addition to "Cruising With The Stars"), what I'm doing now.
Those of you who live in my area will know that I stood for Parliament in 2010, and had to give up the TV side of my career for the five years prior to that so that I could concentrate full time on the task on hand. Although I (only just) didn't win, I gave it my best shot, and hope that I did some good things for our community. It was also a challenge, learning new skills, facts and figures - to say I was outside my comfort zone is an understatement!
I really enjoyed the "people" side of the job. As a Borough Councillor as well as a Parliamentary candidate, I was approached on a regular basis to help people with problems ranging from bin collection and noisy neighbours, to care of the elderly and school admissions. No two days were ever the same, and people were, without exception, really lovely, and grateful for any help given to them.
After the election, I was left with the dilemma of what to do next - I was five years older, and as well as getting back into TV or radio, my political years left me with the desire to do something a bit more challenging. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love presenting, and want to carry on as long as I can, but it's second nature to me because I've done it for so long.
I needed a challenge, as well as a wage! I worked for the Jewellery Channel for a while, and did a number of voice overs. If you visit The Museum of Liverpool Life, you'll hear my dulcet tones describing the introduction of containers to the port of Liverpool. I also play a rowdy Irish woman, who screams at her kids and anyone else who'll listen - all great fun!
I have my teaching degree, and although I went straight into radio when I qualified (that's another story), I had always wanted to open a school which specialised in Musical Theatre. I have a wonderful friend who is an extremely respected and dynamic Head Teacher in my area, in fact she's a bit of a legend. We got together with our idea, and to cut a long story short, we now run a super, small independent school which, in addition to the normal core subjects at GCSE, offers a lot of music, dance and musical theatre. It's kids heaven! We also have babies from the age of 3 months. On a personal level, this is fab because our daughter Ruth works away from home now, so I get my "baby" fix every week!
So, at the moment I help to run the school, and record a full week of "Cruising with the Stars" every Wednesday - hard work, but great fun! I also run a small B&B, and do a lot of hosting and after dinner speaking too, so you can see I'm kept busy.
If you are someone who used to maybe listen to me on BBC Radio Merseyside, or watch me on "People Today" on BBC1 TV, drop me a line with your memories - I've already had one about the day I talked about a "Camp site and wind breakers". I remember that day with Wally Scott, my producer on the radio. I got the giggles (always my downfall) and couldn't speak properly for about ten minutes, I had to play two long tracks back to back. Happy days!