Lorraine Kelly - pictured here in happier times last year at the Chelsea Flower Show - reveals what's happening behind-the-scenes to keep people safe
Lorraine Kelly is always a ray of sunshine, but she’s undoubtedly shining even brighter during these strange and scary times, providing us with news, stability and continuity every weekday live from the Good Morning Britain studio.
Despite the lockdown, Lorraine has been broadcasting every day for an hour from 9am in the GMB studio, where she brings viewers facts and advice as well as celebrating the hard work of everyone on the front line.
Here, in an exclusive interview, Lorraine, 60, who last year celebrated an amazing 35 years in broadcasting, tells us why she’s determined to keep calm and carry on chatting…
How has your working day changed since lockdown?
Lorraine Kelly: “Normally when I’d come into work, the production office would be buzzing with people. Now it’s basically empty. There’s one producer, and we always observe social distancing. Before the show starts, the only other person I see is our sound person. Fantastic measures are in place. We’re being so, so safe. If I thought for a nanosecond I was bringing danger to anyone, I wouldn’t do it.”
Can you reveal what happens during filming?
LK: “When I get to the studio with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, we all keep distant from each other. During the break, they leave and the chairs are wiped down. Dr Hilary Jones and I are two metres away from each other. Our microphones and earpieces have been sterilised and are just for us. In the studio, we’ve got three cameramen and a floor manager and nobody’s allowed in or out!”
Dr Hilary Jones is receiving lots of praise on social media for his easy-to-follow guidance…
LK: “Yes, he’s playing a blinder! He’s exactly what we need right now – a cool head giving clear information. You can trust what Dr Hilary says. He’s remarkable behind the scenes, too. If any of us have questions or worries, he reassures us that we’ll get through this.”
Has he helped you?
LK: “Oh yes! I was talking to my daughter Rosie, who’s in Singapore, on the show recently and got a bit emotional. During the commercial break Dr Hilary checked that I was okay and gave me a virtual hug.”
The show is still attracting impressive guests. Who stands out?
LK: “We have the most extraordinary guests! From Matt Lucas to someone in a base in Antarctica! It was interesting talking to [former NASA] astronaut Scott Kelly about social isolating. He knows about living cheek by jowl with people! When Judge Rinder was on talking about his grandfather dying after contracting coronavirus, it was very emotional. But he was also celebrating his grandfather. I loved that he was able to talk about him in such glowing terms.”
How would you describe the feeling on set at the moment?
LK: “As well as bringing information and new developments, we’re trying to be a positive, uplifting show. It’s important to talk about your feelings, especially if you feel anxious. I know many people are finding it hard. It’s important for us to reflect what people are going though. Behind every statistic, there’s a family in bits, not able to mourn those they’ve lost. It’s horrendous. So we focus on what can bring us together.”
What does presenting the show mean to you personally?
LK: “To be honest, work is giving me a reason to get up in the morning. It gives me a lot of structure. I feel privileged I can still go in every day. It’s a tough time for everybody and I hope we’re providing some reassurance and continuity.”
What have you learnt from presenting during the lockdown?
LK: “That we’re all in this together. It’s really important for us to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone working in our NHS and the other amazing front-line workers emptying our bins, delivering our post, care workers, everybody... Even though they’re worried, they get up and do it everyday. What would we do without them? It’s really hit home what are the most important jobs in the country. And, until this, I didn’t realise just how much hugs matter. There’s going to be a lot of hugging when this is over!”
Definitely! And, finally, are there any behind-the-scenes secrets viewers might be surprised to learn?
LK: “We’ve actually got lots of contingency plans in place if the lockdown gets to the stage where nobody is allowed out. I’ve got this brilliant wee camera in my house with microphone should we need it – but we’re hoping not.”
Lorraine airs daily on ITV at 9am, with Lorraine Kelly and co-host Dr Hilary presenting live from the GMB studios!
Main picture: Karwai Tang/Getty
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