Monday night will see my first contribution to Tower Block of Commons and I can guarantee that anyone who watches will be shocked within the first minute.
If I had seen the first minute of footage before I began, there is a strong possibility that I may have turned on my heel and headed back to the arms of those who love me best of all and thought twice about giving up eight days and nights of my life.
The mum, whose flat I slept in for the first two nights, was one of the loveliest ladies you could meet. She was beautiful: a conscientious mum who kept her flat spotless and worried about her children’s education. There was no chaos in her life. No disorder. Everything had its place and she was someone who was battling life’s adversities full on and making the most of it. Her kids were absolutely fantastic and within just two days they had jumped right into my heart. I have thought about them often since I left the estate, especially over Christmas, and I am hoping they will be able to come and spend some time with me over the summer.
I knew before I left there was a strong possibility I would be staying either with children or elderly people. Having declined the offer to take part in the programme last spring, I found myself eventually participating two weeks before Christmas.
Despite all I have said above, programme two, which is going out on Monday, was my very least favourite to make.
For programme three and four I had a brilliant Director/Producer, Cal Turner, who also produced 'From Asbo Teen to Beauty Queen'. Her professionalism and knowledge carried the next six days through to be both enjoyable and great filming. I felt as though we achieved our objectives and as though I was really working hard and not wasting my time. It was also nice to work with someone the crew respected and wanted to learn from.
When I arrived with my first family I had to hand over my cash and phone to the film crew and live on job seekers allowance. This was a bit of a joke as on the first day I was asked by the director to cook a meal for twelve, attend an Ann Summers party and have my nails done at a nail bar. If I had really been living on job seekers allowance none of those things would have been possible. I hasten to add I did not do everything the Director told me to, I did however, hand over almost all of my cash and phone.
Having been well brought up there was no way I was going to stay in someone’s flat for two nights and not leave a gift behind when I left.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage this as the camera was literally in my face from the moment I opened my eyes until I slept. Along with runners, sound, and other technical staff, the crew of around 4-6 never left me for a single moment. I even had a cameraman sleeping next to me one night. Security were also with me 24/7.
Aware I was staying with children, and it being two weeks before Christmas, I wasn’t going to leave my family without leaving some Christmas presents behind for the children, so I popped £50 where any self respecting female who knows how to get what she wants would - down my top. My Miss Trunchbull of a Director wouldn’t dare go there!
There is a twist to the story of the first family and I’m not saying what it was, however, when the camera crew left on the first night, I told my host I had the money. I didn’t have to, she would never have known. It was one thing to trick Miss Trunchbull, but another my host.
Watch what happens…you will never guess..