Steph McGovern on her biggest regret, grief, and fancying Dawn French

STEPH McGovern is a former BBC Breakfast presenter and now hosts daytime Channel 4 programme Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Here the 38-year-old discusses her biggest regret, grief, and fancying Dawn French.

What scares you the most?

Anything happening to my 16-month-old daughter.

What’s your favourite word?

Moist, because it seems to make people feel uncomfortable.

What is your worst habit?

I have eczema in my ears and I scratch them all the time.

Who would you invite to a dinner party?

The cast of Schitt’s Creek, in character. It’s amazing and I love them all.

Who makes you laugh the most?

My best friend Claire, who I now do a podcast with. I knew the nation needed to hear her random stories.

What makes you angry?

Needlessly negative reporting of my hometown, Middlesbrough. It gets so much stick and I’m proud to have grown up there.

What is your experience of grief?

Alison Ford, my editor at BBC Breakfast, died of cancer in 2013. It was the first time I thought: “People die really unfairly.”

All-time favourite movie?

The Godfather Part II.

What is your earliest memory?

I was aged around three and I pooed myself in a toy box at nursery. It was my first experience of humiliation.

What was your favourite TV show as a child?

Fraggle Rock.

Which public figure do you most admire?

Dame Irene Hays. She owns Hays Travel, the company that bought Thomas Cook and took on the staff [in 2019]. She’s from the North East, is a formidable businesswoman and has done lots to help young people.

What is your biggest regret?

Getting a perm aged 16. It didn’t suit me and damaged my hair for years.

How will you remember 2020?

I’ll remember it as my maternity leave not being as it was sold to me.

What do you think this year will bring that last year didn’t?

Socialising. I am craving seeing my family and friends.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

As a gay woman, I don’t really want to go back. I’d rather skip on past the pandemic.

What song would you have played at your funeral?

For Good from the musical Wicked. Whenever I’m really drunk with my mates, I’m like: “Let’s play the funeral song.”

Do you have a party trick?

I can Irish dance. And I can move my eyes in opposite directions.

How do you relax?

I literally don’t relax. That’s one of my partner’s biggest complaints to me.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Dawn French.

What are your best and worst qualities?

I’m a good friend, but I’m always working. I never switch off and that can annoy them.

What do you think happens to us when we die?

I reckon we all go to a room where we watch the rest of life continue on TV and chat about it, like an afterlife Gogglebox.

  • Steph hosts Steph’s Packed Lunch, weekdays, 12.30pm, Channel 4.

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