Sport Relief is here once again with celebrities such as Jo Brand and Eddie Izzard taking on sporty challenges to raise money for charity. But you don’t have to walk halfway across the country or run 27 marathons to do your bit! Why not get involved with the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games and do something to to make yourself feel proud? Participants will have the chance to walk, run, swim or cycle to raise money which will help to transform people’s lives across the UK and the world’s poorest communities.
Gaby Roslin, who co-presents The Saturday Show on Channel 5 with Matt Barbet and hosts her own radio show for BBC Radio London, is encouraging everyone to sign up to the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games. We spoke to her about the fundraiser as well as her healthy lifestyle, TV work and her much-missed friend Terry Wogan…
Hi Gaby! Why do you want people to get involved in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games?
“I was very much involved two years ago and I think it's really important that everyone knows that ANYONE – of all ages – can take part. Last time I did the Sport Relief Mile with both my kids, some friends AND their dogs. This year you can run, walk, swim or cycle any distance that suits you and there are events in London, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Norwich and Sheffield. It’s going to be wonderful. What’s so lovely is seeing everyone coming together and looking after themselves. That’s one of the great things about Sport Relief – if you look after yourself, you can look after others.”
You’ve always been interested in health and fitness, haven’t you?
“Yes, I've been studying health and nutrition for 20 years now, and lots people come to me for advice. There have been lots of studies over the years and people always say to me, ‘Oh, you were saying that a while ago.’ But some people need the science behind it.”
What do you say to people who want to get healthy?
“The first thing I say to people, especially if they are living in London, is to get off the tube one stop before their destination and walk. It's the little things. So many people live a sedentary life, so the most important thing is to get up and get moving. It's about trying to look after yourself – we’ve got to. I'm also a great believer in eating healthily and living life to the full. And I think it can dramatically change your life. Also, drink lots of good old fashioned water.”
What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
“I work out and I do pilates. I had a bad back for years and it has completely fixed it. I also have a wheat allergy, so I’m completely wheat-free and the only meat I eat is chicken, free range and organic. I cook freshly every night for the kids and my husband David, and everything we have, where possible, is organic. I think it’s really important to do those things. And, actually if you start from scratch, it’s cheaper and you know what's in there. The rates of obesity are climbing so drastically and it's a killer. It's terrifying and it's because people don't know what's in their food – the sugars, salts, additives, preservatives and all sorts of things. There's so much crap out there. I mean, just the fact that last week we all learnt that are 22 spoonfuls of sugar in some of those drinks from coffee places. Have you seen what 22 spoonfuls of sugar looks like? And that's before you've added sugar to it!”
Is it difficult trying to get your kids to be healthy, too?
“No. My kids are very aware of being healthy and although we don't have crap in the house, they don't go to friends’ parties with a Tuppaware box of healthy food. Also, because they are both girls I'm adamant that it's not about how they look it's about being healthy and unhealthy.”
So, you work out and do pilates. What do you family do to keep fit?
“We all love walking. People say to me, ‘That's not exercise.’ But yes, it is. Anything that gets a sweat up. My husband's a cyclist, and my youngest daughter [Amelie, 9] loves playing football and she does tennis, rollerblading, and skateboarding and table tennis and she can't wait to do netball. My oldest daughter [Libbi-Jack, 14] loves walking and running.”
What do you say to people who get home from work late and don’t have time to chop vegetables and prepare meals?
“On a Sunday, make a huge, huge pot of something and put it in the fridge or freezer and make sure you reheat. It's nice to have something you've made yourself and you know what's in it.”
Do you ever do anything that’s not particularly healthy?
“I like the odd glass of wine, a glass of prosecco, everyone knows that about me. I’m not a saint. When I was working The Big Breakfast 23 years ago, I used to drink Diet Coke all the time. When I stopped, I had the shakes and sweats – it was horrible! I haven't had caffeine for 20 years.”
You’re presenting The Saturday Show with the lovely Matt Barbet, aren’t you? How’s that going?
“It's going fantastically well. I know I shouldn't sound surprised but wherever I go people say, 'I love it. It's like good old fashioned hangover telly.' And actually that's what we wanted to do with it – have a laugh, look at some fun things and discuss some of the things people have been talking about. We have great line-up of people and we do all sorts of things. I love it, it's great fun. Matt and I got on from the off, we really did. We know exactly how to tease each other.”
How do you find the early start on a Saturday morning?
“It’s fine. That’s been the case for most of my career. This is my 30th anniversary of working in television. And I'm still going – yay! Don't ask me how I've conned everyone this long! I'm used to getting up early from 3.30am. It's nice getting up early because you can fit lots in.”
Where else can we see you?
“I do the National Lottery as well, so on Saturday mornings I’m on Channel 5, and on Saturday nights I'm on BBC1. Then on Sunday afternoons I do my radio show for BBC Radio London and it's going from strength to strength. I's amazing. We get the American stars asking to come on the show, which is great. We’ve had Ryan Gosling, Ethan Hawke and have just had Julianne Moore for the second time. I love it that people are asking to come on. It makes me beam. It's such a compliment.”
The next big charity event this year will be Children In Need. You presented the show with Terry Wogan for quite a few years. Where were you when you heard the news of his passing?
“He died on the Sunday and I had to do my radio show and that was the hardest thing to do. The first 15 minutes were my memories of Terry and I played music just for him. It was just so incredibly sad. We did the Terry & Gabby Show together, Children In Need and Eurovison: Making Your Mind Up. I was completely and utterly shocked. He was a big part of my life.”
Gaby Roslin is encouraging everyone to get behind Sport Relief by signing up to run, walk, swim or cycle themselves proud at the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games on Sunday 20 March. To find out more about the fun-filled family day out visit sportrelief.com