Steph McGovern talks ‘surreal’ experience on new show after leaving ‘nice safe job at BBC’

Steph McGovern discusses 'chaos' caused by young daughter

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Steph McGovern, 38, joined Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball on her breakfast show to discuss her latest programme Steph’s Packed Lunch, but the mother-of-one admitted it wasn’t plain sailing to launch not one, but two new shows in the middle of a pandemic. The former BBC Breakfast presenter began her TV career at the broadcaster before taking a plunge in 2019 and jumping ship to rival Channel 4 to host her own self-titled gig.

Trying to do all this in the middle of a pandemic has been really surreal

Steph McGovern

She had been expected to host Steph’s Talks from spring 2020 at their new studio in Leeds, but the social distancing rules and regulations saw plans change and she began to present The Steph Show from her front room on 30 March 2020.

The show eventually launched in a proper studio environment in September 2020, rebranded as Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Despite the bumps in the road, Steph insisted she was extremely proud of her team for managing to pull it all off under the circumstances, that saw every TV production either have to postpone or cancel filming altogether during the first lockdown back in March last year.

And Zoe was very aware of this too, saying: “It’s been a bumpy road getting you out there but Packed Lunch is looking fantastic, we’ve been loving the show!” she beamed as Steph blushed.

“Thank you,” she replied: “I’ve got to say, it’s about the team.

“It’s about the people behind the scenes, grafting to make it happen.”

She added: “So, I’m just super proud that we’ve managed to get another series.”

Steph admitted that there was a little bit of scepticism at first, but the whole experience was “surreal”.

“Trying to do all this in the middle of a pandemic has been really surreal,” she explained.

“I left this nice, safe job at the BBC and then early on in the middle of the pandemic launched a show.”

But she applauded people who have been adapting and overcoming issues in different ways.

“I think it’s good we’re going to carry on,” Steph beamed.

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“We can chill out a bit and just try and make the show better!” she gushed as Zoe agreed.

“That’s the thing, we’re always improving, always finding new ways of doing things,” the Radio DJ nodded.

“But I think it’s brought real joy because the great thing with the show is you’re having a lot of fun!”

She praised Steph for her “incredible knack” to be able to inform her audience but in an entertaining way, making sure they get all the useful information they need but have fun while doing so.

“I love the way you have great advice for folk but you put it into simple terms,” Zoe continued.

“You’ve been so much help to people,” she added, pointing out Steph’s background in consumer journalism; a role that the presenter admits is something that remains very important to her.

Steph’s Packed Lunch continues weekdays from 12pm on Channel 4 and Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Show begins at 6:30am daily.

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