FROM Eamonn and Ruth who helped kick-start her career on This Morning to her joy for close mate Alison Hammond, Josie Gibson lifts the lid on relationships behind the scenes at the daytime show.
Thanks to her hilarious on-air mishaps and larger-than-life personality, it’s no surprise that Josie Gibson has been nicknamed The Bridget Jones of Daytime TV.
A decade on from deservedly winning Big Brother, she’s still entertaining us all with her unique take on life, now as an established member of the This Morning team.
Whether she’s screaming her way down a zipline or splitting her trousers live on TV, the 35-year-old Bristolian laughs her way through everything and her madcap roving reports on the show have made her a firm favourite with viewers.
“These things always happen to me,” she says with a roll of the eyes.
Josie, who is a single mum to two-year-old Reggie, is exactly the same woman Big Brother fans fell in love with back in 2010 (who could forget her classic quote from that series: “Whenever I feel a bit low I always think about that woman who got her face ripped off by a chimpanzee.”) – she’s down to earth, funny and still can’t quite believe she’s here.
We caught up with her to talk Christmas, Twitter trolls and what’s going on with Eamonn and Ruth…
2020 has been hard on everyone, but professionally you’ve had an amazing year, Josie. Why do you think that is?
I’ve always wanted to work on This Morning, but I didn’t think I was good enough.
Then things changed when I had Reg. I got more confident in myself as a woman – although sometimes I’m in the studio and I see all these famous faces and I feel like an imposter.
But I have to remind myself I’m on live TV every day and I need to hold my own.
Who in particular have you learned from on the team?
Eamonn [Holmes] and Ruth [Langsford] have mentored me and Alison [Hammond] too. I would never have been in the position I’m in on the show without Eamonn and Ruth.
They helped me so much, encouraging me to email over feature ideas.
Eamonn and Ruth have really championed you, haven’t they?
After my first gig on the show, I was really disheartened and my nan said to me: “Look, they pay really well at Lidl.”
But then Eamonn texted me and said: “You smashed it today, you did it!” He’s helped me more than he knows.
"I’ve told him I can’t thank him enough because he’s made my dreams come true. And he said: “You doing your thing on TV is thank you enough for me.”
He’s so cute and very kind. He and Ruth have been doing the job for years and years. They are the best at what they do so it’s flattering to be getting tips from them. I feel very lucky.
It was a shame to hear they won’t be hosting the Friday show any more…
Well, we’re all gonna work together anyway [Eamonn and Ruth will continue to cover for Holly and Phil during some holidays].
Everybody works so hard on the show, bloody Ruth and Eamonn have been working their asses off forever.
What do you think about the news that Alison will be hosting the Friday edition?
I am so proud of her. She’s been there for nearly 19 years and she is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever known.
No one sees all the stuff behind the scenes, they just see Alison having a laugh – but that’s a technique she’s got. I’m so happy that she’s been recognised to get on there and be one of the main hosts.
You two have formed such a genuine friendship, haven’t you?
We get to the end of filming and we say: “How are we going to make a segment out of this?” because we are crying with laughter all day.
During the first lockdown, I don’t think I would have been able to get through it if it wasn’t for her.
She was ringing me seeing if I was all right and we would be on the phone to each other for hours.
We discussed how we could be better people. I would like to start a church – not a religious one or a cult – but somewhere people could come and find themselves.
Is the working-mum juggle tough?
I’ve got a really good set-up. My family knows I’ve only got one chance at this, so if I get work they all step up.
Either one of my sisters or my stepmum minds Reg. My mum is back on the scene [Josie and her mum had a difficult relationship until Reggie was born], so she looks after him and takes him out on her horse and cart.
Then he has his dad [Josie’s on/off partner Terry], too. Reg loves it – he’s so spoilt!
The This Morning producers put you in some crazy situations. Do you ever think you might die on TV?!
They are always pushing the boundaries. I’ve been scared a lot of times at work, but it’s still so fun. If I’ve put a smile on somebody’s face that day, I’ve done my job.
Someone came up to me in Sainsbury’s and said: “I love you on This Morning, you’re so bad, it’s good.” What do you say to that?: “Erm, thank you?”
Do you keep in touch with anyone from Big Brother?
I message Shabby [Katchadourian]. I’ve not been friendly with John [James Parton, Josie’s house romance] for a long time. He is still selling stories 10 years down the line. It’s like, get over yourself mate and move on!
You seem really confident, but you’ve had some abuse over your weight on social media recently. How do you deal with that?
Yeah, someone tweeted to say it broke their heart I had put on weight. We are living in the most scary time ever, but my weight gain offended them.
I used to take these things to heart, but honestly I don’t give a hoot now.
What will your Christmas Day be like this year?
I find Christmas Day a bit rubbish because I’m at a stove slaving away for two days. I spent the last three years doing all the cooking and I said this year I’m not doing it.
This year, we’re going to Celtic Manor Resort in Newport with Reg and his dad. Watch This Morning on Christmas Day, 10am, ITV.
[Credit] Hair & make-up: Bethan Owens using Bare Minerals and Schwarzkopf Got2b Styling: Jess Evans Josie wears: dress, Coast; shoes, Dune London
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