Lorraine Kelly OBE is one of Britain’s most popular TV presenters. Her show, Lorraine, is on ITV every day from 8.30am, where she interviews celebrities for all the latest showbiz news and style. She has recently launched her debut homeware collection for JD Williams and she takes time out of her very busy schedule to talk to Lynda Clark about her life, her new venture and her first property purchase
FTB: Tell us about your first property experience.
LK: The first property that I bought was in the city centre of Glasgow when I was about 20. I was going into town on the bus when I saw a sign that said they were building new flats for £20,000. At the time, that was a huge amount of money; in fact, it was so much money, I had to subsidise my first job at the BBC with working as a waitress at night to raise the deposit. It was a one bedroom flat and it was a rabbit hutch! It was tiny, but it was mine!
My dad bought me a television and I bought my first sofa from something called ‘Saturday Snips’ in the Glasgow Evening Times newspaper – it was £10 for an old battered leather sofa, I loved it! I had my first house party once I could afford to buy some curtains! They were great times and really I didn’t need very much at all.
I was out and about all the time because it was right in the city centre. It was equivalent of having a flat right in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, so it was brilliant. I stayed there for about three years before moving to London to rent.
FTB: Where do you live you now and what do you especially like about the house?
LK: I have the best of both worlds. I have a wee flat in the city centre of London; it’s great as I can walk everywhere and it’s perfect for work, too. It was originally a show flat and over time I have added some touches of my own, but it was brilliant to not have to do anything when I first moved in, I was just ready to go!
I also have a four bedroom, 1920s Arts and Crafts house in Broughty Ferry in Scotland, it’s not huge, but very comfortable. It has open fires and lots of the original features, so there’s a very cosy feel.
We tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which I love. We have an AGA in there, which is great. and Steve can do all of the cooking; he’s the cook in our house. It’s very comfortable and homely and that’s what drew me to it. The kitchen is absolutely the heart of the house; that’s where everything goes on and where everybody ends up!
FTB: How did your TV career start?
LK: I started my career in journalism totally by accident, like most things! I left school at 17 and worked on my local newspaper, the East Kilbride News, until I was about 21. I then got a job at the BBC. I basically badgered the BBC for every job going! I even applied for a job as a farming correspondent, based in Aberdeen, and I knew nothing about farming – I’m a city girl!
I knew it would be the same people on the board for all of the jobs that I applied for, so I thought eventually they will get so annoyed with seeing me, they would have to give me a job! I eventually did get a job as a researcher with the BBC for a year and I then got offered a permanent position as a reporter for TV-am, covering Scotland.
I then, somehow, got the nerve to phone the boss of TV-am – who, at the time, was Greg Dyke – I said “you have to give me this job” and he said “ok, come down and see me”. I don’t know where I got the gumption from and I would never do something like that now, but when you’re young, you just go for it… and I got the job!! The rest is history!
FTB: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
LK: There have been so, so many. On a lighter note, I loved doing shows broadcast from New York and LA and covering the Oscars.
On a more serious note, we covered the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and we did the first interview on TV-am with Nelson Mandela on his release from prison, so that was an incredible honour.
I have met some remarkable people over the years and one of the key highlights for me was meeting Oprah Winfrey. I was very nervous about meeting her, because she is the Doyenne! She was absolutely fantastic. She was funny, generous, kind, approachable, everything I hoped she would be and more! It’s brilliant when somebody lives up to your expectations.
FTB: Tell us about your new range of homeware products?
LK: For me, it’s really important to have items that make a house a home so, when embarking on this homeware collection, I was keen to create items for comfort first and foremost. I wanted everything to be relaxed and cosy, with elements of the country look and my heritage thrown in. I was keen to stay true to my style and JD Williams helped me to create a collection that reflected me and my own home.
FTB: What inspired you?
LK: Inspiration really came from where I live and where I have travelled in Scotland. For ‘Coastal Mist’, I took my inspiration from the Outer Hebrides. I love the colours there, across the beaches, the sea and the sky, which change so frequently; the chessboard weather was the perfect inspiration for the colour palette as you can see every season all in one day. For ‘Coast to Glen’ I was keen to introduce a variation of textures, colours and checks and didn’t want tartan to dominate and overwhelm; I am proud of my heritage so introduced elements of this, but with a modern twist.
I have photographs of family members everywhere in my home, going back to my great grandfather, so I was keen to design a frame that you could put multiple black and white family photos in, or even just a single picture. Other favourite pieces include the wool-textured cushion and throw, as well as the cheeky dog motif cushion. The concrete lamp is another – I love the texture, and it’s really stylish and looks expensive.
FTB: What are your plans for the future?
LK: I’m currently working on my AW16 collection for JD Williams. We’ve created the mood boards, and are exploring prints and materials. It’s quite a speedy process, so there is a lot to do!
I would love to do more travel writing and travelling too. I would really enjoy that. My husband is a brilliant cameraman and photographer and so I would love to do more projects with him, too. To be honest, I just love what I’m doing and I think that I’m enjoying the show more now than I ever have. It’s just great fun!
FTB: Have you any tips for first time buyers trying to get on to the property ladder?
LK: Just keep working hard and you will get to your goal eventually. When you do get your first property, make it a reflection of you and fill it with the things you love. When your house becomes a home, it’s such a great feeling, so just enjoy every moment of that exciting time!
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