"I don't regard myself as a celebrity, so this was a weird experience."
25th September 2012
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"My golden rule about any of these programmes is that I would only take part if I was going to learn something new," said Emma. "I wouldn't do some of the other 'celebrity' programmes but I've always loved Masterchef and don't think I've ever missed an episode."

Emma feels she's always slipped under the radar as a celebrity, despite appearing regularly on radio comedy programmes and TV shows as diverse as 'Goodness Gracious Me', 'Jonathan Creek' and 'The Real Holiday Show'. She's also a prolific author, with humour definitely coming to the fore.

"Some of my humour is a bit adult," she freely admitted. "Once I started writing books for children as well, I realised that I had a responsibility to address my behaviour. If even one child looks up to you, it matters how you talk and it's easy to fall into patterns of behaviour in the comedy world that don't necessarily fit with that."

Admitting that her days at Hitchin Girls' School were overwhelmingly happy and positive, Emma is happy that she keeps being asked back to speak to the girls and parents: "The greatest honour ever bestowed on me was giving the school's Founders' Day speech last year.

"I enjoy having that connection with the school and don't have one single bad memory. I would probably be terrible if I had children of my own but they treat me like I'm one of them and it's easier to talk to them as a friend if you're not their parent. I also like giving them back and am in awe of people who do manage to do a good job bringing up children.

"I never expected to do as well as I did in Celebrity Masterchef. I gave myself a week off after finishing one book before starting another. Then I put in a lot of hard work and ended up doing a lot longer than that week. You have to work so hard between each week on recipes and practising over and over again. It became all-consuming."

Already, three publishers have approached Emma with a view to producing a cookery book. If she does agree to do it, you can bet the end result will teach you a bit, while making you smile a lot.

About the Author

Hilary R

Member since: 31st May 2012

Writer and sax player. Brought up in Hitchin and - apart from uni and some ensuing madness of life in London - I've always lived here.

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