Sally Flint

Experiencing Loose Women Live: An Unforgettable Mother-Daughters' Day Out

We were very enthusiastic audience members!

It’s unusual for me to blog about anything other than books these days. With family life having been tough, filled with too much sadness and loss, I’ve perhaps steered clear of more personal topics. However, I’m a firm believer in the “glass half full” approach and felt compelled to share the fantastic Easter weekend I had with my girls, which culminated in a trip to watch Loose Women Live. On Sunday, Betsy and I successfully navigated the tube and trains to meet at Annie’s in London. Betsy was journeying from her boyfriend’s in Portsmouth, and after a smooth reunion with Annie in Highgate, we enjoyed a late Sunday Thai takeaway together from Camden. We spent a nostalgic evening reminiscing about our favourite meals from our time living in Thailand and hatched our plans for Monday’s trip to watch Loose Women live on the TV. It was all lovely mother-daughter/s’ time.

The trip to see the filming of Loose Women was not only fun but also a sentimental journey. We were retracing steps we’d taken with my mum, Freda, several years earlier. She had enjoyed the live audience experience, despite commenting on the set having “looked a bit cheap” and comparing the adventure unfavourably to her trip to see Countdown in the Richard Madeley days! Her absence was felt, and I think she’d have enjoyed the panelists, particularly Linda Robson, who she might remember from the Birds of a Feather. The show itself was light and enjoyable, with plenty of audience participation. Jane Moore, as expected, was quite intimidating, and Brenda Edwards was as bubbly as ever, adding to the overall entertainment of the ITV programme. Going out live was an extra bonus. 

The highlight, however, was our chance encounter with Linda Robson on our way out of the studio. I was starstruck, camera out and grinning from ear to ear. I even gushed that I’d already bought her autobiography – an exaggeration, but it is on my reading list after hearing Jenny Éclair discuss it favourably on her podcast Older and Wider! We were ecstatic, and not a little hysterical, as we headed for lunch (side note: London is expensive!) and continued to dissect the show all the way home. Our excitement didn’t stop there. After our great family outing, we even re-watched the show in slow motion, (more than once!) trying – with great success – to spot ourselves on camera.

Reflecting on this whirlwind experience, I realized that the excitement and joy stemmed from the connections we’d made. We didn’t personally know Linda, but the medium of panelist TV shows fostered a sense of familiarity. Similarly, I’m not always in regular touch with everyone on my social media platforms, but sharing my news with them via texts made me feel that once I wasn’t part of the FOMO brigade. I was able to smile wryly at myself for even caring! This led me to think about why connections are so important and why social media and TV shows  can play such a significant role in fostering them. These were my thoughts:

  • Making Connections: Connections, whether personal, or through a shared experience like I had with Annie and Betsy, create a warm feeling inside. I suspect it increases our dopamine levels (no not dopey levels!) It also exposes us to different perspectives, fostering empathy and understanding. We weren’t the only viewers at Loose Women lucky enough to chat with Linda. She stayed and spoke to various audience members. I would love to ask her if she values those connections too and I suspect that she does.
  • Building Communities: Enjoying shared interests create a sense of community where experiences and ideas can be exchanged. This is something I’ve noticed in relation to a choir I’ve recently joined. A post for another day.
  • Emotional Support: Connections linked with trust provide emotional support. Social media gets a lot of criticism, but I think that sharing our experiences and feelings on social media can be positive. That is if we don’t get hooked. The same applies for TV shows. We were only in the studio an hour and a half but definitely made connections with audience members and of course the panelists.
  • Networking Opportunities: These platforms can open doors to new opportunities. Even a chance encounter with a TV celebrity can be an exciting networking opportunity. I did ask Linda if I could blog about her. Next, I’ll be asking to edit her next book! 

While we’ve all faced challenges and periods of grief, isolation, or low spirits, rekindling connections with family, friends, and even our favourite TV personalities can be a really positive thing. As I reflect on our unforgettable day out, I’m reminded of how vital these connections are. With that, I’m off to share this post on good old Facebook-  perhaps I’ll give LinkedIn a miss for this one! However, if we haven’t touched base in a while, consider this an invitation to say hi and reconnect. Life is too short to not make the connections that make us happier people.

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