How Carol Kirk­wood kept her Strictly fig­ure

Weather pre­sen­ter Carol Kirk­wood talks fes­tive mem­o­ries, the se­cret to her su­per-trim fig­ure and what it’s like when things don’t go to plan on live TV...

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Carol Kirk­wood may be the first lady of BBC Weather, but she is also mod­est to a fault. Not only does she in­stantly re­fute the idea that she’s a celebrity, but the 2015 Strictly Come

Danc­ing con­tes­tant gets a fit of the gig­gles when we sug­gest she’s a bit of a sex sym­bol, too – judg­ing by how many fans go into melt­down on Twit­ter when she comes on screen.

Talk­ing about her Strictly ex­pe­ri­ence, the 55-year-old ad­mits she went down two dress sizes on the show thanks to gru­elling re­hearsals, and thinks some­one over 50 (Debbie McGee, any­one?) could one day win the show.

‘I don’t see why not. I think if you’re fit, it’s got more to do with your abil­ity to pick up dances rather than any­thing else,’ she says.

Here, the weather an­chor – whose soft Scot­tish vow­els can also be heard on The Chris Evans Break­fast Show – talks about telly mishaps, her per­sonal style evo­lu­tion, and how she man­ages to look so good in those tight-fit­ting dresses of hers!

Hi, Carol! You cause quite a stir when you present the weather. Do you feel like a sex sym­bol?

I am your prover­bial girl-nextdoor, I am cer­tainly not a sex sym­bol. I can say that quite cat­e­gor­i­cally! I do get a lot of peo­ple ask­ing me where my clothes are from, which is a huge com­pli­ment. But, yes, in the past, I’ve had saucy fan mail, re­quests for mar­riage, the lot.

You wear some lovely dresses. Is that your sig­na­ture style?

I’ve gath­ered quite a col­lec­tion over the years, too. Years ago, when I worked out­side in the Blue Peter gar­den, I wore black trousers, a black top and a bright-coloured coat, as I was stand­ing in the dark. Com­ing into the stu­dio was more dif­fi­cult and, at the start, I got my style very wrong, wear­ing sep­a­rates and se­vere hair­dos! But you evolve grad­u­ally, and dresses are easy – you don’t have to think too much.

Not every­one in their 50s could rock a tight­fit­ting dress, though! How do you stay so trim?

I don’t feel that way at all! I nor­mally look at my­self in the mir­ror and think I need to go for an­other run and stop scoff­ing choco­late. I love run­ning, so I try to run two to three times a week. I’d al­ways thought run­ning wouldn’t be my thing, es­pe­cially as a woman with… boobs! But you just get the right bra, strap your­self in and you’re off.

What’s your take on so­cial me­dia?

I’m only on Twit­ter, and it’s mostly for work – I’ll usu­ally talk about the weather or, oc­ca­sion­ally, where a dress is from. I get some neg­a­tiv­ity, which I block im­me­di­ately. I get peo­ple say­ing, ‘ Your

smile is fake,’ and ‘I can’t stand how you smile in­ces­santly, it’s phoney.’ But it’s not – I’m just a happy, pos­i­tive per­son.

Do peo­ple of­ten stop you on the street?

They do, it’s lovely. I al­ways get, ‘My dad re­ally likes you!’ It’s not great when you’ve nipped out for milk in a pair of track­suit bot­toms, no make-up, hair scraped back and some­one asks for a selfie!

So, tell us how you’re in­volved in Chil­dren In Need this year?

Well, I’ve been in­volved for years – from per­form­ing It’s Rain­ing Men with the other weather girls to vis­it­ing places that have ben­e­fit­ted from do­na­tions. Do Your Thing is great fun, the idea is you do lit­er­ally any­thing you fancy to raise money – wear­ing fancy dress, soak­ing in a bath of baked beans… in­dulge your pas­sion. What’s it re­ally like to work on BBC Break­fast? Lovely. Noth­ing bad to re­port! We’re all friends. In fact, Steph [McGovern], Sally [Nu­gent] and my­self go on hol­i­day to­gether reg­u­larly. The re­la­tion­ships you see aren’t man­u­fac­tured for telly.

With live TV, things don’t al­ways go to plan, do they?

No, es­pe­cially on lo­ca­tion. Peo­ple can sud­denly ap­pear be­hind you. I was pho­to­bombed once on a beach by a dog. He de­cided he was go­ing to re­lieve him­self be­hind me, but, of course, I couldn’t see him. He car­ried on re­gard­less, in shot the en­tire time.

Christ­mas is com­ing! What does it mean to you?

I love ev­ery­thing about it. I come from a huge fam­ily of seven broth­ers and sis­ters – so, in years gone by, imag­ine how full our front room was! We were like the Von Trapps. Mum played the or­gan, and we’d sing. These days, if I’m work­ing, I go to work in the morn­ing, then I head out with friends for lunch. It’s a grown-up Christ­mas, but it’s still mag­i­cal.

Carol’s get­ting in­volved in Chil­dren In Need

Carol be­lieves an older woman – like Debbie (left) – could win Strictly

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