GIFT OF GABY SAVES LIVES
TV presenter is backing campaign to get people to open up and talk to each other
GABY Roslin didn’t hesitate when she saw a young woman crying in a park.
While many of us would wonder what had happened but would still continue with our day, possibly thinking about her later on, the TV presenter wanted to make sure she was OK.
mum of two said: “I recently approached a young woman in London’s Regent’s Park who was sitting on a bench crying.
“I thought if that was my daughter, I’d want someone to stop and speak. I asked her if she needed help and we sat and spoke for a while. I urged her to get some help. I hope she’s OK.”
Gaby’s blend of bubbly, unaffected and infectious enthusiasm, seemingly boundless energy and ability to chat to anyone has made her one of the nation’s most popular and enduring radio and TV presenters.
Her popularity is based on viewers feeling she is interested in what they say. She says people like talking to her and she likes talking to them.
Gaby has always been curious about people, even as a child. She said: “People have always confided in me and told me their secrets, worries, fears and joys”.
It makes her a perfect choice to support Small Talk Saves Lives – a new mental health campaign by the Samaritans to reduce suicides.
Gaby, who has two daughters – Libbi, 17, from her first marriage to musician Colin Peel, and Amelie, 12, with her husband, publisher David Osman – is urging everyone to talk more to strangers.
She said: “Every time I hear of someone taking their own life, it breaks my heart. No one should ever feel alone and there is always somebody there to listen and help.
“Taking just a few moments out of your day to help someone you think may be in need – even by exchanging just a few words – is so important.”
“The little conversations we have every day can be all that is needed to interrupt suicidal thoughts.
“Once you know you have the power to make a difference, you’re more likely to step in and do something. That’s why I’ve got involved in the Small Talk Saves Lives campaign.”
Like fellow presenters Lorraine Kelly and Davina McCall, Gaby is known for her cheery outlook.
She makes no excuses for it and made a vow to stay positive after her mum Jackie died from lung cancer more than 20 years ago.
Gaby said: “I love life and have always been a very positive person. People used to question how I could always look happy and I used to end up apologising for it.
“After my mum died when I was in my 30s, I thought, ‘You know what, I’m not apologising for loving life any more’.
“I’ve been through hard times – bereavement, a divorce, losing friends to cancer – but that has made me even more aware that life is so precious and we have to make the most of it.”
Of course, just wanting to be happy doesn’t mean you always are and Gaby doesn’t take her health and wellbeing for granted.
She only drinks occasionally and doesn’t eat red meat.
Gaby said: “I walk everywhere – seven miles a day – which is great as it gets the blood pumping and is fantastic for your mind. It’s when I get my best ideas. I go to the gym four times a week and do Pilates.
“I’m very health-conscious about food and have studied nutrition for more than 20 years.
“It’s really important that you put the right things in your body. I have a wheat allergy so I don’t have any gluten. We eat organic fruit, vegetables and sustainable fish as much as possible, and no red meat as I can’t bear to eat animals. I love animals too much.
“I drink occasionally, when I’m on holiday. I just decided I was bored with it and didn’t want any more hangovers. I also don’t have caffeine. People say it must be boring but it’s not at all, and I feel very happy and well.”
Gaby is unapologetic about dyeing her hair and using fake tan but won’t go under the knife.
She said: “What you see is what you get with me. I’ve got a few lines. I’m not an advocate of plastic surgery or those sort of things.
“The bonus as you get older is you feel more comfortable and confident in yourself.”
This shines through and Gaby is “set on ageing disgracefully”.
She added: “I don’t think you should follow any rules about ‘dressing your age’.
“Don’t let somebody else tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear.
“I’m obsessed with fashion and love skinny jeans and heels but I’ll go all out with a frock for a red carpet event.”
She has advice for any middle-aged woman.
Gaby said: “Basically, the minute you stop worrying about what everyone else looks like or thinks of you, your style comes into its own.
“I do this thing on my Instagram called Shopping In My Wardrobe, where I encourage people to open up their wardrobe and pair something old with something new.
“My daughter, Amelie, films me cavorting around doing a stupid song and dance and can often be heard saying, ‘Muuummm, please’, because she finds me the most embarrassing mum on the planet.
“I reckon it’s my duty to be an embarrassing parent.”
Gaby’s breakthrough was appearing alongside Chris Evans on The Big Breakfast in the 90s. In a move that shocked many people, Chris quit his Radio 2 breakfast show after nine years despite huge ratings.
Gaby has huge affection for him.
She said: “I adore Chris and get very upset when people say anything horrible about him. I learned to just go with the flow from him.” While her own chat show, The Gaby Roslin Show, didn’t take off on Channel 4 in the 90s, she still has a dream to do an edgy, daily TV show.
She said: “My parents told me, ‘Never give up on your dreams. Don’t hurt anybody in the process but always follow your dreams’.
“I knew when I was three that I wanted to be a TV presenter and I feel very blessed to be working in my dream job. My next dream is to do a risky, naughty daily live TV show.”
Every time I hear of someone taking their own life, it breaks my heart
WISDOM Gaby is supporting the Samaritans’
DREAM TEAM Gaby and Chris Evans on Channel 4 hit TV show The Big Breakfast