Where are they now? Lynn Faulds Wood
TV consumer champion and campaigner LYNN FAULDS WOOD, talks to us about her time on BBC Breakfast and Watchdog and what happened next...
Whether telling us the latest advice on staying safe, or talking through our consumer rights, Lynn Faulds Woods was always a champion of the people she presented to. Often seen on screen, or even co-presenting with her husband, John Stapleton, they shared a career in the spotlight together for many years.
John kickstarted Lynn’s interest in journalism after they met in a Richmond pub where she was a barmaid, in between teaching French at a local school. As John was already a researcher and writer for This is Your Life, he introduced her to the media world and in 1976, the year before they married, Lynn landed her first job as a researcher on BBC TV’s Nationwide programme. In 1983, she got her big break as Consumer Champion at TV-am.
“I was quite shy and happily discussed my investigations on air but I never wanted to talk about me,” she reveals. “By the end of my time on TV-am a year later, I was a wearing a red jumpsuit with red lipstick and nail polish! TV-am was my transformation into somebody who didn’t mind appearing on TV.”
Shortly after, Lynn moved to BBC Breakfast Time, co-hosted by Frank Bough and Selina Scott.
“I remember sitting next to Elton John and demonstrating the safe way to open a corned beef tin because they were then the biggest reason for people going to hospital with serious cuts. Elton was watching me when it went wrong and he said, “You’ve cut yourself!” with great glee. It showed that not even the safe way worked – those tins needed to be designed differently as Elton John himself could testify,” she laughs.
Watchdog came next with husband John as her co-presenter, making them the first married couple presenting team. “I can’t recall us ever having a fallout while working, though he did once accidentally call me ‘Liz’ live on air.”
In their time on the show, they helped change laws, bring in British Standards and make life safer for a lot of people, as well as turning the programme into a peaktime BBC1 series.
Lynn’s stint on Watchdog came to an unexpected end when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1993. Since then, she’s devoted her life to improving diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer, including helping develop a cancer plan for Europe and recently developing a Bowel Cancer Symptoms Checker for the NHS Choices website (visit www.nhs.uk/Tools/ Pages/Bowel-cancer-selfassessment.aspx). She’s also created a series of
informative videos about bowel cancer on www. bowelcancer.tv with videos of her colonoscopies. “People have watched my insides all over the world and hundreds have written to me saying I helped saved their lives, which is nice.”
John and Lynn celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. “We don’t plan to retire. I like to think my best is yet to come. I don’t mind whether I’m remembered or not, as long as something I’ve done has made a difference.”
Above, Lynn today and top with husband John on Watchdog in 1987
With her husband, and fellow presenter, John Stapleton