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...

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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

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