In the year since it burst on to our screens like the TV version of OK! magazine, Live From Studio Five has had it’s fair share of critics… Even the most rose-tinted FIVE exec might agree that at least some of it has been justified, but they will argue that a lot more of it has been the sniping of bitter and socially awkward TV bloggers (not that we’d know anything about that here at OTB). However over the last few months, ratings for the show have been on the rise and they’ve secured the services of a vastly experienced Jayne Middlemiss, could this be a new beginning? But more importantly, does every other achievement in Jayne Middlemiss’s life pale into insignificance when compared to her 2000 appearance in FHM’s Sexiest Women On The Planet? We went down to FIVE studios to meet Jayne and Kate to find out for ourselves…
Right… I think we’ve got the dictaphone working now, if not we’ll just have to make some stuff up when we get back to the office..
KW: You better not!
Well it will all just be taken from your Wikipedia page, incidentally how does it feel to have your own one of them? I assume you write it yourself..
KW: Of course I don’t! It was really weird when someone told me that I had one back when I was on The Apprentice. I don’t know too much about Wikipedia to be honest, I mean who sat down and decided to add a Kate Walsh page? I’ve seen it, but I haven’t been on there for a while so I don’t know how accurate the information is.. I don’t even have a Facebook account.
That will be why we can’t find you online then… Anyway the ratings for the show have been going up recently, that must be pleasing..
KW: Yeah it is, the fans that we’ve got are quite die-hard and they enjoy the interactive aspect of the show. It definitely appeals to a certain type of person – one who likes entertainment and celebrity gossip, but also people who like to keep up to date with the news. One of the best things we do is take a story and ask the audience what they would do if they were in the same situation and that kind of audience interaction is always popular. We’re all enjoying it and getting better and better guests, so hopefully it will just continue to grow..
Now the show has received a bit of criticism in the past. Was it hard to read that stuff at the time Kate?
KW: Yeah it’s always difficult, even when I was on The Apprentice people used to be write some pretty rude stuff about me and sometimes you do take it to heart. You just want to get in touch with tham and say: “You know what, I’m alright really!” But then you just realise that people are entitled to their opinions. TV critics are just that – critics. What makes an article interesting isn’t them saying “Wasn’t that programme great” every week. They like to have something to poke fun at and some of the articles have actually been quite amusing! You just learn to look at things in a different way. It’s the viewers opinion that counts anyway, they’re the people we want to please not the critics, and I do think the show has come a long way since it started a year ago..
Now some people* have said that the next year could be make or break for LFS5. Do you think that’s true?
JM: I think you’re being very dramatic! I’ve only been here for two months so you’d have to ask the producers about that… (We later asked the head producer precisely this and he strongly disagreed with us).
You must be very pleased to get Jayne on board…
KW: Yes it just feels right at the moment. It’s great to work with someone who has so much experience. I remember watching Jayne and Ian on television when I was younger so working with them is pretty cool. There’s just really good connection between all of us which is obviously very important when you’re working with people five days a week..
JM: I’ve only been here since June but because it’s such an intense show to work on I don’t feel that new. When they were looking for cover I did a couple of shows and I really loved it, I love live TV, I loved working with Kate and Ian so it seemed natural to join when they offered me the job permanently..
So no creative conflicts with Ian Wright then..
KW: No of course not! To be honest I was really pleased that he lived up to my expectations when I started working with him, he is a footballing icon but he treats everyone with such respect. He does come out with some funny stuff – most of which we wouldn’t be able to say on air – and he’s got a loads of energy. I still can’t believe he’s only 46!
JM: He’s just had an operation on his leg so he hasn’t been able to kick anything about recently, but he’s an absolute gem to work with. A really lovely guy..
Were you a fan of LFS5 before you started working for the show Jayne?
JM: Of course! I did my homework…
Is it everything you expected it to be?
JM: It’s interesting for me because working on this show is very different to stuff I’ve done before. There is much more of a newsroom atmosphere, which is very exciting because you feel like anything could happen so I’m really enjoying it..
Do you think the show has turned a bit of a corner now Jayne? Would you call yourself the saviour of Live From Studio 5?
JM: Don’t be ridiculous! I think when new shows are tried out people love to criticise them and I’ve always enjoyed LFS5 – not everyone’s going to like it you know. A lot of people don’t like me!
But you were in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women! Surely you must be very popular! Where do you think that ranks compared to other achievements in your life?
JM: Errmm.. it’s probably one of my biggest achievements! But it was quite funny, because you just feel like shouting: “Hello! Stop being silly!” It was a long time ago, but it was quite sweet…
Well I hope you appreciated all our votes. You also won Celebrity Masterchef a few years back, you are a lady of many talents..
JM: I can’t watch the new series because it’s just too nerve-wracking! Even hearing the music makes me nervous. That was one of the most difficult and brilliant things that I’ve ever done in my life..
So you wouldn’t be interested in competing in a winners play-off in a couple of years?
JM: I don’t know if I could go back in that kitchen. I look back at it now and I’m dead proud because you need to be brave and make sure you hold it together for the whole thing. I wouldn’t mind doing something foody for TV again, but I don’t think I could do another competition..
You’re a seasoned TV pro Jayne, but Kate you’re relatively new to all this, has it been a steep learning curve?
KW: Melinda and Ian had more experience than me and they were nervous when we started last September. It was a live show, anything can happen, sometimes we were talking over each other and the rest of it, and it takes time to get into the swing of it. But I think we’ve come on leaps and bounds since then and it’s certainly a lot more enjoyable when you know what you’re doing – I’d never been in a TV studio before the final of The Apprentice, but now that I’ve gained a bit of confidence I feel more able to just be myself, which is how you do the best work I think. That’s definitely one thing I’ve learned, you have to be yourself…
But you looked quite natural on the TV when you did a task for The Apprentice, in fact I put a bet on for you to win so you owe me some cash..
KW: So many people say that to me! I do feel a little bit guilty… Sorry!
It was worth a try. Now the programme is being cut down to half an hour from an hour this week..
KW: Yes it’s just a two week experiment to see how people take to it. The reason is that we have a very strong first half where we attract a lot of viewers, but at 7pm sometimes it can tail off. I think it’s just that time of night… But you’ve got to do these things when you’re building a new programme, no one sees it as a negative thing – it was planned ages ago, but once again people will write whatever they want to write..
Finally who’s the best guest you’ve met while doing the show?
JM: Oh my god – it has to be The Fonz! He was my childhood hero, I used to watch that programme all the time when I was a kid and it was awesome to meet him…
KW: I really loved going to do all the Sex And The City stuff in New York, but my favourite guest in the studio was Katie Price. She was on recently she just turned up and said “ask me anything you want”, which was really refreshing. I’ve got a lot of respect for her…
JM: Yes she was fabulous, such a lovely girl!