By Alison James
Gaby Roslin tends to be slightly out of breath when we talk to her because she walks everywhere and usually calls when she’s hiking between appointments or meetings.
A mother of two girls, she’s always on the go – and never more so than at the moment. As well as co-presenting the consumer show Shop Smart, Save Money with Fiona Phillips on Channel 5, she hosts the panel programme Gaby’s Talking Picture Show on BBC Radio 4.
“It’s all a bit hectic but that’s the way I like it,” she says. “We film Shop Smart, Save Money on a Tuesday from Bradford Broadway Shopping Centre in West Yorkshire and it goes out two days later. The show starts from the fact that many of us love shopping, but we don’t want to get ripped off. And we don’t want to get to the end of the month to find that all our cash has disappeared on the boring stuff and there’s nothing left for the fun things in life.
“This series brings together all the latest deals, offers, tips and tricks to make sure that British shoppers are getting the best value for money. So the show is packed with useful, smart-shopping, cost-saving, brand-busting content and it all comes with a totally topical feel.”
Every week the show also challenges two competing Savvy Shoppers to save some serious cash on a family’s weekly shop. And it lifts the lid on big-name brands as it uncovers the best – and worst – value products on the market.
Gaby, who has a passion for shopping herself.
“I consider myself to be quite a savvy shopper, but the other day when I was buying some leggings for my younger daughter to wear for athletics, I almost found myself buying three pairs because there was a three-for-two offer. Just before I got to the till I thought, ‘Hold on, I don’t want three pairs, I only want one’ so I put the extra two back. I’m also guilty of kidding myself that a figure like £49.99 isn’t really £50!”
Gaby is the brains behind Gaby’s Talking Picture Show on Radio 4. A radio panel show about film, how does that work? “The show is for anyone who likes films. It is firmly rooted in mainstream cinema past and present, with films we all love and the stars we feel we know. There are two teams, one captained by Cold Feet actor John Thomson and the other by comedian Ellie Taylor. The guest panellist list includes Sally Lindsay, Stephen Tompkinson, Richard Herring, Emma Kennedy and Marcus Brigstocke.
“Each week I’m also joined by brilliant impersonators Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona who showcase their incredible vocal talents by impersonating an eclectic mix of celebrities and movie stars. I am so proud and excited to be making this series for Radio 4. Having devised the show, co-producing and also hosting it, I can honestly say it’s an absolute thrill to make.”
Gaby made her name co-presenting the hugely popular Big Breakfast Show on Channel 4 in the early Nineties.
“I have such fond memories of that time,” she says. “I have great memories of all the shows I’ve done, actually, and I’m especially proud of City Hospital which we did live from Southampton for two years, and of Children in Need.”
Gaby co-presented Children in Need with the late Sir Terry Wogan. “Oh Terry…” she laughs. “He was such a cheeky so-and-so. He had a real glint in his eye and was such a giggler. He never wanted to rehearse and neither did I, and we’d have the production team on tenterhooks because we’d always go, ‘Oh we’ll just do it – we’ll be fine!’ Such happy memories I have of Terry.”
Gaby, who is 53 and married to publisher David Osman, is not content to rest on her laurels.
“I’m still ambitious and still have dreams when it comes to my career,” she says. “What I’d really like to do is a live TV chat show along the lines of The Ellen Show that comes from the USA. It would be like the Big Breakfast Show for the evenings. That’s my dream.”
Gaby says she often finds inspiration for ideas while she’s out walking.
“It has been proven that not only is walking good for the body, soul and bank balance, it is also very good for the brain. It’s good for thinking and sparks things off. I’m slightly addicted to walking, but if I’m going to have an addiction, I can’t think of a better one!”
- Shop Smart Save Money is on Channel 5 on Wednesdays. Gaby’s Talking Picture Show is on Radio 4 at 7.15pm on Sunday evenings.