I sometimes pop up on the telly in a BBC1 Consumer Affairs programme called Rip Off Britain. It’s on every week day morning during September.
I’m only ever on fleetingly for a few minutes here and there so it’s not a big part. The stars of the show are of course the three presenters Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon and Julia Somerville.
Working with the three ladies makes you realise why they are so well known. They are extremely good at their job, very personable and also very bright.
When I film my little bit I am one of a number of ‘experts’ lined up to answer consumer problems. I tackle the legal side but there is also a travel xexpert, a Trading Standards Officer, a couple of personal finance journalists, and an internet and telecommunication expert. And the three presenters glide from one scenario to the other, be it legal, travel or finance, fully on top of the issues and able to talk it through with the consumer who feels ripped off.
But for me the fascinating part of being involved in a telly programme is all the work behind the scenes, all the effort that goes into getting it right, being fair to all parties and just how much time is spent on producing just a few minutes of TV. And after the cameras have stopped rolling the work goes on.
I am still sorting out a couple of the legal case studies I worked on for the show – claiming back monies for folk who have been ripped off and it’s a good feeling when you get a result.
My small part in the show means I don’t get recognised apart from by people who know me anyway.
A friend mentioned that his wife saw me at the gym, which was a shock I’m not known for being a fitness fanatic but he meant I was on the telly whilst she was on the jogging machine.
However, as every lawyer knows there are two sides to everything. I was speaking at a charity coffee morning the other day and to get the conversation going round the tables I asked someone I was sat next to if she watched Rip Off Britain. “Oh no,” she said. “I don’t like that programme.” I said weakly, “I’m on it sometimes answering legal problems”. She still wasn’t impressed, “I’ll wave if I see you,” she said.