Steph McGovern ‘felt suddenly’ she had to ‘be someone else’ on first day at BBC

Steph McGovern, now known for her Channel 4 show Steph’s Packed Lunch, has revealed she felt pressure to be “someone else” during her first day at the BBC.

However, the 41-year-old received a message from her editor telling her to be herself – and she now sees being “normal” as one of the secrets to her success.

Talking in an interview with Prima magazine, the TV host elaborated: “I remember when I was first about to go on air at the BBC, I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to be a BBC reporter!’

“I was never going to change my voice in a million years, and yet I felt like suddenly I had to be someone else.”

However, after a heart-to-heart with an editor who insisted: “No, just be yourself”, she now has exactly the same message for others – “Don’t change who you are.”

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Steph added that although being the face of a major TV show means her life is no longer the way it was, she never takes herself “too seriously” and maintains the down-to-earth demeanour she first started with.

“I don’t let the impact of fame make any difference, because I think it’s important to my success to never lose my identity,” she mused.

“I have to be able to look and sound like my audience, otherwise, what’s the point? It’s funny that my unique selling point is being normal!”

Meanwhile the popular presenter added: “The best compliment I ever get is when someone says, ‘I want to go for a pint with Steph.’ That’s the vibe I want to give, and it’s the thing I always try to remember about staying normal.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, Steph opened up about her Strictly Come Dancing ambitions, explaining that she’d love to do the show, but has family priorities at home.

She has a mystery girlfriend, whom she has never formally introduced to the public, and the couple share a four-year-old daughter, whose birthday falls in November.

Keen to keep her private life under wraps, the name of her little one has remained a secret too, but behind the scenes, Steph is an involved parent.

She revealed that she makes time to take her to and from nursery each day, while she also “purposely” avoids checking her phone in the evenings until she’s in bed.

That way the pair can have quality time together, and as Steph doesn’t want to be “away from her”, she has her sights set on Strictly in the years to come instead.

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However, the star has enjoyed some TV show fame, including an appearance on The Masked Dancer which saw her as the face of Tomato Sauce.

Fans were open-mouthed when she unveiled herself and revealed her true identity, while last week she shared snaps of herself on a night out with her body double from the show.

“Rosie pretended to be me on The Masked Dancer. She had no idea who Tomato Sauce was until after the reveal,” she told her 116,000 followers.

The September 2023 issue of Prima is now on sale, while Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at midday on Channel 4 from Monday 4 September.

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