Charlene White celebrates her birthday and the success of her cousin Nadine, who’s got an important job to do at the Independent.
The wonderful thing about juggling a tonne of jobs is that every day really is different. My week can swing between discussing a £3,000 Balenciaga coat that looks like a high-vis jacket on Loose Women to explaining the latest Covid infection rates on ITV News. Or travelling across the UK working on my latest long-form programme.
Many hats, many pies but – as my school form teacher would probably still agree – me keeping busy is the best way to stay out of trouble!
June kicks off in style, with lunch and a catch-up with Ade Rawcliffe, group director of diversity and inclusion and board member at ITV. We’ve known each other for years but a combination of maternity leave and the pandemic mean that we haven’t met face-to-face since summer 2019.
Career-wise, so much has changed for both of us in that time. It is good to talk it all over and have a chat about where the industry has and hasn’t changed since Black Lives Matter took hold here last year.
It has also been an interesting year for my cousin Nadine White, who is now the race correspondent at the Independent (she formerly worked at HuffPost). June marks the first time the two of us have been interviewed together for a magazine feature – not only that, we are to be the front-cover stars.
A pretty epic moment for the both of us. I’m super proud of everything she’s achieved thus far. Her star will just keep on rising – trust me.
This month also sees the start of filming for my next long-form project, with probably the most diverse team of talented production folk I’ve worked with since my days at BBC Radio 1Xtra News. That’s pretty special.
I’m still new to long-form and have got a lot to learn, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience, which is taking me around the UK – and hopefully further afield if restrictions allow. I won’t say much more about it, but it’ll be a good ’un…
But what I will shout about from the rooftops is what a lovely afternoon I have interviewing Fearne Cotton for Stella Live. I’m a huge admirer of Fearne. I think she’s just wonderful.
Just to sit and chat with her about mental health struggles, life and readjusting to life post-lockdown is a dream. I’m so so happy to say that she was as beautiful a soul as I’d hoped she would be. And, yes, I’m massively fan-girling here!
This month also involves taking part in a brilliant event for Women in Journalism about returning to work after time off for maternity leave. The fantastic panel of journalists includes Sun editor Victoria Newton.
Navigating work after you’ve had a kid can be really tricky. I’m a big fan of being honest about how hard it can be and sharing tips to try and ease the pressure. It’s about time all parents were valued in the workplace, and for businesses to work with parents rather than against them. Especially mothers.
This month, I also squeeze in my 41st birthday and take the kids to Legoland. And we bury yet another family member. Thankfully, this time the cause of death is not Covid, though sadly the funeral is held under lockdown restrictions.
I’m so proud of what my family has achieved despite these limits. But after well over a year of having to say goodbye to loved ones from afar, and having to grieve at a distance, I’m yearning for a good old Caribbean celebration of life.
Charlene White is a presenter on Loose Women and ITV News.