August Update

So it’s August and I’ve decided to have a mini break in the sun with one of my dearest friends… and as I sit here typing the rain is lashing down and we’ve had thunder and lightening… and I’m not even in the UK! I’ve just realised I haven’t updated my blog properly since at least April.  Apologies!  So here’s a whistle stop tour of the last few months for me…

Joe Swift, Monty Don, Carol Klein, Sophie Raworth and yours truly

Joe Swift, Monty Don, Carol Klein, Sophie Raworth and yours truly

May has to be the total highlight of my presenting year as it’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show for a whole week.  The one place I work where we’re all totally upstaged by the blooms, displays and gardens over the 11 acre, or so, site. And this year was no exception.  Here’s a snap of the presenting team (well, most of us) standing outside our ‘green room’ behind the scenes at Chelsea.

I talk about this show being my highlight, well I didn’t expect to be interviewing HRH The Prince of Wales on the preview day!  We chatted about sustainable urban drainage at the Greening Grey Britain garden which beautifully illustrated this theme.  His Royal Highness has been doing a lot of work on sustainable urban drainage through his Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. He was funny, charismatic and very well informed!  We’d met the week before at a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. I went with my girlfriend and it was a truly wonderful day.  Here we are in all our finery and OTT hats.

Meeting HRH The Prince of Wales.

Meeting HRH The Prince of Wales. I’ve got this photo in a frame at home – v proud!

June saw the weather change for the better just as I jetted off to Australia for filming Wanted Down Under. I took the rain with me.  Typical!!  This must be a theme…..Hard to believe but it’s the 10th series and I’ve filmed 8 of them. It was a quick trip, visiting Melbourne, Cairns, Port Douglas, Sydney then home.. not even time for jet lag.



Filming in Australia with the crew

Filming in Australia with the crew

 So much work goes into making this remarkable series and I can take very little credit for the bulk of the effort! Months and month of preparation, finding the right couples and families, organising visas and travel details…..  In all honesty, it must be a logistical nightmare.  For me, the most rewarding part of the show is the final section, where we find out once and for all whether the featured family are going to make the biggest decision of their lives’ (I can even hear the drum roll as I type….) Filming with the majority of the families has now finished, the life-changing decisions have been made and either they’re now busy packing or looking at their lives back in the UK and thinking ‘well life isn’t that bad’.  Most of August is spent with the BBC Northern Ireland team who make the show in Belfast.  We’re currently busy in the edit (with the exception of a few days off to holiday in Majorca) where I’ve been voicing the first 20 shows. You’ll have to waituntil January 2016 to see the new series..

Filming ETTC with Johnny Wheeler & T'Peter

Filming ETTC with Johnny Wheeler & T’Peter

July saw me return to Escape to the Country, with it’s sister show Escape to the Continent back on our screens which I filmed in the Autumn last year.  Dorset and Devon both seem to be a popular choice for our contributors wishing to ‘escape’ and whilst in Dorset I tried my hand at Beach Polo. Yep, it does what it says on the tin and a truly splendid afternoon was spent in Sandbanks learning or ‘trying’ to master this skill.  Half the things I try my hand at are not only new to me, but courtesy of Escape I’ve had some fantastic experiences, for which I am very grateful, including this one … me, a beautiful polo pony, a gorgeous afternoon cantering along the sandy beach and once in a blue moon I even managed to hit the ball. I’d call that bliss.

I’ve been covering some holiday leave for Vanessa Feltz, or Lady V, over the past few weeks on BBC Radio 2. If you’re an early riser you may have heard me and for those who tweeted and text in here’s a big ‘thank you’!  Having spent so long in the music industry it feels like going back

Early Breakfast made up of cakes at BBCR2

Early Breakfast made up of cakes at BBCR2

to my roots… I’m still mastering the desk (I managed to lose the news for 15 seconds) and play in the right jingle at the right time but I adore being there and will be back again in September.

Some of you may have noticed from my Twitter account that I’m a professional and personal coach working with large corporations as well as with individuals, on a one to one basis.  On my next blog I’ll write in more detail about the kind of work I do (which I’m very passionate about) but for now I will share a wonderful book with you, which I’ve been reading on holiday – Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers… Let me know what you think.

Lastly, Wanted Down Under Revisited repeats have been going out again on BBC1 in the mornings and, by your reactions and the viewing figures, these are doing very well indeed. More to following in January….

Happy Holiday! Love this pool!!

Happy Holiday! Love this pool!!

Well it looks like the sun has decided to reappear so I’m going to try and grab a few more hours in the sunshine… .  I’ll spare you the bikini shot but leave you with this instead.

Wishing you all a good summer and a few more lazy, long days.


BBC Radio 2mail Highlights

Hi, Nicki C with you on 2mail duties for the first time.

I’ve had a wonderful time sitting in for Lady V in the mornings over the last few weeks. As I began my career in the music biz, I can’t tell you what a treat it is to be part of Radio 2 and to be able to play the songs I love the most.

To that end, I accepted the challenge of picking 20 of my favourite songs of all-time. That list changes day-by-day and hour-by-hour, but I think you’ll enjoy the ones I finally settled on.

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Nicki’s 20 Fave Pop Songs

Nicki Chapman has worked with many of the biggest pop stars in the world, but what are her favourite pop songs?

Wonder  no more as she’s hand-picked 20 of her faves just for 2mail!

From Pharrell to Blondie, this is her personal tour through her  musical life.



Celebrating Cilla

Celebrating Legendary Cilla

Radio 2 celebrates the life of one of the nation’s greatest stars with another chance to hear Cilla Black’s career-spanning chat with Johnnie Walker.

From her early days to the heights of fame, this show proves why she will always be in our hearts.




 Mumford’s Killer 80s Cover

Mumford & Sons were live in session for Jo Whiley from Maida Vale, where they covered one of the 80s biggest hits.

But which one?

You will love their version!



julian clary

What Julian Wrote Next…

Irreverent comic Julian Clary joined Simon Mayo to chat about writing his first children’s book The Bolds.

He says he found his inner child writing this tale about a family of hyenas in Teddington and that the whole tale came to him in a couple hours.




Folk Festival 2015 Highlights

Now in it’s 51st year, the Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the musical events of the summer.

Mark Radcliffe was back this year to lead Radio 2’s coverage of the festival, which saw performances by Joan Baez, Nick Mulvey and Peggy Seeger.