March 2015 update

Christ The Redeemer

Christ The Redeemer

Well March is now with us and as I sit and type, the sun is shining and spring has nearly, very nearly, sprung.

It’s been a really interesting start to the year with plenty of travels to places I’m not overly familiar with.  I was delighted when P & O invited me once again to join their ship Aurora on part of its world tour as one of their guest speakers.  Sadly I couldn’t spare the full four months (yep, that’s the full ‘world tour’).  In January, I flew to Rio to join the ship and its passengers after spending a few days in the city itself.  And what a city it is…  You do have to have your wits about you but if ever there’s a place on earth that celebrates it’s beaches, carnivals, music and football, it’s Rio de Janeiro.

Ruta del Fin del Mundo, or Route to the End of the World.

Ruta del Fin del Mundo, or Route to the End of the World.

The highlight of this part of the trip had to be visiting a ‘favela’ called Vidigal high up with views across Ipanema Beach… a once in a lifetime experience where we drank, sampled the local cuisine and ate like kings… From there we visited Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, Punta Arenas in Chile – a sprawling city on the edge of the Magellan Straits and the wonderfully named Ruta del Fin del Mundo (route to the end of the world) and then decided to add a few days in Buenos Aires before returning home.

In February we recorded some Escape to the Country Specials. It was great to catch up with the other presenters – Jules, Alastair, Jonnie and Sonali.  As we spend over half a year on the road recording the series we rarely get a chance to actually meet up, swap stories and find out who sold the most houses – not usually me sadly! These Specials will go out later in the year on BBC One.

Wanted Down Under is just finishing now on BBC One, but already the team are filming the new series which will air in Spring 2016.  I fly out to Oz later this year.  This series has been a huge success and thanks to all of you who have been tweeting or on Facebook with your views and thoughts on our families.  It’s a huge challenge and decision to move to the other side of the world… Could you do it?  Listening to your comments, it seems the Revisits are so popular and more will follow in 2016…

Vidigal, with views over Ipanema Beach

Vidigal, with views over Ipanema Beach

Most of last summer was spent filming Escape to the Country but also our second series of Escape to the Continent – it does what it says on the tin. I particularly love filming this show, exploring new areas of Europe, showing our couples a possible new way of life, but also giving them a reality check on what this ‘new life’ might entail.  We’re just finishing off this second series. I’m off to Malta with my next couple, and the show should air later on this year.  Hopefully early summer.

I’ve posted on Twitter a few photos from The BRITs, which was fabulous and brought back memories of my years in the Music Industry… seeing Take That perform again was like déjà vu! I met Ricky Wilson, currently doing great business on The Voice, and spent far too long swapping judging stories comparing Pop Idol to the entertainment shows of today.  We all love a ‘journey’!!

The tale of two judges!

The tale of two judges!

On a personal level, since being inspired by the Spanish Riding School in the autumn, I’m now back in the saddle and trying to ride each weekend.  You can call me the ‘happy hacker’.  I’m currently on Lent… I won’t bore you with the details, but will share that it’s been harder than ever. Hopefully by the time I write again it will all be over for another year….   I’m back on BBC Radio 2 in a few weeks time, just about to start filming the new series of Escape to the Country, and am starting to get excited about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. OK, it’s not until May, but a girl can dream….

Hello 2015!

Well here we are in 2015 and it’s shaping up quite well.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year (it seems ages ago now).  So far this year I’ve celebrated a birthday, sat in for the lovely Janice Long on BBC Radio 2 for ‘After-midnight’ (always such a pleasure and thanks for those messages) and am getting ready for more filming on Escape to the Country, plus some talks and a wonderful cruise with P&O … Wanted Down Under is currently on BBC1 every morning at 9.15 am and gauging by your twitter and Facebook comments,  you’re thoroughly enjoying this new series.  I love to hear your feedback… Also keep an eye out for some new episodes of Escape to the Country too.  They’re coming up shortly.  Have a great 2015.  Nicki

2014 Update

What a crazy couple of months and a great autumn it’s been. Now I’m definitely struggling to adjust to this winter weather (when are those Australian dates coming up again….?!).

It’s this time of year that you start to reflect on the year to date… and it’s certainly been a busy one. Always having the travel bug, a return trip to Oz for Wanted Down Under was a delight, plus visiting Cambodia and Vietnam for the first time has to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Escape Interview (cider barrel!)

One of the ‘jewels’ in my presenting career is hosting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and this year was no exception. Bring on May 2015 for yet another floral frenzy….. And where would I be without Escape to the Country. I think I may have even sold the odd house or two. Seriously!!

Highlights of the last couple of months alone have been travelling the breadth of Europe for Escape To The Continent as well as hosting The Spanish Riding School of Vienna. I was working, or should that be watching, in awe as Carl Hester, Lee Pearson and Natasha Baker, our Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists, gave their dressage demonstrations to audiences of thousands at Sheffield and Wembley Areas.

Spanish Riding School

 

I’m finally enjoying some down time back home (log fire and some good/bad TV, yes please) and looking forward to spending the Christmas season with family. I’ll also be popping into BBC Radio 2 to host some shows towards the end of the month and early January (they’re my family too, don’t forget!), so make sure you send in your festive requests and you may get a shout out and dedication from yours truly.

Keep an eye out for the new series of Wanted Down Under on BBC1 in January. Tears and tantrums a plenty, plus hopefully some life changing moments too!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!
See you all in 2015!
Nicki x

Welcome!

So firstly thank you for checking out my brand new website, it’s a fresh start with lots of things coming up so keep checking in for the latest updates.

This summer has been barmy (and I’m not just talking about the weather); we’ve just wrapped on Wanted Down Under for another series and I’m already missing it. For those who don’t know, the series sees me fly out to Australia or New Zealand with families for a week long relocation trial, after which they have to decide whether they want to re-locate. I love to get to know the families and their dreams but it’s a big move and a massive undertaking.

photo

Escape To The Country has also been in full swing. We had the pleasure of traveling the length and breadth of the British countryside from Cornwall to North Yorkshire, with my wellies at the ready! However, I’m happy to report they stayed clean and unused this series.

I’m excited that there is word of further ‘Escapes’ with the second series of Escape To The Continent also being filming a little later this year. Not that I’m keen or anything but my suitcase is ready and waiting at the door..