The phrase, ‘I don’t how she does it’, could have been written for this lady. A former well-known face of primetime UK TV, five-time Emmy nominee for ‘Outstanding Host’ and BAFTA Award winner Cat Deeley is now one of the foremost television presenters in the US. From 2006 to 2019, Cat has presented the US dance reality hit television show, So You Think You Can Dance. She was the first ever Brit to host on Regis & Kelly as well as becoming the first regular entertainment correspondent for both Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show and Good Morning America. The incredibly busy mum of two boys – Milo (4) and James (2) – is also a UNICEF Ambassador, has 259K Instagram followers and has just written her debut children’s picture book. WOW! Luckily Cat still managed to squeeze in some precious time to chat (virtually) to S4K about her inspiration for The Joy In You and her plans for Christmas…
Q) Describe yourself in only five words?
A lovable, self-deprecating reprobate.
Q) What do you think you will remember most about 2020 when you look back in years to come?
2020 is the year we moved home and I taught Milo to read and ride his bike.
Q) Your debut picture book, The Joy in You, encourages children to believe in and express themselves. Was your inspiration concern about the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health and wellbeing?
Actually no … The book was written long before the start of the pandemic. It was my boys , who were really the inspiration behind the book, it’s a love letter to them. However, it is now more important than ever that kids feel empowered to talk about their emotions and feelings. I feel the more we all talk to each other the better we will get through this, with the least amount of damage, both children and adults. I think we all need to be reminded right now to seek out the joy in life and the joy in us.Starring a very cute koala The Joy In You shares a humorous, upbeat, and empowering message of finding what makes you happy and is a warm and wonderful bedtime story to be shared and enjoyed as a whole family.
“I think we all need to be reminded right now to seek out the joy in life and the joy in us.”
Q) As a UNICEF UK Ambassador, is there any message that you would like to share with our readers at Christmastime?
I’ve been an UNICEF UK Ambassador for 10 years and in all that time I have never witnessed a crisis quite like the Coronavirus pandemic that is so far-reaching and of this scale; in fact it’s the biggest crisis for children since World War Two! This Christmastime, UNICEF needs our support more than ever, to reach children and their families both here in the UK and around the world, who have been severely impacted by the pandemic and especially in countries where the health systems are already so fragile.
Q) What are your plans for Christmas this year? Do you have any special family traditions?
This year we are going to my mum and dads, with my brother and his family. We don’t really have any traditions, apart from general wildness! All the kids will run downstairs in a dizzying state of excitement to see ‘if he’s been’. Then glorious mayhem will ensue and everyone will stay in their pyjamas ‘till lunchtime!
THE JOY IN YOU by Cat Deeley with illustrations by Rosie Butcher is published by Random House Children’s Books HB £12.99, out now.
Image credit Joseph Sinclair