Susannah Schofield had the pleasure of first meeting Lucy Piper at the Mum&Working Awards nearly three years ago, since then they have shared a stage annually with Lucy doing the amazing job of compering, and introducing guests which include Caprice, Annabel Carmel MBE, Sarah-Jane Honeywell and many, many more wonderful, hard working women.
However this was our Editors-in-Chief’s chance to turn the table and ask Lucy what has been the highlights for her, from a career that has been filled with exciting roles, ranging from professional dancer, Yes Car Credit girl, QVC presenter and most recently Nutribullet commercial host.
What is your proudest achievement? There are a lot of achievements I am proud of, not least from being the little 16 year old girl that left her Somerset home to fulfill the dream of being a dancer….not realising where the bumpy road full of highs and lows would lead. But of course, my proudest achievements have to be my two children, Phoebe 11 and Charlie 7.
What do you do before 9am and after 5pm? My day starts at 7am to get me and my children up, ready and breakfast done before school. One of my favourite things, very small I know, is my cup of tea every morning made by my husband David. Always nicer when he makes it!
After 5pm if I am not at work we are at clubs, be that football, ballet, gym or swimming… No one tells you about the role as taxi driver you have once your kids reach school age. There is always a million and one jobs still to do in the evening but I love to meet my husband on the sofa to squeeze in a favourite TV programme if we can.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self? I was a real worrier and lacked confidence. I would definitely love to have not wasted so much time stressing and running myself down. I think I would have enjoyed my teens and dance training a lot more if I realised all my hard work was going to pay off! I would say, just go for it, not doubt myself. It wasn’t till I left dance college at 19 and was selected for jobs from a room full of hopeful dancers that I thought ‘you know what, I deserve to be here’.
Who is your greatest inspiration? My greatest inspiration has to be my parents. I couldn’t just go home and tell them this is too tough, I quit! They were always there for me, supporting me, dusting me down after a particularly tough week. They would talk to me for hours on the phone and all evening when I arrived home for a weekend. My dad always worked so hard to take care of us, most of my childhood doing two jobs. I know he would have loved to have been in the industry. It’s definitely where I get it from!! I always wanted to make them proud and fulfil their dreams for me too.
What are the 3 key things that have contributed to your success?
Number 1 – Tenacity – Going out of my comfort zone and pushing yourself.
Number 2 – Determination. Not taking ‘No’ for an answer, keep going, improving and believing.
Number 3- Being grateful. Never forgetting where you have come from, being kind to those you meet and work with. Always giving 100% of yourself.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Control the controllables. This is a phrase my husband uses. The most level-headed, calm man I know. When I am ever overwhelmed or taken on too much in life, he is brilliant to make me see sense and reassure me that I am doing just fine. Thank you David!
What is your biggest regret? When I was in my early 20’s I went through an audition process to be in a manufactured band and host Saturday morning TV with Ant&Dec. I was so excited. After a whole summer of auditions backwards and forwards I was selected for the band and probably the most life changing opportunity but then the producers realised they should have filmed the whole process. The reactions of us calling home, the tears of joy as we got to the next stage would make great TV! So they asked us to go back and do the whole process again this time to film it all from the start….but with no guarantee that we would win again. From there, Reality TV was born, finding pop stars and bands. I wasn’t able to go back….my story could be very different but I’m a big believer in fate and that journey was not meant for me.
Ever had any Live TV bloopers?! My transition from the dance world to presenter happened very much by chance. A stroke of luck you could say…I was calling bingo on a cruise ship in the Caribbean as I was a dancer and got to do some other duties too. There was a TV crew on-board from The Morning Mix, a breakfast show in Chicago. They thought it would be fun to have a British girl read the news for a week or two and, after a short screen test, I was flying off there to read the news. With absolutely no talkback or autocue experience you can imagine it was very brave of them and terrifying for me. Safe to say I did it once or twice and never again. Much to my relief I became the roving reporter out and about, much more me! So I came back to the UK with a cracking showreel and my transition from dancer to presenter began….
What would surprise people about you? I would love to say I have climbed Everest and speak Mandarin Chinese. But I have climbed Ben Nevis and lived in Japan, China and Hong Kong. I’m also scared of animals and heights. Wouldn’t last 2 minutes in the jungle!!! I also would loved to have been a midwife!
What’s next? A busy time ahead at QVC as we approach Christmas in July (yes, we sell Christmas baubles in the middle of the summer!) The Baby Show at Olympia in October, I am in my 13th year there but I never tire of the world of baby and maternity. I love it! Then there’s always the possibility of an email or phone call of an unexpected job that comes my way and makes it all new and exciting.
How would you liked to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as a loyal wife, great mum and loving daughter. Someone who was a good friend to many and was always smiling.
How do you chill out? Life always seems to be busy. There never is a day with no plans. So I think my way to chill out is spending time meeting up with one of my girlfriends. I have made some brilliant friendships over the years in my career that I value deeply and work very hard to stay in touch, even if it’s jumping in the car for an hour or so to meet them. Going for dinner or brunch and having a good old natter is always a pleasure. I love talking, good job really!
If you had £100 how would you spend it? I’m a real sucker for beauty products. My friends and family feel like they are having a spa experience when they enter my bathroom. So I’ve always got my eye on a new lotion or potion, it makes me feel good taking care of myself. Although my husband would disagree when I take so long to do my night time ritual before bed! I also love my home, it’s my sanctuary to feel relaxed and love creating a nice space for my family so I love buying things for the home.
What did you want to be when you were young and why? I think I always wanted to be on the stage. As a family, we were all involved in the local theatre and all performed in the shows. I loved the buzz of show week, the make-up, costumes and that little rush of adrenaline as the orchestra played the overture.
What was the last thing you read that deeply impacted you? A piece of writing my 7 year old did about a dragon. He has to work hard with his spelling and writing and it was so wonderful to see his hard work had paid off and signs of it all coming together for him.
What is the most difficult situation you have ever encountered? Being told you are just not good enough, with your pride knocked and dented confidence at rock bottom but still having another go, not giving up or believing them.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Hopefully still doing what I love doing. Perhaps embarking on some more baby and maternity projects as this is a world I’m particularly passionate about. Training for another challenge to raise money & awareness for the charity Genesis Research Trust in which I am an ambassador for. Living in our forever family home with a pretty front door.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why? I have two. Thailand as this was where I spent my honeymoon but would love to go back and relive it again to mark an anniversary in a few years. Florida with the children. Disney was magical and at age 4 and 8 they were perfect ages to enjoy it. I love America and hoping to incorporate a drive down to Miami on the next Florida trip and New York at Christmas time.
What is the best business tip you have ever received? Sometimes you have to say No. You can’t always be everything to everyone. Know where your strengths lie and stay true to yourself. Keep the balance of work and family life. If it tips too much one way it just makes you miserable.
Pinpoint the moment in your life when you knew who and what you wanted to be? When I was 10 years old I went to London for a week on my own to a summer school at the Royal Academy Of Dancing. I didn’t know a soul and couldn’t put my hair in a bun but had to learn fast…this opened up a big wide world to me beyond my little home town of Frome. I loved the thrill of London and we were taken to see a West End show one evening which I remember thinking was completely magical. I was very inspired by the other girls I met and things I learnt
What is your favourite pastime? Dancing. Full stop. Whether it’s in the kitchen with my daughter, at a party on the dance floor or in a zumba class. I love it, complete mood lifter and calorie burner. Also, most recently, listening to books on audible. I don’t always have time to sit and read and just end up falling asleep when I do. This way I can listen when I drive, folding the laundry or washing up!
What are the things you procrastinate doing and why? Probably sorting through cupboards and throwing stuff out. I’m a bit of a hoarder and hang on to things ‘just in case’. I get very sentimental about belongings and love a memory box.
What does an average day hold for you? There’s is no such thing as an average day as it’s always different as a freelance presenter. It often involves if not going to work, prepping for it, talking to my mum on the phone as we do daily, looking after my children and laughing with my husband. He sees the funny side of everything and even in my worst moods, he will crack a gag to try to make me smile. He usually does!
Do you keep fit and if so doing what? I really should buy a Fitbit as I rarely sit down. It would be very interesting to count my steps. I do enjoy a good class at the gym and if I can get there twice a week I feel I am doing well. Can’t run for toffee but quite fancy getting on a bike if I can brave the saddle chafing!
Do you get enough sleep? I think I feel my best on between 7 and 8 hours sleep a night. Quite often I fall short of that, but once you have had kids and know the real meaning of sleep deprivation you normally can cope with very little sleep. My son did not sleep through the night till he was two! Nearly killed us!
Do you believe in luck, fate or just hard work? I think it’s a mixture of all of the above. Success is never easy, the most successful people have experienced failure on a few occasions before they succeed. If it was easy everyone would do it! I believe in being at the right place at the right time. I think if you want something enough, visualise it and are patient, it
Three words that describe you best? Hard-working. Thoughtful. Friendly.
What is the one thing you feel very passionate about? My family. Their safety, happiness and futures….
What is your worst habit…you are willing to share? I am a tidy freak. I get extremely impatient if my world around me isn’t organised and tidy. I cannot relax or function any other way. This means my family bear the brunt of me plumping cushions, straightening duvets and hiding their shoes away all the time.
What is your signature soundtrack? Daydream Believer. Always been a daydreamer and always believe my dreams will come true!