'It has always been about my sanity'

...says Norwich-dwelling, vegetarian Trisha on her move to Five. Ciar Byrne listens

The turning point in Trisha Goddard's negotiations to keep her daytime chat show on ITV came when newspapers reported that other female presenters had been screen-tested for her job.

If bosses at Granada had acted swiftly to refute the claims, her final decision to ditch the network in favour of its younger rival, Five, might not have been made so easily. As it was, speculation that Natasha Kaplinsky, Vanessa Feltz and Claire Sweeney, among others, were being lined up to replace her, made Goddard defiant. "I didn't read any stories refuting them, which would have been great... It's like when you hear your bloke's been in the pub, saying he can get any girl going. I'd say, 'You know what? Do it'."

In October 2004, at the end of an already traumatic year in which she lost her mother and her best friend, Goddard announced that she was quitting ITV in favour of a two-year, £5m golden-handcuffs deal with Five. Her new show starts on weekday afternoons from 24 January.

Those who go out to work may not be acquainted with Goddard, the UK's answer to Oprah Winfrey, whose morning shows, Trisha, on ITV featured such delights as on-air paternity tests and lie detectors enabling guests to discover whether their partners have been cheating on them. While its content may not be to everyone's taste, Trisha was hot property for Granada, drawing in around 1.5 million viewers daily. But despite being offered more money, Goddard chose to defect to Five and the promise of complete creative freedom to make her show through her own Norwich-based production company, Town House TV.

"What Granada had to offer and what I felt I needed was not the same. I'm a vegetarian, so if I go into a steakhouse, somewhere, me and the steakhouse are going to part company. It was time for something new. It has never been about the money. It has always been about my sanity. I wanted to spread my wings creatively," says Goddard, a trained mental-health counsellor.

Her show has been criticised for presenting the results of DNA tests to guests live on air. One 19-year-old, Anthony Sampson, attacked his girlfriend's father after discovering that he was not the father of her four-month-old son. When he admitted the assault at Norwich magistrates court, his solicitor described Trisha as "the lowest common denominator" and "absolutely appalling".

"People always take pot shots. Which show has not attracted criticism?" responds Goddard. She has not yet decided whether her Five show will also feature DNA tests, but points out that she made the tests available to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them, and provided post-show counselling.

She is not concerned about who will replace her at ITV. "The people who would worry me aren't on TV. I've discovered them and I'm going to work with them." Nor will she admit to worries that Five, a young channel, will not deliver as big an audience. "I like the new kid on the block, the underdog who is keen and hungry."

Did she have other offers? "I could have gone to another network that will remain nameless," she replies, adding that it wasn't Channel 4. US broadcasters have also approached her, but she decided to stay in Britain for the sake of her family - she lives near Norwich with her husband and two young daughters.

Goddard began her television career in Australia as a current-affairs journalist with SBS TV, and then as presenter on ABC's news and current -affairs programme The 7.30 Report, where she was the country's first black primetime anchor. While she herself has never suffered from racism - she was headhunted to become a chat-show host in 1998 - she believes that it is still prevalent in British television. "It's a very unfashionable thing to say. It's not recognised now - we know those mindsets are there, but broadcasters all vehemently deny it. How many black presenters are there really?"

She sums up her decision to move to Five as "intuitive": "I was pretty sceptical when Five came along. What did it for me was when Dan Chambers [Five's head of programmes] said, 'We believe in you. Wherever you want to take us, we'll go'. Those were the sweetest words."

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Sport
Jose Mourinho restrains his assistant manager Rui Faria, Fabio Borini celebrates his winning penalty and Connor Wickham equalises for Sunderland
sportChelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Deafeat is extra bitter as former Chelsea player Fabio Borini scores late penalty to seal victory
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

Business, Marketing and Tourism Volunteer Projects

Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit