'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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine