My Mentor: Caroline Flack on Leigh Francis
'Leigh is really supportive and honest. he watches everything i do'
Monday 09 June 2008
I hadn't done any presenting work before I met Leigh Francis (aka Avid Merrion from Bo' Selecta!) and so the avenue to the TV presenting world was opened up by him.
We first met around four years ago and he was dressed as Craig David in an office reception. I thought he was a complete loon. I really tried to talk to him normally but he would not come out of character. Leigh is so spontaneous. I had a part as Bubbles in Bo' Selecta! and I always wanted to work with a script but he taught me how to work without one. He also taught me how to be myself and relax more in front of the camera.
Leigh is gentle, really supportive and honest. He watches everything I do and will say if I was brilliant or not too good. Leigh is the opposite to what he's like when he's in character, which is really ballsy. When he's in character he is cheeky and asks you questions about your personal life that he wouldn't ask if he was being himself. His wife is my make-up artist and I went to their wedding. They're good friends of mine now.
I'm starting a new show now called Live at Indig02, which is quite different to what I've done before because everything I've done before is quite comedy-based and light-hearted. On the other programme that I present, TMi, I've dressed up like a bear, done an angry dance and asked people what their favourite ice cream is. On this show I'm interviewing people like Paul Weller who don't want to be asked what their favourite ice cream is.
But it's great, I'm seeing a different side to myself. I've now done virtually everything there is to do in TV presenting; I've done sport shows, comedy shows and I'm now doing music, which is great for me.
Leigh has always said "Just have a good time with it, if you're proper enjoying it then that's the point," and I've always taken that advice really. The moment I stop enjoying it that's when I'll stop doing it.
Caroline Flack is a presenter for the BBC Saturday morning children's show, TMi. Leigh Francis is the comedian behind the 'Bo' Selecta!' series
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