Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'When you say 'babysit' does that mean I can have friends round for tequila parties?'
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The Independent Online

So, after the same nanny had been with us for four and a half years, we thought it was time for a change...

Interview One

Me: So, how long have you wanted to be a nanny?

Prospective nanny: Well, truth be told, I actually like animals more than children, but it was going to take way longer to be a vet. I figure if I hang around kids long enough, eventually a parent will buy them a hamster... Or a rabbit. They're my favourite animals. Have you seen those little ones with the floppy ears? Gorgeous, they are. Yes, I'd have to say that rabbits are my top animals. Apart from giraffes, obviously. Do you have any? Rabbits, not giraffes...

Interview Two

PN: So when you say "babysit", does that mean I can have friends round for tequila parties? Don't panic. I never get hangovers. I'm resilient like that. I think I'm the person you're looking for...

Interview Three

Me: Well, your CV looks great. Thanks for coming to meet me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

PN: Sure. Great. OK. Yeah. [Pause]

Me: Um. So, where are you from?

PN: Uh-huh. Far-out. Yes sirree... [Pause]

Me: Ah. I don't mean to be too personal, but are you OK?

PN: Sure. Never been better. Oh yes. Come on. The train is leaving the station. Let's get on board... [Starts making "chug-chug" sounds]

Me: Well, thank you for coming...

PN: Way cool, man. So is the gig mine? Say it is, babe. I'm on some wicked ride.

Husband [whispering]: Her pupils look extremely big.

Me [whispering]: What do we do? We've got someone else coming in 10 minutes. She's on something. You deal with it.

Husband: Excuse me. Um. Willow, was it? Yes, my wife and I are really happy you came to us but we have another 19 people to see in the next hour. Only one last thing. Whatever it is that you're, um, "on", have you got any left?

Interview Four

Me: So what's your favourite thing to do with children?

PN: Watching telly with them. There's nothing like some telly and biscuits to make everything better. Just a sofa and a telly. That's all anyone needs...

Interview Five

Me: So, then, you're in good health?

PN: Oh yes. I'm tip-top. I hardly ever go to the doctor.

Me: OK. Well, that's great. Everything seems totally fine. Do you want to come and meet the children?

PN: Sure, that would be fantastic. By the way, on the subject of health, do you know about my occasional turns?

Me: Turns?

PN: The agency must've left it off my CV.

Me: Funny, that. Well, I'm sure the odd flush or something is fine.

PN: They only occur about once a year.

Me: Well, thanks for being so honest. What happens, exactly?

PN: I black out.

Me: Come again?

PN: No. It doesn't happen again and again. Just once. Bam. I hit the floor. Out cold. And then I come round about five minutes later.

Me: I see.

PN: I know. Crazy, huh? My mum had it and her mum had it. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen when I'm carrying the baby upstairs! Hilarious. I can't stop making jokes, me. So, you were saying it's time to meet the children?

Interview Six

PN: Suntimes I like to get in the bath and soap mysell wid de children. I just take da soap and place it between ere and ere [pointing at pointy, I'm guessing double-D breasts] and I soap like dis. All over. And if you're at de work, maam, den your husband can come and watch and enjoy the bubble time wiv me?

Husband [panting]: That would be, um, great. Your references and everything are spot-on. Can you start at once?

Me: Thank you so much for coming. Unfortunately, I've already given the job to someone else.

Interview Seven

PN: You're not weird about chanting in the morning, are you? Seriously, some people who have interviewed me get all uppity and strange about me needing to just let it out at dawn. If it's going to be a problem then just say.

Me: Um...

PN: Come on. Spit it out. Don't be scared. Maybe the whole household should chant together. Chant with me now, in fact. Come on, get those butts off the sofa right now. Kneel on the floor and feel the wood. Hum with me. Start low and then let it come out all wild and that.

Husband: [kneeling]: Is Jeremy Beadle hiding behind the curtains?

Interview Eight

Me: So, you know where everything is?

My mum: Yes, darling – and anything that I don't, I can always bring over.

Me: And you're OK with the fact that they're a bit noisy.

Mum: Dealt with you, didn't I?

Me: You're hired.

Husband: You. Me. Back to bed. Now. And call back that Spanish nanny. Um. It's bath time.

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