Just last week I was on air, minding my own business chatting about some great pieces from our jewellery range at clearance prices when, during a break, I suddenly heard my producer in my ear.
“I nominate you.”
‘What?!’ I thought and asked him to repeat what he said. “I nominate you for the Ice Bucket Challenge”, he said, and – not having any idea what he was talking about – I asked him to explain.
It all started in order to raise awareness for Motor Neurone Disease, known in the U.S. (where the challenge originated) as ALS. The idea being that you nominate someone to pour a bucket of ice cold water over their head and if they refuse to do it then they have to make a donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. So refusing to accept the challenge is actually no bad thing! However, lots of celebrities have become involved and everyone now wants to pour buckets of ice cold water over their head, and give money too.
I agreed to do it but only on the proviso that I got 150 tweets with the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge.
Just to be clear, I didn’t request that just to increase my Twitter profile in case that’s what you are thinking! Instead, I wanted to create interest online was so that I could get donations for a worthy cause – I sent information on how to donate back to all those who tweeted me with the hashtag.
Before I knew what was happening I had accepted the challenge and there were tweets flying all over the Twittersphere about it.
Part of the challenge is that you have to drench yourself in the iced water within 24 hours. I knew I was back at work the next day but I wasn’t planning on doing it on air or anything. I thought I would just film it on my phone after work and tweet it along with donation details. But the producer who nominated me had other ideas!
When I arrived into work he told me to get ready for going on air as usual, so there I was in my suit, make-up and hair all done, and was then told I was going to get iced live on air at 10am in the middle of Richard Jackson’s two-hour gardening show.
Our floor managers managed to find a lot of ice from somewhere – they can be incredibly resourceful, particularly were the ritual humiliation of a presenter is concerned – an before I knew where I was, I was standing in the outdoor garden set, live on air, explaining about Motor Neurone Disease and how to text in a donation. I then had to make my nominations as to which of my colleagues I wanted to participate. I nominated Catherine Huntley as she was standing just a few yards a way, Jackie Kabler because I knew she would be up for it, and finally Dale Franklin. All the while a large yellow bucket of iced water hovered overhead like the Sword of Damocles ready to fall at any moment.
And fall it did, its cool iciness soaking through my suit and my shirt. But that wasn’t enough for the crew so in they came with a second bucket and then a third bucket – they are nothing if not thorough, those guys!
It was all a bit of fun and I hope that it managed to raise some money for a very worthwhile cause. If you missed it live on air, here it is to watch again:
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If you wish to donate it is very easy to do by text. Simply text ICED55 followed by any amount (for example, ICED55 £5) to 70070 and your donation will be added to your bill or deducted from your pre-paid credit.
I’ve made my donation as well as accepting the ice bucket challenge so please get involved too, but remember it is all about raising awareness and funds for a very worthy cause.