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At Home with…Cherry Healey

West London MumBest known for her hugely successful BBC3 documentaries, Cherry is insightful, witty, challenging and compassionate about the subjects she covers, with a genuine desire to give voice to the true character of the contributors she encounters. She has made many documentaries for BBC3, including Drinking with the Girls, Is Breast Best? and investigations into current views on relationships, prejudice and vanity.

She has just finished filming a food/science series for BBC1, which will air in January 2013.  She lives in Shepherds Bush with her husband and daughter.

Where are you right now?

In my ‘office’ – on the 94 bus into town.  It’s where I do all my emails as it’s an hour with absolutely no distractions.

What do you do for ‘me-time’?

I potter.  Around the house, around the shops.  I love the energy of London and the craziness of it.  I love to sit in coffee shops and watch the world go by.  It’s where I can switch off and get away from my computer.

Where is your favourite place to eat in West London?

We love Automat on Dover Street.   It’s so stylish, like being on a 1920’s train.  My husband and I went there after we got engaged so it’s a special place for us – but for grown ups only.

Career and children – top tip on how do you do it?

I manage my expectations about what I can do, in terms of both work and being a mummy and try not to be too hard on myself.  Being freelance I am lucky in that I get to spend a lot of time with my daughter, so it’s about trying to get the right balance and to feel peaceful with that balance.   I enjoy life logistics which really helps when you are a working mum.  I love the challenge of logistics and try to squeeze as much as possible into a day.  I am operating about eight levels of admin at any one time!

If you had to make a quick escape where would you go?

Paris.  When I was 16 and still at school, I went on a trip to Paris with my Mum.  She showed me a whole side to the city that I didn’t know existed.  We went to all the exhibitions and she told me the history of all the buildings.  It was the first time I realised how clever my Mum was and I loved seeing her in that way.  My first ‘grown up’ holiday with friends was also to Paris – it’s such a romantic and inspiring city.

What is on your bedside table?

I’m currently reading ‘Stuart – A Life Backwards’ – a biography by Alexander Masters of his homeless friend Stuart Shorter, exploring how his troubled childhood led him to a life of crime and violence.   I always have about five books on the go, including lots of diet books and health books too.  If there’s a new diet or health fad out there, I’ve got to have it!

 ..and three things you’d take with you to a desert island?

My husband and daughter (they come as a package), my phone, tomato ketchup.

Who would you most like to meet for a drink?

Sarah Beeny.  She is a great role model as a working mother with four children.  I think she is a really exciting person on TV at the moment.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Beauty products.  I love Space NK particularly Sarah Chapman’s ‘Overnight Facial’.

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

As a family we love to walk slowly to a coffee shop, get croissants and mooch about.  We just love being at home, mucking about together or watching films together in bed.

What do you most love about Christmas?

I love the moment after the present-opening chaos, just before the big meal when you have a glass of champagne and you know there is still lots more to come.  It’s three days when I have a ‘no work’ ticket and no guilt about it.  Everyone’s off so I can just think about family, food, drink and chocolate.

For more information on Cherry, please visit:

 www.cherryhealey.com or follow on Twitter at @cherryhealey


Cherry was talking to Annabelle King.

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