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Helen Skelton – the last word

December 2014

TV presenter Helen Skelton talks home style, prized possessions and guilty secrets in an exclusive interview with Story Homes.

My house growing up was….

A big old farm house surrounded by rolling fields as far as the eye could see.  My parents still live there and my grandparents before them. I love it. My dad was always within a 5 minute walk. I moved into the attic when I was a teenager, my friends loved it as we had our own sitting room. Even though it was freezing and visited by the odd mouse.

At home I like to relax by….

Sitting in the garden or conservatory. The canal runs along the bottom of our garden. We fish and kayak. We prefer eating outside to inside.

My taste at home is…

Eclectic.  Our house was built in the 30s, but our taste is more country classic than retro chic. I love old random pieces and have collected lots of nic nacs from my travels but my husband tries to herd my stuff into corners otherwise it would take over. My favourite piece of furniture is an antique gymnastics box. I have film cans and Cuban posters dotted around too.

My favourite room is….

Our living room. The conservatory means it sort of spills onto the garden which looks onto the canal. Our garden is private and all you can hear is birdsong. It’s my favourite space in the house. I love having a busy house and it is the biggest room. It is open plan so you can talk to people in the kitchen and dining room and because we have such big windows it is full of light from first thing to last thing at night.

A lot of our furniture is….

Random. I like old classic pieces but they aren’t always practical so we have a decorative sofa that is pale and ornate. We also have a comfy black lounging sofa which makes much more sense given that we have a hyperactive dog and lots of friends over with their children. My husband and I made a deal that I would be allowed my African ornaments and sticks if he was allowed a bed with a tv in the bottom. I thought they were tacky but I actually love it!

On my wish list at the moment is…

A slack line for the garden.  I used to do it and I love it. I am hoping to get back into it. I am also looking for a chandelier for our bathroom too. I want it to feel luxurious but finding a chandelier that is waterproof or at least safe in a bathroom is proving harder than I thought! I would also love some plantation shutters for the front room but we are finishing a new bathroom so we need to pay for that first!

My guilty pleasure is….

To have milky coffee whilst watching telly in bed. I was so strongly opposed to the inbuilt telly bed but I love it. I make my hubby buy skimmed milk for me then pinch his milk to make coffee that tastes like pudding!

My most prized possession is…

My dog. A sausage dog cross red setter called Barney. We moved in together when I was in London on Blue Peter. He charms every one and is a great judge of character.  He came on many first dates with me and has travelled all over the country with me. He is absolutely brilliant with all my friends’ children and is such good company.  He broke his back last year so walks with a bit of wiggle now but I love him even more for it.

Helen Skelton shot to fame as a daredevil Blue Peter presenter. She now presents Conference League and Women’s Football for BT Sport and is a regular contributor to BBC1’s Countryfile.