This is where things get a bit funky. On this part of the website you can follow all my recent updates, stare at pictures or look back and see what I did on this day in 2011.
@fleurrobo @FA @StGeorgesPark @AlexScott @Lionesses @Burtonalbionlfc Thanks for a great night
Lovely to see Lioness @jade_moore20 with her sister Melissa at the FA Women’s Awards last night. Jade was the membe… https://t.co/B4DEG2auct
@jade_moore20 Great to see you too. Hope you enjoyed your 745 call.
Arrived last night at 2:45... already at Wembley waiting for @mikebreakfast on #BBCBreakfast. He’s down there and w… https://t.co/IdXD6IP8Ni
Dianne was an amazing woman and @TrustDianne is a brilliant cause. Please support if you can 👍🏻 https://t.co/d9udLPtylE
It’s good to talk #ARoyalTeamTalk https://t.co/IlcTiNkQGi
Morning 🏌🏻♂️🏌🏾♂️🎯🎯 https://t.co/PzYWc80Mz7
Unbelievable golf https://t.co/qaH66IMiO9
Brilliant night hosting the @FA Women’s Awards at @StGeorgesPark with the lovely @AlexScott. Real pleasure to send… https://t.co/56ORFyiJHc
@MattFitz94 @Workday @UAGolf @Titleist @TroonGolf Well played lad
Incredible response. So much hard work from the whole #BBCBreakfast team https://t.co/swzMFu1OyW
Remembering the 10...
On the first Wednesday of 2019 I was in a rush. I was walking our dog through Endcliffe Park in Sheffield and I saw an old man who looked cold - he was sweeping leaves. I was already late for work but I felt compelled to talk to him. 5 minutes later I had his phone number, address and perhaps the best story I have ever heard.
I checked out his story and within a few hours of putting it on social media his tale was travelling around the world - retweeted, shared and liked thousands and thousands of times.
Tony Foulds was an 8 year old boy playing in that park on the 22nd February 1944. An American bomber - with 1 failed engine - appeared over the houses and as the pilot apparently waved to get the children out of the way... Tony says the young lads waved back.
With the 2nd engine stuttering the pilot Lt John Kriegshauser decided he only had one option. Instead of landing on the flat park and potentially killing many children... he and his 9 crew members tried to fly up over the cafe but they failed and crashed into a tree lined hill at the side of the park. All 10 of them died.
Tony has been wracked with guilt ever since. In 1953 he started laying flowers at the crash site as a 17 year old who finally started to understand the sacrifice that had been made for him and others. When a memorial was built in the late 1960s Tony took it upon himself to visit it regularly. For many years he has been quietly tending and cleaning it.
Now at the age of 82 he spends 10 hours a week looking after the stones which mark the death of 10 men he never met... 10 men who gave their life for his... 10 men who has says he loves just as much as his own family.
After years of silent service Tony was ready to tell his story. All he wanted was a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash next month. Inspired, I foolishly told him to leave it with me.
What I have learned from the whole thing was the importance of listening to people. Allowing them to tell their stories.
Within 12 hours of meeting Tony - despite not having a single contact in the world of aviation - thanks to the magic of social media I’d spoken to 2 MPs, second in command at the RAF, a major in the US Air Force, the American ambassadors chief of staff, the deputy leader of Sheffield City Council and an old lady called Beryl who wanted to bake some cakes for the anniversary.
Within 24 hours Tony was on BBC Breakfast, the 1 o’clock news and he had crews from all over the world knocking on his door. The council re- tarmacked the memorial steps, a local school crowd funded for a flagpole and on the 22nd of February,15000 stood in the park in Sheffield alongside Tony. Relatives of the US airmen who died were there too and the crowds cheered and cried as those planes flew overhead on the 75th anniversary of the crash. Millions more watched live on the television.
All that came from a 5 minute conversation. It reminded me of the importance of being interested in the people around us. My favourite thing about Tony is that he has remained spectacularly Yorkshire throughout the whole experience. When he started getting loads of national attention he got home one night and a brand new black Mercedes was outside his house. The driver knocked on the door and said he was from This Morning. Holly Willoughby & Philip Schofield would love to have him on the show the following day.
“Who?” Tony said.
The guy repeated that it was for This Morningand that he would drive him down and they’d put him in a 5 star hotel.
“Where?” said Tony
“London” said the driver
“That, there London?”Said Tony
“Gee or (how do you spell it) It’s Thursday... I’m having a full English wit the lads int market”
Yorkshire...This Morningwith Phil & Holly or a Full English with the lads? No contest.
Comic Relief 2019
At the end of February 2019 I was asked to be part of the Comic Relief ‘Return to Kilimanjaro’ Challenge, 10 years on from the first attempt to scale the heights of the mountain. Back in 2009 it was a team of celebs led by Gary Barlow and the 2019 version saw me thrown in with Jade and Leigh-Anne from Little Mix, Ed Balls, Xander Armstrong from Pointless, Countryfile’s Anita Rani, two time Superbowl champion Osi Umenyiora, Dani Dyer and head Strictly judge Shirley Ballas.
Most of us met at Nairobi airport for the first time and just 24 hours later we were climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The next 10 days was the most incredible experience. I think the producers expected a few hissy fits, diva strops and general celeb fury, but what they got was 9 people who totally depended on each other and formed an unbreakable bond!
We were all told that, because there was such an age range and varying degrees of physical ability within the group, that there was ‘no way’ we would reach the top together. The fact that we managed to walk the final 100 yards to Uhuru Peak arm in arm will remain one of the proudest achievements of all our lives!
The whole crew were amazing to work with and it was a real privilege to be part of such a huge strand of the Comic Relief effort and to return home and then find out we’d managed to raise over £2.5 million was a truly humbling experience. I don’t think any of us underestimated the mountain but I don’t think we thought it would be so physically and mentally demanding.
My fellow climbers are an amazing group of humans:
So strong and helpful from day 1. Kind, considerate and a true friend. Anita really struggled early with the altitude but was always thinking of others and was just a wonderful part of the team.
A rock. A singer. A titan. Knowledgeable, funny and always trying to make our lives easier. A supreme intellect with the common touch. His determination on the final climb was inspiring to watch. Ed needs a talk show.
You rarely meet people who know so much but are able to share it with kindness, care and never even a hint of condescension. So talented, the ultimate story teller, warm, emotional and just a wonderful man to spend time with. I love him.
So funny, direct, disarming and refreshingly honest. Made us laugh every day and was always telling us how much she loved her family. She might have said ‘I can’t do this’ a few times but Dani proved she is so much stronger than she thinks she is.
We all knew she was an international super star before we left but she showed us she was so wonderfully down to earth. Leigh was brilliant company, mucked in and we all think she might actually be Wonder Woman. She need to share her nachos knowledge with the world.
What a human. A leader, a motivator… a man who thinks deep but rises high. All his words carry weight and his speech to us on summit night was indescribably perfect. We all learnt so much from Osi.
Such a special person. When Shirley spoke to us about her brother’s suicide her motivation became our motivation. She’s worked so hard her whole life and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as determined as Shirl. I do need to improve my cape work though!
I can’t quite remember why we started walking together back on day 1 but it was the start of what I hope will be a lifelong friendship. She looked after me at my lowest ebb and lifted us all with her songs, sense of humour and magnificent snacks. Jade is the South Shields Queen and long may she reign.
We all said on our return that our mountaineering careers were over but we are really good friends and meet up regularly. It would be amazing to do something else for Comic Relief in the future. We are open to offers…
To all those asking about this week’s coverage on @BBCBreakfast 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 Thanks for all your questions, comments… https://t.co/W2b0iVDjfO
@elldorado89 @BBCiPlayer Not at all. I was genuinely saying ‘morning’ 😂 Have a good one