Shy Gaby's a different person if she's working

IT'S BAFFLING to hear the exuberant Gaby Roslin protesting that, at heart, she's really shy.

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Gaby Roslin joins the team on BBC1's Food Inspectors when the new series starts this Thursday
Gaby Roslin joins the team on BBC1's Food Inspectors when the new series starts this Thursday

After all, this popular radio and TV presenter has had a very successful 27-year career in the public eye engaging with millions on air and on screen.

Currently she's presenting BBC One's National Lottery draws, has joined the team on the third series of BBC One's Food Inspectors, and for the past three years, she's also had her own successful radio show.

So hardly a shrinking violet then?

"I know it sounds crazy, but I can be terribly shy and self-conscious and literally hate walking into parties on my own. I was painfully shy as a teenager and sometimes it comes back to haunt me," she insists, before revealing that her husband, David Osman, has been key in helping her cope with the problem.

Roslin met Osman, a publisher, in 2006 and they married last year. They have a daughter, Amelie, 7, and she also has a daughter, Libbi-Jack, 12 from her first marriage to Scottish musician Colin Peel.

"When I first met David, he asked me to a party and I point blank refused because I just couldn't face going into a room filled with lots of people I didn't know.

"Oddly, the next night we were at a charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall and minutes before it started one of the organisers rushed up to me and said, 'Thank goodness you're here! Please can you step in and host the evening because the presenter's suddenly gone down with food poisoning?'. I didn't think twice and did it.

Afterwards, David was flabbergasted and said, 'How can you do that but not go to a small party?'.

"Now he totally gets that when I'm 'performing' it's completely different to being me.

"So these days I often hold David's hand very tightly hand as we walk into big social events or parties. That gets me over the threshold. It helps dispel that fear that my mouth won't open because I won't have anything to say - despite the reality being that generally I never stop talking!"

She's certainly not lost for words when it comes to food and healthy eating.

"It was really frustrating that for years before nutrition became fashionable, I was regarded as a 'food faddist'," says Roslin, who promises that in the new series of Food Inspectors there will be uncomfortable revelations about bacon, ham, chicken nuggets, and to her dismay, her favourite dessert, ice cream.

"I'm certainly not a saint - let's be honest, I'm jolly glad we didn't investigate anything about alcohol as I love a glass of wine at night to unwind," she jokes.

"But it's satisfying that things I've been going on about for years which had people regarding me as 'weird' or a health nut - the dangers of sugar, the benefits of foods with a low glycaemic index, and the dangers of overuse of antibiotics - are all now widely accepted."

Her own diet doesn't include wheat - she's allergic - and she never eats red meat, pork or shellfish.

It clearly works, because she certainly radiates health, with glowing skin and a mane of glossy blonde hair. Perhaps as a result, she has no qualms about her milestone 50th birthday in July.

"I've never lied about my age or worried about it and I'm not going to start now. I've been through some horrible times like mum dying and losing several friends in their forties to cancer so I feel 'do you know what, ageing is better than the alternative!'.

l Food Inspectors, BBC One, Thursday, 8pm

Food and drink

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