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Day in the life of… Dr Pixie McKenna

Medical celebrity and GP presenter of Embarrassing Bodies, Dr Pixie McKenna, shares a typical day

I wake up bolt upright at 5.30am. I look in the mirror and realise I’ve inadvertently left my false eyelashes on from the previous day’s telly. They hang rather precariously from my upper lids – my mascara is half way down my cheeks and my hair is doing a good impersonation of Jedward. My husband rolls over and states that I look like a drag queen and promptly falls back to sleep.

I nearly always wake up before both my husband and our alarm on a working day as I have a morbid fear of being late, probably a by-product of being schooled by nuns. Today is like most other days, I jump in the shower and then race round the house deciding on what to wear; this usually involves a lot of stamping, swearing and searching – yet in spite of this drama, I always end up in a little black dress.

Annoyingly on TV days colour is essential, and green has become my Embarrassing Bodies staple. Today, however, there’s a hem down, no wonder web and a baby to feed, so it’s back to black. I always try to snatch a cuddle from my baby before I leave. Breakfast is normally two pints of tea – I don’t do food in the morning. Then I’m on my bike to the train station.

I live in Cambridge where the general mantra is “four wheels bad, two wheels good”. When I arrive I jump on the train and immediately hook up with my second husband – my iPad. I write for various women’s magazines so at every available opportunity I write something. Usually, I sit in a carriage of businessmen who spend the journey discussing the Yen and the Dow Jones, while I’m frenetically typing an article on farting – each to their own.

On arrival in London I jump in a black cab; I’m not keen on the Tube, it’s not snootiness or perceived celebrity status, it’s the humongous escalators. I have a recurring nightmare of falling down backwards and crushing everyone like a pack of cards. I arrive at my location – a swish clinic on Harley St where I’m having a mole removed. Today I am the Embarrassing Body. We are encouraged to do immersive strands so I’m having a mole whipped off my back.

I hate going to doctors so generally my squeamishness always makes for good telly
I’m quickly in to make-up – it takes a whole hour, then I’m on the slab. I hate going to doctors so generally my squeamishness always makes for good telly. Although this is little more than ten minutes of television it takes a team of ten, two hours and numerous retakes. Mole successfully removed, I’m back in a cab and off to a quick meeting with my agent Mary. She’s a pocket rocket without whom I would be lost and most definitely broke. We talk schedules and share a naughty glass of Sauvignon Blanc (analgesia after the anaesthetic and it’s after midday), and then I’m off home.

When I’m back in Cambridge, I’m back on my bike to ride to the BBC to do a radio link with an Irish station where I host a slot called Air Your Ailments. It’s over in ten minutes – it’s like a quick fire round of medical curiosities, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I finally head home to start my half day at 4pm. I’m greeted by a smiling baby as I bolt though the door, and a distraught dog desperate for a walk. So it’s a quick change into my Lycra. I have a jogging buggy (invested in it to beat the baby bulge), so off I go with baby and dog for a run up the river. I am supposed to be training for a triathlon, but it’s a bit of a struggle. Story of my life – I’m always saying yes to things and then fly by the seat of my pants to try to complete them.

After the five-mile run I head to Waitrose. I only ever seem to get recognised when I’m a sweaty mess and find myself doing an autograph for a fan by the avocados. On to the shopping; I have banned all “beige” food since Christmas, so I settle for a fresh fish in a box, although some Magnums find their way into my basket.

I host a slot called Air Your Ailments. It’s over in ten minutes – it’s like a quick fire round of medical curiosities, the good, the bad and the ugly

Once we’re home I try to coax Darcy Trixie Belle to sleep. My husband arriving home is a signal to invent some supper; my cooking skills are abysmal. The kitchen looks like a car crash if I’m on dinner duty. So once I’ve trashed the place I take Darcy Trixie Belle to bed. In the meantime I hope my clean-freak husband has made a start on the mess in the kitchen, but he’s dozed off. We sit down to eat at 8pm to dissect the day: I’m a big fan of sitting down together for dinner, even if it’s midnight. I catch the tail end of Coronation Street, then it’s bedtime. I’m being a proper doctor tomorrow so I need to get some shut-eye – there are no retakes in the real world.

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