Steph McGovern: Packed Lunch host recalls doubts about TV career Cant do telly anymore

Steph’s Packed Lunch: Steph McGovern announces break

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Steph McGovern was left worrying for her career, but believes that a former boss made her take control. The broadcaster admitted that she suffered from a panic attack moments before going on air.

I thought ‘God, I can’t do telly anymore’

Steph McGovern

The Middlesborough-born broadcaster, who found fame as the BBC’s Business presenter before moving to BBC Breakfast, now fronts her own Channel 4 show and is known for her close friendships with the crew.

While she may be one of TV’s recognisable names, it wasn’t always easy for Steph as she navigated her way to becoming a household name.

During the early days of her career, Steph, 39, was left riddled with anxiety and believed she would no longer be able to work.

In a new podcast, Steph has opened up about her struggles that saw a former boss give her the ultimate boost.

Speaking to Oti Mabuse, Steph recalled: “A job that I’d been doing for seven years but I was so scared of going on telly because I was convinced I was going to have a panic attack.”

During an appearance on Oti’s The Rhythm of Life podcast, Steph revealed that after a chat with her boss, she said: “‘I have total control over this, I might not have control over some of the things in my private life at the minute but I’ve got control over this’.

“That was quite scary for me because I thought ‘God, I can’t do telly anymore’ — I’ve defined myself by that for so many years.

“It was before I had my baby and all of that, which brings a lot of perspective into your life.”

The journalist continued: “Before that, my career was literally me and that’s totally how I defined myself.”

Discussing how she keeps her anxiety under control, Steph admitted to sitting on her hands as “sort of a CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] thing”.

She explained: “When you concentrate on that, it sort of distracts you — so that’s sort of what I do as well.”

Last week, Steph announced she would be returning to her BBC roots to front a new documentary.

Taking to her Instagram, she penned: “On the radio… I did a documentary for the BBC…’s a random one…..about hi-vis clothes!

“When I was a BBC business correspondent I spent loads of my time in hi-vis at companies all over the UK.”

Steph added: “So this doco is all about the history, use etc but also why we all blindly obey people wearing hi-vis! We do some funny experiments to prove it. [sic]

“On @bbcsounds now search ‘Reflections on Hi-Vis’.”

Steph previously was a presenter on BBC Breakfast, before stepping down in 2019 and moving across to host her own show on Channel 4 last year.

However, in order to enjoy her summer holiday alongside her daughter, Steph will be taking a seven-week break from her show, Packed Lunch.

Announcing the news at the end of her final show, she said: “So that’s it from us today and for the next few weeks as well because we’re having a break for the summer.

“But, of course, we’re going to be back in September with all your Packed Lunch favourites.”

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