Gaby Roslin recounts Bridget Jones-style TV fail that nearly killed her

Gaby Roslin recounted her career highs on podcast White Wine Question Time

Gaby Roslin began her 33-year career working on Motormouth, a Saturday morning kids’ TV show on ITV. Not surprisingly, she found herself doing some really crazy things during her time on the show, but nothing tops being dropped in the middle of the English Channel – and nearly drowning.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, Gaby recalled the moment she was asked to do a sea rescue – the idea being she would be plonked in the ocean and rescued by a helicopter. 

“I was taken to the English Channel and it was quite foggy that day,” she told host Kate Thornton. “Unfortunately, because it was so foggy, we had to go a mile out. I had a wet suit on and a buoyancy aid and a microphone.

“They took me out and they were going out to sea and they said, 'OK, so you're going to drop by here and we're going to go to the shore and the helicopter will appear and will rescue you. Don't forget: arms down, we've told you what to do.' Over I went and then I saw the boat go away. And then I just thought... I am in the middle of the English Channel on my own!”

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All was going well for Gaby as she bobbed around in the middle of the ocean until her microphone – her only contact with her team – went off. She revealed she started talking to herself in panic, trying to remember all the London Underground tube lines: anything to keep her mind off the fact she was alone in the English Channel.

Then she heard a noise that made her realise what a dangerous situation she was in.

“I heard PARPPP!” she recalled. “I looked around and there's a ferry going past and I thought, ‘There's a ferry. Oh my God!’ I was crying so much.”

Shortly after, the helicopter appeared and Gaby was rescued – but due to her excitement at being rescued, she forgot a crucial bit of advice the rescuers had given her previously.

“I saw a man on the water walking towards me, because he's hanging below a helicopter,” she said. “I am now crying and screaming, and I'm so excited to see him. I screamed, arms in the air and I'm flailing everywhere.

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“I'd forgotten what they said to me... 'Don't forget, keep your mouth shut when the helicopter is over because all the water comes down', and now I'm drowning! And the man comes down – he's very handsome – and I'm stammering dribbling, crying!”

However, once Gaby was safely in the helicopter her ordeal wasn’t over!

“I had to do it three more times,” she laughed. “I had to film it from a different angle. It was fantastic, but what a stupid thing to say I'd do!”


Hear Gaby Roslin and Amanda Byram talk more about their career highs and lows, plus how they deal with social media trolls on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.