April 1, 2011 | Interviews

GORGEOUS Scots TV presenter Jenni Falconer has spoken for the first time about new boyfriend James Midgley. He plays gay hairdresser Shane in BBC 1 drama series Cutting It, but she says: ‘He’s not gay and he’s not a hairdresser.

‘When I told my dad he was my boyfriend hewas like; ‘Isn’t he gay? Isn’t he a hairdresser?’ ‘But, no … he’s really nice. ‘It helps that he understands my job and I understand his. We work quite hard, random hours, but really try to see each other as often as possible.’

The couple met at the National TV Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall and, although Jenni was in London and James was based in Manchester, they started up a relationship.

He even took her to Paris to celebrate New Year and, although she’s been filming around the world for a new travel show How To Holiday, she’ll be back for St Valentine’s Day this Saturday.

A tip to James with all the travelling she’d doing, she probably won’t want a romantic trip away anywhere. Jenni, 27, added: ‘It’s been a couple of months, but it’s going really well. I get on with him really well. We are really good friends.

‘Last year was a single year and I had a great time.

‘To be perfectly honest getting into a relationship was something I didn’t want to do because I didn’t have time for it.

‘I was focusing on my job and it would have been inconvenient, but you can’t help it when you get involved in one, can you?’

she adds with a coy laugh.

[b]Jenni has also been linked with Gerard Butler, the Scots actor star of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

She said: ‘I know people have been wondering, but I’m not dating him.

‘It’s very funny. One journalist sat me down and asked who I was seeing. I was avoiding it and she said she had a list of about 10 people I was supposed to be seeing.

‘I wanted to see who she thought and it was Gerry. Which isn’t true.'[/b]

JENNI will be filming How To Holiday on Wednesday in Hong Kong, be back in the UK for St Valentine’s Day and then off to Paris the next day.

Although she is still doing her main job on GMTV Entertainment Today, How To Holiday, will inevitably make her a primetime TV star.

She is so keen that she’s even doing How To Holiday instead of taking time off. Jenni said: ‘I’ve been with GMTV for four years. It’s my first port of call, my first job.

‘They’ve been really good with this. I’ve used my holiday time. My holiday is filming a holiday programme.’

Not that she isn’t seeing the world. For the first series Jenni will go to 12 different destinations: New York, Florida, London, Mallorca, Tenerife, Thailand, Barbados, Costa Del Sol, French Alps, Hong Kong, Paris and Cape Town. Jenni joked: ‘One day, when Iget a real holiday I’ll know where to go or I’ll have already been there, done that.’

Jenni will be joined by co-host Dominic Littlewood from the BBC shows To Buy Or Not To Buy and Wrong Car, Right Car.

Each week Jenni will be splashing the cash on ultimate luxury, her high budget means that she will be sampling the very best each location has to offer.

Meanwhile, Dom will be holidaying on the cheap, proving you don’t need money to have a great time.

Each week they will reveal what is their best time, best deal and best avoided. At the end of each show, viewers will have the chance to win Jenni’s luxury holiday to the featured destination.

Jenni is more than happy to have drawn the long straw. She said: ‘There was a discussion before we began about swapping about, but people are going to tune in and it’s better that they identify that Dom is budget and I’m flash. Not surprisingly, I’m happy with that.

‘But I have to be honest quite often he has the better time, because I’m in a boring resort which is quiet and dead. Although sometimes he doesn’t have money to do anything good. It varies.’

On Sunday, in the first of this new series, Jenni and Dom are in the Big Apple for four nights, where ‘uptown girl’ Jenni has a hefty budget of pounds 1800 and ‘downtown boy’ Dom has just pounds 600.

Their budget must cover everything from their package to food and even transport.

Jenni is the archetypal glamour girl and visits all the old favourite tourist hotspots that New York is famous for, and shows you how to do it better staying in a suite in a luxury hotel.

Dom on the other hand gives an insiders guide to New York based in downtown Greenwich Village, where he soaks up the bohemian way of life. Jenni embarks on a Sex and The City Tour and hunts out designer bargains as well as visiting the Empire State building.

Meanwhile, Dom, heads over the bridge to Brooklyn, catches a basketball game and tries to get his mug on primetime American television.

Jenni, who has had travel programme experience already on BBC’s Holiday, reckoned How To Holiday reflects what most people are now looking for when it comes to vacations.

SHE said: ‘The package holiday seems to be dying a death. People want to make their own package by booking flights separately to arranging their own accomodating, activities and hiring their own car.

‘We are showing the best way to make the most of your money and how to live it up if you want to be even more lavish.’

Jenni is also finished filming the first series of How To Holiday and has added thousands of air miles to her tally.

As always, she’s incredibly upbeat and positive even when talk turns to terrorists, who are making holiday destinations such as Bali, Spain and America far more dangerous than they used to be.

She said: ‘I don’t think you can enter into that frame of mind. I just can’t think about it. It’s my job and I’ll be travelling all the time.

‘I have to ignore the dangers. There are dangers with everything and I do get a bit paranoid on planes. If you think about it you’ll be a nervous wreck.’

She claims not to have any lucky charms, adding: ‘I don’t want to panic myself. If I didn’t have it with me I’d start to worry.’

How To Holiday replaces Wish You Were Here…? as ITV1’s evening flagship travel programme and people are already calling Jenni the new Judith Chalmers.

All this is not bad for a wannabe who 10 years ago, in 1994, went on Blind Date and made headlines when she won a trip to France with 20-stone fish-fryer Donda.

Less than a year later Jenni was presenting BBC Scotland’s leisure series The Big Country.

In 2000, she got her biggest gig, hosting GMTV’s Friday showbiz show.

Her highlights on GMTV have included Tom Cruise autographing her skin and interviewing Duran Duran.

The worst was Meatloaf and she says: ‘I couldn’t stand him. He’s just rude. Not rude in nasty sense, just rude in that he wouldn’t answer questions live on air.

‘He was obnoxious and cheeky, but only on camera. Off camera he was fine. When the camera was on he had to perform.

‘And Jean-Claude Van Damme was very difficult, because he’s just crazy and hyperactive.’

Her sunny smile, her good looks (she was voted Scotland’s most eligible female at the end of last year) and her effervescent personality make her the ideal woman next door.

She says: ‘I hope this year is as good and I can continue this as a career.’

Copyright 2004 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd.

Publication: Daily Record
Author: Rick Fulton

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