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I met amazing people on chocolate trail to Africa – and put diet to the test!

I've been getting in touch with my inner DIY nerd and spent the past few days painting and doing all those jobs that have been annoying me for ages.

Not very glamorous, I know, but I'm just getting things ready for a photo-shoot I'm doing next week.

My husband Richie works away in the UK during the week and says he never knows what colour the house will be when he returns at weekends.

Given that Easter is not that far off, it was appropriate that my next documentary is all about chocolate.

I was in Ghana, West Africa, last November with the Voluntary Services Overseas charity filming a documentary for RTE1 called The Story Of Chocolate.

 

Eye-opener

We followed the whole process of how chocolate is made – all the way from the bean to the bar. It showed the cocoa farmers drying the beans, weighing and measuring them, then sending them to Ireland. The documentary finishes with me in Cadbury's wearing a hairnet and living out my Willie Wonka fantasies.

Happily, I'm a total chocaholic. It's a borderline problem. I would eat it every day, no problem, so it was the perfect show for me.

That was my first time ever in Africa and I fell completely in love with it. The people were amazing and it's one place that I'd love to go back to. We spent a lot of time in the capital, Accra, but we also managed to get off the beaten track and go into some of the communities, which was a humbling experience. It was a total eye-opener for me. It was kind of ironic that making the show came just after I did the HCG diet, so being surrounded by all that chocolate was hard.

I'm in the maintenance period now and the weight has stayed off. It's like retraining your body as I love my food, and it's not like I'm living on lettuce, but I found it brilliant.

I'm not a fan of working out in gyms – running after Jack is far more effective – but I'm now back to my pre-baby weight of 9st – the same as I was when I did Podge And Rodge – so I'm thrilled.

 

surprise

Obviously, it's Mother's Day this weekend and we'll probably go out somewhere nice for lunch on Sunday and just take it easy. I had a bit of a mad one last weekend as I was out for a surprise 40th birthday at the Harcourt Hotel so, on Sunday, it was a quiet day for me, drinking copious amounts of tea.

I've also been busy looking at my next new project, work-wise. There is talk of a summer show, but I can't say too much about it right now.

A few years ago, when I was first starting out, I would have been celebrating after having a discussion about a show. Now I only celebrate when everything is confirmed and in writing. That's what experience does to you.

The Story Of Chocolate airs at 1.10pm on RTE 1 on Saturday March 30


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