Tess Daly: After school fun and all the gossip from Strictly

Guest writer Tess Daly on being her daughters' taxi service, filming with Nick Grimshaw and all things Strictly Come Dancing.

Another jam-packed week where no two days are the same.

One minute I'm rubbing shoulders with Royalty, the next I'm crawling through a ball pit playing ‘monsters’ (how else to fill wet weather playtime?!).

Still, I can’t complain as I wouldn't have it any other way!

This week it's glamour and sequins all the way as I’m back in the studio preparing for Friday and Saturday’s first Live Strictly Come Dancing shows and I cannot wait to see what the new all-star cast are capable of on the dance floor!

I’m looking forward to seeing Abbey Clancy and her partner (new Strictly heart throb Aljaz Skorjanec) perform their Waltz as it promises to be hot, hot, HOT to trot! Abbey’s footballer husband Peter Crouch has been very supportive. He regularly turns up to training and I heard he's even tried teaching Aljaz his famous on-pitch Robot!

Vanessa Feltz has been throwing herself into training despite her punishing schedule (3am alarm calls for her Radio 2 show - ouch!).

[Tess Daly: Back To School, Back To Strictly]
[Tess Daly: Sneaking in their five-a-day and meeting Prince Harry]

Designer Julien Macdonald, fresh from his success at London Fashion Week, will be strutting the Strictly catwalk in show-stopping style - he's asked to be covered in 10,000 crystals!

However, poor Ashley Taylor Dawson is a nervous wreck! Although it’s not because of the dancing - his wife is due to give birth the day before Friday’s Live show…eek!

Last week I enjoyed more fun in the studio with Nick Grimshaw who had me in stitches all day. We were filming a promo for this year’s official ‘Children in Need’ merchandise. There's something for everyone this year with ears, wristbands, and (Grimmy’s fave) gold Pudsey sun glasses that are all available from next Monday 30th.

To date the GREAT British public’s generosity has raised an incredible £690 million for disadvantaged children here in the UK…truly amazing!

When it comes to juggling work and school commitments myself and my other half have a system - we share the school run and the homework, depending on whoever is free.

As my children are now both at school I find its the AFTER school schedule that takes the most planning!

[Aurora James: I admit it - we love family food shopping]
[Kash Salem: Why I always look forward to weekend breakfast]

Remember our own school days? When we'd come home and head straight out to play with our friends? Well it's changed a LOT since then. Now our kids enjoy scheduled play dates at each other’s houses and endless after-school activities from gym club to judo to ballet!

(Happily, my youngest daughter Amber’s first ballet class last week was a big success. She loved it – apart from coming a cropper in a  pirouette related collision!)

Anyway, all that to-ing and fro-ing means spending a LOT of time in the car. I pack on-board provisions for every eventuality. Key items are an iPad, reading book, snacks, pillows, kitchen sink (haha!).

Now I know how my own father felt when he used to refer to himself as "dads cabs"!

Still, the highlight of my day is picking up my kids from school. The other day, Amber ran out and proudly presented me with her first drawing of her and mummy holding hands and drinking hot chocolate. It’s now taken pride of place on the kitchen wall.

Aside from the two nights of Live ‘Strictly’ shows, my other plans for this weekend include... NO plans at all! Hurrah!

For me, no agenda is one of life's greatest luxuries so I'm REALLY looking forward to a lazy Sunday taking our little dog Minnie for a walk followed by a home cooked Sunday Roast. Then, pop my feet up before the start of another hectic week.

Here's to a fun filled one for us all!

Love from Tess xxx

Read more from guest writer Tess Daly:

Tess Daly: Back To School, Back To Strictly
Tess Daly: Sneaking in their five-a-day and meeting Prince Harry