by @RealKevinPalmer 

Nadia Sawalha

Nadia Sawalha

Nadia Sawalha spoke to Female First in an exclusive interview and in the first part here, she talks about her experiences during lockdown and her highly successful YouTube channel.

The second part our our interview will look at Nadia's thoughts on homeschooling your kids and her new book that focuses on that very subject.

Nadia Sawalha admits the bizarre challenges of 2020 has tested her relentless eagerness to be positive, but she believes it is the only way to get through a second national lockdown amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with FemaleFirst, the Loose Women star confesses she 'went crazy' in the first few weeks of the first national lockdown back in March, but she has found a way to find silver linings this bizarre time in our collective lives.

As she spoke to us about the new book Honey, I Homeschooled the Kids, written alongside husband Mark Adderley, the 55-year-old was a in jovial mood as she insisted the hurdles that are being thrust before us need to be overcome with optimism.

"Luckily I'm a very positive person and in the times we have all be living through, that has certainly been helpful to me," she began.

"I'm the type of person who looks out of my window, sees the rain crashing down and thinks that's the perfect time for a walk in the park as no one else will be there and I'll have the whole place to myself! 

"It is a blessing to have this positive vibe running through me, even if it does drive everyone in my house mad. 

"I wake up telling my husband and my children what a beautiful day it is and I tend to do it with a lot of enthusiasm, which is very frustrating for people who might not be quite so enthusiastic in the mornings. They tell me how nauseating my relentless optimism is and I've always been like that.

"I remember my first job as an usher at the National Theatre and we had early morning shows and I'd come in singing, 'Ain't It Great to Stay Up Late'. This after we have all been out on the lash the night before and there were a few sore heads around me. They would all be telling me to shut up and I continue to annoy people with that attitude to this day."

The coronavirus lockdown pushed Nadia's enthusiasm to breaking point, but she put the extra time at home to good use by starting a popular YouTube channel and finding a whole new way to reach a big audience.

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"The first few weeks I went crazy," she conceded. "My kids had never seen me as the anxious one because I was absolutely distraught. It just felt like the virus was everywhere and I was being haunted by it. I was probably a little ahead of the game on the virus because I was looking at what happened in China and knew it was coming over here. Then when it arrived, it freaked me out.

"Yet my YouTube channel helped me out. My husband and I were broadcasting twice a day and one day everyone was so fed up and I said we need to find some sparks of joy and that is what we did on the channel every day.

"The idea was I wanted to be a middle-aged YouTube sensation and my kids said to me, you can't be. They said, first of all, you are too old, secondly, people don't like people who are already on TV on YouTube. They want to discover someone new. But I always thought there were people like me, my age, who don't know about YouTube channels and they will come looking. When they do, I'll already be there.  

"Then we started doing movie reviews and it started to work. My husband is a filmmaker, so we started these reviews with the children as a way to teach them about critical thinking, listening to one another and taking on other opinions. That is how the channel started. We were so rubbish at it when we started, but now the kids are going to screenings with movie reviewers so it has gone great.

"Now we can make the programmes we want on the channel. We do cooking, gardening, talk about mental health, my husband is working on a film that is going to go up and we are also going to to a drama. It has just been amazing and we wouldn't have it any other way. We used to have a production company and it was successful, but the slow way that TV works is challenging. With YouTube, it happens so quickly. You can do anything now.

"I always say I had a lucky lockdown because the middle classes are not suffering in the same way as those less fortunate, it's as simple as that. People who are struggling are struggling even more now. I have a nice house, I have a garden, a wonderful family ad I was telling myself; Oh my God, you are blessed. That got me through it.

"I have got a husband who I like. Kids who are already homeschooled and a garden. Also, I've still got my job, so I know I'm blessed and that's why lockdown was not as bad for me as it was so many people all over the world."

Honey, I Homeschooled the Kids by Nadia Sawalha and Mark Adderley is published by Coronet is available now.