There is a small scrapbook that Lorraine Kelly keeps safely tucked away in a drawer – the one thing she owns that, if there was a fire, she’d leap through flames to rescue.
In it are treasured family pictures – of her husband of 26 years, Stephen Smith, family pets and Lorraine herself – with handwritten captions.
It was made by Lorraine’s daughter Rosie when she was just ten, as a Mother’s Day gift. From time to time, the 58-year-old broadcaster will pick it up and flick through it.
‘I do get it out every now and then,’ says the Glasgow-born daytime TV chat-show queen, who returns to her ITV show tomorrow. ‘It’s the wee captions she wrote: “This is my pet hamster,” and “This is my mum and dad…” It’s silly but it makes me smile.
Lorraine Kelly (pictured) filled the gap left by her daughter's departure for Singapore with Angus the dog (also picture)
‘I don’t care about stuff. I have one pair of earrings, which Steve bought me for my 40th. If it wasn’t for my job, I’d probably own two dresses. This is what’s important to me.’
Today these precious memories are, perhaps, more important than ever. For life has changed dramatically for Lorraine and cameraman Stephen in the past few years.
Rosie, now 23, their only child is living more than 6,700 miles away in Singapore, where she moved two years ago to work for a charity, and now in marketing.
The Kelly-Smiths have downsized, selling their Dundee mansion and moving to a ‘quirky’ boathouse, overlooking the Thames in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire.
And there has been a new arrival – the pitter patter of tiny paws, in the shape of a new border terrier puppy they have named Angus.
The couple got him at Christmas and Lorraine, as her millions of viewers no doubt know, is besotted. And she admits he filled a gap in her life.
The term ‘empty nest’ is often bandied about – referring to ‘a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time’, according to relationship counselling charity Relate.
While it is not a medical diagnosis in itself, those who suffer this empty nest syndrome are recognised to be at risk of depression, and even dementia in later life.
Today, there is talk of a ‘boomerang generation’ – the children of Baby Boomers who, unable to afford to buy a home of their own, move back in with their parents in their 20s or 30s – and of the ‘sandwich generation’, of middle-aged mothers and fathers stuck supporting grown-up kids, and often elderly parents.
Lorraine, whose mother and father are in their mid-70s and ‘full of energy’, has neither of the latter two problems, but perhaps a touch of the former.
Lorraine Kelly (pictured with her daughter, Rosie) enlisted the help of Angus (also pictured) when she left the family home
‘I was talking to Dawn French, whose daughter, Billy, is a bit older than Rosie, about this just the other day. We raise them to be headstrong, independent women. But then when they grow up and leave us to become strong, independent women, it’s like… oh. OK. It’s a wrench.’
Lorraine has, astonishingly, been on our screens – and at the top of her game – for more than 30 years, having risen through the ranks from Scotland reporter on TV-AM to co-presenter of Good Morning Britain in the 1990s.
She had a 17-year stint on GMTV, then Daybreak, and since 2014 has hosted her morning chat show. But she has often said: ‘Being Rosie’s mum is my proper job.’
Lorraine is adamant: ‘I love my job but at the end of the day, it’s family that’s most important.
‘When I was doing Talk Radio [she hosted its lunchtime show in the mid-1990s] and