leg 2, Day 80 – Making waves from across the Ocean

Lizanne Van Vuuren By

Day 80 – Making waves from across the Ocean

“There’s no business like show business” is what comes to mind after the excitement we had this morning. We appeared on National UK television, featuring alongside Caroline Flack on The One Show.

We’ve been in our little pink bubble for so long and we’ve hardly spoken to anyone apart from each other and our families, and suddenly we found ourselves speaking to the nation.

Yesterday afternoon we received a message from Tony telling us that our ‘test call’ for the One Show would be at 5am. ….errrr, sorry what?? A few messages back and forth confirmed that we had not been receiving emails from our PR company who had sent us a few questions in preparation for the show, so in the early hours of the morning Nat called the lovely Megan from Carver PR to speed things up and get our questions.

We have done very little other than eat, sleep, row, repeat for the past 80 days, and suddenly it felt reminiscent of my uni days where we were up sacrificing sleep to answer our allocated questions for the show like studious scholars. What did we want to say? What was the message we wanted to get across?

We sent in our answers as a back-up for the show to use incase our satellite phone signal was bad. Ems and I woke with the loud ring (we set the sound on its loudest setting like old grannies in case we slept through the call…) and I answered. A lovely lady, Sinead, from the One Show proceeded to explain the lay-out of the show. I then spoke briefly to Matt and Alex (the presenters) to test the call quality. It was all a bit of a sleepy blur before I passed the phone onto Ems for a quick chat. Right, everything set; they’ll call us again just before 8am and will hold us on line for the whole 30min show.

It was amazing to know that Izzy and Meg were there in the studio with them. It was essentially the first interview all 6 of us had together, they were so close, yet so far.

Ems and I then managed to get 45min kip before joining Nat and Laura outside. The weather was kind to us and allowed us to stay outside for the entire call rather than wind and rain forcing all 4 of us to cram into the cabin.

7:50, phone rings. The One Show “Hello girls, just setting you up, can you hear us ok?”
Nat: “yes can hear you fine thanks”
TOS: “ok great. Stay on the line while we get you ready”

At 8am they introduced us and we made a real racket on the ocean screaming “hellooooo The One Show!” It was a surreal moment knowing that our words at this moment were being aired on National TV. We could not be physically any further removed from the setting where our voices echoed to right now. I wondered for a moment if any of my friends/family were watching… In the hurry of things we hadn’t really told anyone, although we knew our social media queens and Carver PR would be all over it. The call proceeded. One of us would hold the phone with the rest of us huddled round, trying to hear what was being said.

We assume that unfortunately due to the call quality they omitted a lot of the questions we had been told to answer, including my pancake question, and questions about missing my best friend’s wedding (haha, all my questions actually). We stayed on the line for the whole show, as they kept coming back to us intermittently throughout. A few minutes before we were on a lovely man called Steve would say in the background of the show noise “alright ladies, you are on in 3 minutes…. 2 minutes….. 1 and a half minutes….”

As expected, it was over in what felt like a flash. Damit! No call-to-action, there wasn’t really any opportunity. We desperately wanted to get our message across for people to text Doris to 70300 and donate just £3 for our charities. Oh well, there’s always writing about it in this blog I suppose!

After the show finished Sinead came back on and said “hiiii, how was that? Did you guys enjoy it?… Before I go I wanted to let you guys know what surprise we have for you. Who am I speaking to right now?”
“You’re speaking to Lizanne” “Oh Lizanne, great. We had Anna in the studio, as well as your dad!!”

Oh my word, WHAT?? That’s amazing! The same Anna who’s wedding I was supposed to be a bridesmaid at!! I nearly teared up at the thought of The One Show having organised for her to attend the show, along with my dad (the XFactor fan, who I can only imagine loved seeing Caroline Flack more than hearing my voice!)

“For Natalia, we have your dad Bernard and brother Jared here” Nat shrieks with excitement
“For Emma we have your mum and grandad here, and Laura your mum and dad are here”. None of us had expected this, and we were all totally overwhelmed. Wow The One Show, thank you!

We knew all the friends and family would be together so Nat quickly called her brother who, bless him, immediately put us on speaker phone. We each got to speak to our family, saying things like “you sneaky things, can’t believe none of you told us!”

On the phone

The One Show, thank you for keeping us entertained and making our whole week! Somehow it felt like we were there and the excitement has kept us buzzing all day. We are that much more amped to step it up a gear and get to Samoa! It is amazing to see the support we have back home and knowing that our efforts are not in vain. We also hope to have raised more awareness of what is at the core of our journey across the Pacific; supporting women who have faced and overcome adversity through our charities Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded.

We swapped pairs again today; Ems and I bid farewell in a long embrace… It will be a mere hour before I see her again. Nat and I are reunited. We had a beautiful sunset shift, and to top off our amazing day, we were greeted by a huge pod of dolphins who came so close to the boat I was worried I might hit them with my ore while rowing.
All is well on the Pacific.

Liz x

Friends and family - outside



  1. Mary & Ken says:

    Girls It was great hearing you all on the One Show and seeing all your families there. You all deserve the nation’s support, it was a shame the whole programme wasn’t just about you guys. Well done to you all, keep positive you really are an inspiration to us all. Pleased to see your progress is improving. Daily blogs are brilliant. Mary & Ken xx

  2. Great to see you all and Doris looking good.
    I am pretty sure they put up your charity details on screen. Best wIshes from all of us in Christchurch

  3. Liz says:

    Actually they didn’t perhaps they weren’t allowed, however there was lots of air time given and we still can’t believe Babs and Ray weird there Laura. It was a surreal experience seeing their dear faces on screen and hearing your voices from so far away. Isn’t technology wonderful? We hope lots of money was raised today at Trewirgie Junior School for your charities, keep up the fantastic work girls hope this has given you a much needed boost. Lol xxxx

  4. Wendy says:

    We watched the show here in Spain, it was great to hear you from the Pacific, sometimes technology is great ! I say only sometimes since I have been struggling to do things on gmail. I caught a very brief glimpse of your Mum and Dad Laura. Good speed to Apia, looking forward to greeting you when you arrive in Cairns.

  5. barry says:

    Great to see you on the One Show, clear to see your enthusiasm and joy at connecting with loved ones. You are all incredible and a great inspiration to us all. I love hearing that the dolphins are guiding you home. Samoa will soon be in your sights.

  6. So surreal to hear you all on The One Show!! Technology is amazing when it works. Loved all the snippets of video of you all they showed. Can’t wait to see the film! Thinking of you all and if I could transport you food through this comments box I absolutely would! Praying for a fast passage the rest of the way to Samoa for you!!! xx

  7. JG says:

    I am very pleased that your contact with the BBc has given you such a lift and provided an exciting diversion for you all. Modern technology is wonderful in how it facilitates all that. It must give you confidence and reassurance that although physical miles are many between us you are in fact close to us and reachable. As a viewer of the BBC programme I was disappointed in how the link was presented and despite the communication problems I believe that it could have given us, the viewing public, much more. The tiny bit we did get was enthralling and it was wonderful to see the lovely Isobel on the couch. Nuff said! Keep safe Samoa looms ever nearer

  8. Great to see you and hear you on TV. It was also wonderful to see the families and friends in the studio. And, It was easy to spot your Dad, Laura, he was wearing his specs on his head as per normal! Do you think he has an extra pair of eyes on the top of his head? Stay safe. xxxx

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