Every Saturday night, Tess Daly stands in front of an autocue, knowing 8.1 million ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fans are waiting to hear what she says.
The presenter says she still gets “butterflies” before the live show – “you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t” – but that when she gets home, she spends five minutes meditating to bring herself back down to earth.
“When I get in from presenting on a studio floor with a live audience, that adrenaline is still surging through my system and you can’t just switch it off immediately,” the 49-year-old tells HuffPost UK.
“So it’s quite nice that I’ve got something I can go to that can ease me into a calmer mode and being ready for sleep.”
Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
As a busy working mum to two children, Daly doesn’t have much time for herself and claims to survive on “six, max seven hours of sleep a night”.
“I’m someone who is always charging around. I’m like the Duracell bunny, I go from the minute I get up,” she says. But meditating in short, five-minute bursts in stolen moments reminds her to slow down and be present.
Daly says she tends to light a candle, then sit on the floor with her legs crossed under the cosy eaves of the loft in the house she shares with husband Vernon Kaye and their daughters Amber and Phoebe. She prefers to use a guided meditation app with soothing music, she says, because sitting in complete silence doesn’t “quieten the chatter” in her mind. “I feel so good afterwards. You can see everything with more clarity, I find, after you slow down.”
[Read more: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Tess Daly Brushes Off Craig Revel Horwood ‘Dull’ Jibes]
On top of meditation, Daly does yoga at home for 20 minutes every other day, a hobby she fell in love with as a teen and is now teaching her eldest daughter to embrace. “What I love about yoga is it demands that you’re fully present and in the moment, you can’t be on your phone at the same…