Laura Tobin ‘goes through the bins’ at GMB in eco mission

Laura Tobin is a woman after our own hearts. While the 40-year-old presenter may be super professional, fiercely intelligent and groomed to within an inch of her life on Good Morning Britain, the reality of her day-to-day life is just like any other mum trying to perfect her juggling skills.

When we catch up to chat about her new book Everyday Ways To Save Our Planet, we quickly see her four-year-old daughter Charlotte appear on camera, complete with spots all over her face and chewing on a biscuit. “We have a chicken pox child!” Laura quickly explains.

“So the plan was that Charlotte should be downstairs with my husband but he’s hosting a work conference from the living room,” she tells us.

The star, who clearly dotes on her daughter, proceeds to patiently attend to Charlotte’s various requests while also managing to eloquently answer our questions. What a multitasking queen!

Anyone who has seen Laura in action on GMB will know that she’s more than just a weather girl. She’s passionate about all things climate change and last year she flew to Svalbard (in the Arctic) to report on the impact it’s having on the ice caps.

One person she’s also very keen on educating is her beloved Charlotte – who she shares with husband Dean Brown – who was born three months prematurely back in 2017. Laura dedicates her book to her and writes a moving letter to her apologising for the state of the world and how she promises to try and make it better.

Here, Laura tells us why writing her book has been a source of anxiety and how her daughter is a chip off the old block…Here, Laura tells us why writing her book has been a source of anxiety and how her daughter is a chip off the old block when it comes to saving the planet…

Hi Laura. You get a sense in the book that your daughter has already learned a lot from you about climate change…

(Laura turns to Charlotte and says, “You take in all of the facts about plastic don’t you? It doesn’t go in the bin, does it? It goes in the recycling.”) If I go to put stuff in the bin she’ll go, “Mummy, no!” She knows if it can’t be recycled it’ll go into a hole in the ground (landfill). We had to buy some plastic last year to cover our allotment and when we were in Wilkinson’s she said, “Mummy why are you buying plastic? It ruins our planet.” I said that we needed this plastic and you could see the person next to me in the shop thinking, “How are you going to get out of that one?!”

Have you overhauled your lifestyle since writing it?

Right at the very beginning, I was making changes, changes, changes and my husband would be like, “What change are we making today?! Oh my goodness!” Some things he was on board with, other things he wasn’t. It did become really overwhelming. And it did make me quite stressed.

What did Dean find it difficult to get on board with?

I don’t eat red meat but he likes a steak night and I tried to convince him to make steak night a fish or salmon night. But every now and then he’d be like, “I just want steak, and I’m not going to have you telling me that I can’t have steak.” But I wasn’t saying he couldn’t have it ever, just every three months instead of every three weeks. I think at first he felt like it was forced upon him and then afterwards realised he wasn’t missing out on anything and actually you feel a bit more heavy and sluggish after a steak. And then all of the bathroom stuff – he was going, “Urgh these toothpaste tablets are more expensive, it’s so annoying”.

Are you now one of those people who annoy their friends by telling them where they’re going wrong?

I was at my best friend’s house the other day and she threw her pre-cooked chicken packaging, along with the plastic tray, into her recycling. And then I looked through her bin and loads of things were in the wrong places and she had lots of plastics that can’t be recycled in there. And she had food waste in her bin even though she has a compost bin. So I was taking that out and putting it in the right bin. (At this stage Charlotte comes in and tells Laura she’d like to change her outfit and Laura disappears to help her).

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How do you strike the balance when you’re talking to Charlotte about climate change to ensure she doesn’t feel anxious?

I definitely hear people talk about climate anxiety. Some people might say it’s really alarmist when I’m talking about it but actually it’s just the reality. But I don’t want her to be alarmed. The other day it was raining and the streets were filling up with water going down the drains and she said, “Are we going to flood?” I said we weren’t but she’d seen something on my phone about somewhere else where there was flooding. I don’t know if I’m telling her too much. We walk most places but if we get in the car to go somewhere further away she’ll say, “Mummy we can’t go in the car, it makes smoke!”.

You had a bit of a backlash about your trip to Svalbard for because you flew there…

My report from there had become the lead story on the day it ran. I had people coming up to me for months saying they’d watched it and that they had no idea of the impact we were having. And people were telling me all the changes they’d made. So the footprint we’d left on earth after flying was outweighed by the positive impact of the changes people made in their lives as a result of the show.

You have also received criticism for travelling up and down the country for the show…

We’ve always travelled round the country doing the weather because it’s a national show and we need to represent different places. And most of the journeys are the distance I would have travelled to get to work anyway.

When you were researching this book did it give you sleepless nights?

Yeah, it does keep me awake at night. When I started doing the weather, I just fell in love – I loved science and I loved telling people about the weather forecast. But the more I’ve been presenting the weather there’s just more frequent and severe weather. It used to be really rare. And now it’s happening more and more and closer to home. Records that we thought weren’t going to be broken for 50-100 years are being broken now and that’s what’s really scary. I try to compartmentalise it as you still have to live your life.

Are your co-presenters scared you might catch one of them with a single use plastic bottle?!

I go through the bins in the green room at work! We have a new green room guy called Harry and I open the bin and say things like, “Harry, there is a milk bottle in here! There are tea bags in here!”

Are you missing former presenter Piers Morgan?

I literally texted him yesterday to say, “I have a book coming out! I see you’re in LA but when you come back you can have a copy!” I’ve not heard from him yet. He’s super supportive.

How do you like Richard Madeley being part of the team?

I love him. He’s just funny. What is in his head just comes out of his mouth. There’s no editing and no filtering. I like that about him.

Have the team had any good nights out lately?

We had The Ultimate News Quiz last Thursday where I was late for work the next day!

Was it very drunken?

Yes. We won, how could it not be? I just didn’t set an alarm before I went to bed! I drank loads of water, laid out my clothes and then I got woken up by my deputy editor calling me. When I got into work I had my Lucozade, my coke and some chicken nuggets and I was fine!

In your book you refer to Charlotte as the greatest wonder of the world…

Her tenacity and strength from being a tiny baby in that incubator to being where she is now, it literally is a miracle. We’re just so proud of where she is.

What kind of mum are you?

I love playing with her. I’m that mum who just plays all day. The advice with premature babies is that they really shouldn’t be stimulated by screens, so we didn’t watch telly with her until she was two. Now she will only watch and . She comes home from school and we play and there’s no TV until dinner. And then we’ll watch something like or

Very grown up! Will you push her to be a scientist?

She says she wants to be a vet. I mean, I would love her to be a scientist but I’m not sure how well that’s going. If I can push her towards science and learning I will. I’m that mum! And I’m not sorry about that. She doesn’t love learning as much as I’d like her to but she’s four!

Laura Tobin: Everyday Ways To Save Our Planet, RRP £14.99, Mirror Books. Orderhere

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