Kirsty McCabe is a meteorologist and TV presenter, who has presented weather forecasts across the entire range of BBC television and radio channels, including Breakfast, BBC One, BBC News and World News, Radio 4 and Radio 5Live. She has also presented on GMTV and Daybreak and is currently weather presenter for BBC Scotland. She lives in South London with her husband and their sons, Ethan (age 2) and newborn Logan.
On-screen maternity wear dilemmas
I'm back up in Glasgow this week, presenting the weather on BBC Scotland. So, following a fantastic time at BBC South, I've gone from one end of the country to the other! But after a few weeks off over Christmas and a much more noticeable bump, deciding what to wear on-screen is no easy task.
In fact, pregnant or not it's tough to put together a telly weather wardrobe. For starters you can forget green and some shades of blue where green screens are used, unless you like the floating head and hands look. In case you're wondering how I can see my weather graphics when I have nothing more than a green curtain behind me the secret is in the camera.
Newsreaders use autocue so they can look into the camera and read their script. Weather presenters don't have a script, we ad-lib the forecast and instead of words popping up in the camera hood we see ourselves in front of our graphics. That way we know where to point!
But the image isn't like a mirror, it's the same as you see at home, so if we move to the right, our on-screen self moves left. It can take a while to get used to, especially when the director is talking to you via an earpiece at the same time!
But back to sartorial issues. Patterns are another no-no, especially stripes that have a habit of strobing. Plus, patterns are more memorable, so best avoided for those of us on a budget as we try to avoid making it obvious we're wearing the same outfit again and again. This obviously doesn't apply to men who can pretty much just wear the same suit but put on a different tie.
Talking of ties, the men at the BBC Weather Centre once did a tie relay where they passed on a fairly distinctive tie to the next person on shift to see if anyone noticed they were all wearing the same tie. No one did...
But in a way that's a good thing, a weather presenter should enhance, not distract from the forecast. So that also rules out clothes that are too tight, too revealing or just seasonally inappropriate. I get very annoyed if a presenter pops up in a sleeveless summer dress when it's minus two outside and snowing...it just doesn't look right!
So back to my dressing for two dilemma. What to wear that will flatter me and my bump (TV definitely adds extra pounds) but not distract the viewers? I'm at the awkward stage where non-mat clothes are getting a bit snug, but buying things in a bigger size just makes you look fat all over.
This week I'm sticking to dresses with a bit of stretch and some looser fitting suit jackets in different colours. Too much black can look funereal. Luckily, I've kept some maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Ethan but the bump isn't quite big enough to do them justice yet.
Still, give it a few more Scottish breakfasts with tattie scones and that'll soon change...