Business guru Alex Polizzi throws a lifeline to six more struggling family-run firms in a new series of the BBC2 business show The Fixer…

With high-street chains like HMV and Blockbuster facing serious financial difficulties amid fears that a triple-dip recession is looming, times have rarely been tougher for Britain’s family-run businesses.

The good news for six of them, however, is that Alex Polizzi is back to offer help and advice in a second series of Alex Polizzi: The Fixer.

Returning this week, the BBC2 business show follows the tough hotelier and businesswoman as she tries to turn around the fortunes of half a dozen small-scale establishments that have been flirting with financial disaster.

TV&Satellite Week magazine tracked down the 41-year-old to get the bottom line…

This series threw up a wide variety of challenges… They included helping a garden centre run by a family who were at each other’s throats, and a struggling firm of funeral directors. I don’t know how the researchers found these businesses, but they were all very interesting.

There were plenty of tricky moments… One of my worst rows was with a mother and three daughters who run a photographic studio in Buckinghamshire. I wanted to shout and swear at them at one point, and tell them to pull themselves together. Amazingly, I didn’t.

The funeral business was an interesting one… I never got to see a body being embalmed, or anything like that. My brief was to improve how they dealt with their customers – the living ones, that is.

I always take my work home with me… I have sleepless nights when I’m working on The Fixer. These families are on the verge of complete breakdown, and it’s a huge responsibility.

I’m pretty much like my TV persona in real life… I’ve always been a bossy know-it-all. I was head girl at my primary and secondary schools, so you can draw your own conclusions from that.

According to my husband, my only hobby is shopping… He may be right. I’m basically an acquirer, and I like beautiful things. I’m always able to find something to buy, even in the unlikeliest places.

I’m having another baby next month… I’ll be taking a break from TV. If people still want me when I get back, that’s great. If not, there are lots of other things I want to do, so it won’t be a problem.

• Alex Polizzi: The Fixer begins on BBC2 on Tuesday 12 February at 8pm