Lorraine Kelly talks about the emotion of making Children’s Hospital (Fridays on ITV1) and why meeting the patients has been one of her best ever jobs…

Had you seen the show before agreeing to present it?
“Yes, I had watched it and loved it. It’s one of the few shows that the whole family can sit down and watch together. I was very honoured to be asked to present this series because it’s right up my street – very emotional, very uplifting. But at the same time you really can identify with so many of the stories. Going to Manchester and meeting everybody has been an absolute joy.”

What effect on you has the programme had?
“It just makes you realise what’s important – there’s nothing like your children being happy and healthy. Everything else pales into insignificance when it’s put up against that. My 16-year-old daughter Rosie had a cerebral convulsion when she was a toddler. She was fine, but I had to take her to hospital and it was absolutely terrifying. There are families going through that every single day and some of them have been looking after their sick children for years. The kids themselves have to grow up fast and put up with really tough treatments. There are things that would make an adult weep, but they’re so stoic – they just get on with it.”

Why is it important that shows like this are made?
“It’s important to show what people are going through and the fantastic job the medical staff do. It made me realise how lucky we are to have a National Health Service. For all the flaws that everybody knows about, when you watch the people on the front line working so hard and looking after the children so well it really shows what a brilliant asset it is for the country.”

How did you get on at the photo shoot?
“It was great. A whole load of children were climbing over me and we had such a laugh! They did made me feel quite maternal, especially the teeny tiny ones – they’re absolutely gorgeous and you just want to take them home with you! I always love working with kids because they’re so honest and you never know what they’re going to say next.”

What surprised you the most?
“It can be tough, but there’s a lot of humour at the hospital – this is not a downbeat process in any way. There are tears, but there’s an awful lot of laughter as well and that comes from some of the remarks the kids make. They’re so funny!”