There’s one woman who particularly sticks in Cherry Healey’s mind after filming the new series of 10 Years Younger In 10 Days.

The Channel 5 makeover show sees the TV journalist and her team transform the looks and confidence of those who feel a lot older than their years, thanks to non-invasive cosmetic procedures, along with hair, make-up, and fashion overhauls.

In the case of devoted mum Alison, who has three children who all have special needs, she had no peace in her life and was at the end of her tether.

And while, thanks to the experts, we see her ditch her usual uniform of a fleece and workout leggings, what the show also did was give her the tools to change her life for the better.

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“I felt excited because Alison seemed to get some strength,” recalls bubbly Healey, who has two kids of her own, Coco and Edward, with her former husband Roly Allen.

“And I think there’s going to be a shift in dynamic at home. I think she’s going to be able to ask for a lot more help because she realises that, by driving herself into the ground and being a martyr, she’s actually not helping anyone. It’s OK to kind of release a bit and say, ‘I’m not coping’.

The 40-year-old continues: “I get really stressed; I’m a working mum. I’m not anywhere in her (Alison’s) sphere of challenging experiences, and even I want to get in a car sometimes and just sit there and eat McDonald’s, with no noise.”

How did Healey find filming the second series of 10 Years Younger In 10 Days, made during the Covid-19 pandemic?

“One of my favourite things about the show is that you really get to connect with the people you’re filming with,” said the presenter who’s known for working on BBC documentaries about drinking, body issues, dating, childbirth and money, and also co-presents Inside The Factory with Gregg Wallace.

“It is always people that have not had much love and care given to them, and there’s just something really powerful about a hug – about touching someone’s hand… And so, I really missed that.

“But we did the best we could, whilst protecting everyone because, you know, you have to. It would be awful if somebody on the show was unwell because we weren’t careful.

“So we just learned to work around it, and we had a Covid monitor. She was the reason that we were able to work and pay our mortgages… It’s a huge, huge team so everyone was incredibly grateful that the production could carry on.”

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When it comes to how we view our appearance, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of social media.

It’s too easy, especially since having more time on our hands in lockdown, to log in to Instagram and compare ourselves – our bodies, lifestyles, clothes – to other people’s.

And Healey admits the pandemic has led to some bad habits of her own, including “drinking too much in the evening” and scrolling social media “in a bit of a mad way”.

“I only recently stopped it. I promised myself in this lockdown that I would try and break it,” she said. “But this is nine months of being heavily, heavily, heavily addicted to scrolling. It steals my joy.

“There’s so much to be grateful for and I am actually naturally a very grateful person, but I just felt that drained from me.”

Healey has a lovely, infectiously bouncy enthusiasm, and is glowing and radiant when we chat on Zoom in the middle of January.

When complimented on how fantastic she looks, she exclaims: “Really? I actually nearly cried before I came on here because I was just with my kids home schooling. I didn’t even have time to brush my hair!”

Asked how making 10 Years Younger In 10 Days has made her think about her own appearance more (as part of her presenting duties she tries out procedures herself, such as visiting a holistic healer), she says she’s realised there shouldn’t be guilt when it comes to spending money on ourselves.

“I mean, obviously don’t put yourself in debt, but I realised that it’s really beneficial to everyone if I look after myself. I’m no good to anyone if I feel sad and unloved and uncared for and actually, the best person to look after me is me,” she said.

“I’m not always really good at it and I can get really stressed and home schooling is like pushing me to the edge of my patience, but it’s even more important that I have a lovely bath with some lovely bath oils. I’m much nicer as a person.”

During lockdown she’s been looking after herself by spending more money on having delicious food at home, and she’s bought herself a “ really lovely sunscreen”.

She said: “I know that sounds really stupid, but I used to just use whatever, like Boots’ own. Now, I’ve actually got quite a fancy sunscreen.

“Damaging vanity”, she follows candidly, “is when it takes over your life.

“It’s when you can’t go to a party because you don’t look perfect. It’s when you can’t go to the school run because you haven’t done full make-up. It’s when you look in the mirror all day long.

“It’s when you think about how you look and how others look is their value. It’s how important they are as a person and, ‘I only want to hang out with pretty people because I want pretty people in my gang’. Bleurgh! I know quite a few people like that, and it’s gross and it’s horrible and it’s toxic and weird.”

The show 10 years younger In 10 days is not about vanity, she adds, but about people who need to remember who they are, and helping them get some pride back in themselves.

It’s obvious how much Healey loves being part of making that happen, too, even if her kids don’t exactly find seeing their mum on TV exciting.

“I’ll go, ‘Look! I’m on telly!’ and they don’t care. And I love it – I’m so glad they don’t care,” she said.

“My daughter’s now 11. I know that she’s a bit proud. Just a bit. And it’s really nice because all I really want is for them to be proud of me and not think I’m a complete loon.

“I think they’ll think it’s cool one day. I’ll be 75 going, ‘I’m on telly!’.”

10 Years Younger In 10 Days starts on Channel 5 on Thursday, March 18