EMOTIONAL TIES: TV presenter Michaela Strachan on dancing, droughts and her really wild life in Cape Town

TV presenter Michaela Strachan shares her most treasured items, from water dispensers to dancing shoes…

Charlie Shoemaker
Charlie Shoemaker

My son Ollie, 12, lives and breathes cricket so I’ve become an active cricket mother. I’m so proud of him. My parents supported my passion for dance so I’ll support him, too, even if he never does it as a career. I can’t imagine life without him – he’s so easygoing and a brilliant travel companion.

Charlie Shoemaker

I bought this carved wooden giraffe as a souvenir of a trip to South Africa for The Really Wild Show about 20 years ago. He’s back where he began in Cape Town, as that’s where I live now. I don’t buy anything any more as i want to declutter, but I’ll never get rid of this.

Charlie Shoemaker

The painting of a tiger was bought from a charity project in India where we were once filming The Really Wild Show. It’s a daily reminder of our precious wildlife and how close we are to losing it.

Charlie Shoemaker

This dispenser in the kitchen is filled with spring water that we have to queue to get from the public tap. Cape Town is in the grip of a devastating drought – we’re limited to 50 litres of water per person per day – so it’s become a part of daily life to respect it.

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I live behind Table Mountain National Park. Walking there with my dog Rio has become my solace. It’s also where I met my husband Nick. I was in Cape Town and a friend introduced us. After a long walk up the mountain together, a bottle of wine at the top and a cable car down, I knew he was the one.

Charlie Shoemaker

I recorded ‘Take Good Care Of My Heart’ and ‘Happy Radio’ in the late 1980’s. I hosted music shows such as The Hitman and Her and lived with a musician. We had a recording studio in our house so it seemed like a good idea. My life has been full of opportunities.

Charlie Shoemaker

This wall houses thousands of videos, DVD’s and photo albums of all the shows I’ve done from working as a children’s presenter in the 80’s to The Really Wild Show, Countryfile and Springwatch. I feel nostalgic looking at them.

Charlie Shoemaker

My backpack has been all over the world and helped me hone my packing skills. Filming wildlife gave me a hunger for travel, but it will always be the amazing spirit of the people dedicated to saving animals that stays with me most.

Charlie Shoemaker

These were my first pairs of tap and ballet shoes for performing and competing as a child. I still dance a little now. I like getting lost in the emotion of it.

Michaela presents Springwatch, which returns to BBC Two on Monday to Thursday between 28 May and 14 June. She appears in the Walking with Dinosaurs show, which will tour the UK from 20 July. Visit dinosaurlive.com/tickets.

Interview by Fiona McCarthy