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Josie reveals 'Alison got me through lockdown'

Two of our This Morning family favourites are taking to the road for the ultimate staycation in Alison and Josie’s Staycation Showdown.

That's right, it's Josie Gibson versus Alison Hammond as they each try to find the quirkiest, strangest, most exciting places to stay in Britain - from a converted aeroplane to the coolest treehouse ever seen.

We caught up with Josie to find out more.

How would you describe Staycation Showdown?

Judith Chalmers meets Phil and Kirstie, but with a special Alison Hammond and Josie Gibson twist!

I’m basically trying to trump Alison with these crazy places to stay. Basically, Alison says, ‘I’ve got this place to stay’ and then I say, ‘Well, I tell you what, I can outdo you here, check this out!’ We’re going all round the UK checking out some amazing places to stay and we have found some crazy places let me tell you!

What's been your favourite Staycation location so far?

Well, I don’t know what Alison has come up with yet and I don’t want to give away what I’ve come up with because otherwise she will know and she will try and beat me!

How competitive are you?

Very. Secretly competitive and Alison doesn’t know this, but when I left school I used to be a travel agent, so I’m gonna blow her out of the water with this series!

What is it like being back working together, especially after lockdown?

Alison was actually the person that got me through lockdown. I was actually a bit of a wet noodle through lockdown, because I thought I was a lot stronger than I was and she was just there for me on the phone every night, and we decided to get very spiritual together.

Being around Alison is just like having a permanent hug - her personality and her energy. I don’t know how we’re going to get any filming done with this series, because literally when I come home from a day of filming with Alison I can’t even feel my face where I’ve been laughing so hard!

What did you miss most during lockdown?

People. I’m a real people person and I love meeting up with friends and having a laugh. I missed the energy of people and hugging people. I missed a good old hug. I’m still missing that now really if I’m honest...

Are the pair of you about to rival Ant and Dec?!

I would say we’re much better looking than Ant and Dec, yeah definitely. We’re fun, and I think we’re relatable.

Why do you think you compliment each other well? 

Well, we’re both Aquarians. We both don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we like having a laugh and we work very very hard. I know people won’t believe it, but we do! And I love her and I know she loves me... she’d better do anyway!

Why do you call Alison The Queen or Queenie?

I call her my Queen, because she’s just an absolute Queen. Everything that Alison does is with love and from the heart. She really means everything she does and she’s so caring and loving and honest, and she’s just such a good person - everything you would want in a human being, as well as being incredibly funny. I’m just so lucky that I get to work with my Queen. I just love her. There’s not many people who don’t love Alison Hammond though, she’s got something really special about her. I’m definitely the Robin to her Batman.

Do you think you and Alison could ever host This Morning together?

I think Alison is amazing at it and she makes it look easy, but I don’t think I could concentrate for that many hours. I don't think I’m PC enough! I think you’ve got to be a certain kind of person and with that level of concentration... I don't think I would last two minutes, to be fair!

What’s your favourite game to play?

Texas Hold'em Poker. I used to go round all the local pubs back in the day and I used to pretend I’d never played before, and I used to win all the time. They couldn’t get their head around it. I used to earn a load of money doing that!

Where is your favourite place in Britain to travel to?

Wales. I think Wales is one of my favourite countries ever. It's got Brecon Beacons, it’s got the Gower Peninsula, it’s got Tenby, it’s just gorgeous. I love the Welsh accent and I love the Welsh people too. And Scotland, I love Scotland. The Highlands and Wales, definitely.

What are Brits best at? What makes you proud to be British?

Our stiff upper lip. Some people don’t like it, but I do. I just love the British thing of, ‘we’re British and so we’ll get on with it’. And I love communities when they stick together and all look after each other. You’ll still get those communities now out in some villages. Also, I think we’ve got one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We don’t realise what’s on our doorstep. I’m quite well traveled and this is one of my favourite countries in the world. The scenery, the greenery... People come from all over the world to check out our country, we should be really proud of it I think.

What can you never travel without?

That is a hard one… that is really difficult… pants!

Who would be your ideal travel companion and why?

I have actually got my ideal travel companion here. Me and Alison have been on holiday before together and we just had a scream, I just didn’t stop laughing from the moment I got there! But other than her, it would be my little boy and my friends.

Where else in the world have you stayed that has taken your breath away?

Costa Rica. That was amazing, absolutely amazing. I like anywhere where you can get in touch with nature really. It’s got a bit of culture too. I stayed in a little surfing town and I learnt to surf there, and it was just incredible.

What makes your home home? Why do you love Bristol so much?

The people. Everybody stops and says hello. I remember when I moved to London, I used to say hi and go and knock on my neighbour’s door for a chat and they actually complained about me. The landlord said I was a weirdo! And then I moved back to Bristol and I knew everyone on my street within 48 hours, it’s just totally different - everyone just talks to everyone, no matter who anybody is.

What would you like to do next for This Morning? 

I'm doing what I’ve always wanted to do. People say, ‘What do you want to do next?’ and I go, ‘What do you mean? I’ve hit the jackpot.’ I am living the dream. When there’s a full moon me and my friends write a list of things we’d like to do. And on every one I just wanted a gig on This Morning. Just go round and travel. And when I emailed into This Morning and asked if they would give me a go, I said to them I would love to be the Judith Chalmers of the UK, because we don’t realise what’s on our doorstep, we’ve got some beautiful places. And my dream has come true. I am just so happy where I am, this is me. I’ve done it!

What’s been your most memorable This Morning adventure and why?

They’ve all been pretty memorable. To be fair, I’m not really a fan of all this adventure stuff - all this zip lining and rollercoastering. I’m not the biggest adrenaline junkie going, so when they put me up for it people must like it because they keep putting me forward for all these horrific things! But I think my best adventure with This Morning has got to be Lapland. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was just magic. I was so lucky, I pinch myself every day.

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