Zoom meetings, Skype and FaceTime calls have made full slap de rigueur.

I was once a guest on the Lorraine show. I can’t remember what the subject of the interview was, but back then I worked on teen magazines and was forever having to argue that girls really really needed to know about sex and their bodies. The other guest was a men’s magazine editor and he didn’t like me at all. Nor, it seemed, did Lorraine, who barely said hello when I was ushered into the studio five minutes before the show aired.

Maybe she was being a consummate professional and focussing hard through her pre-live debate nerves rather than bothering with pleasantries. But she also hadn’t bothered with her bottom half, I noticed. For while her hair and make-up were heavy, glossy and immaculate and that ample bosom had been squeezed into a posh cleavage-flashing top, under the desk was another matter. I couldn’t help it – I was transfixed by the sight of Ms Kelly’s baggy tan tights and comfy fluffy slippers combo. I was aghast. There was me in my very best suit and heels, but Lorraine looked like she’d been wheeled in from her home sofa and had only just whipped off the dressing gown. Where was the glamour, were we ‘normals’ not worth it? So polished on top, so suburban casual below. What an absolute con.

And in the couple of years we have all become Lorraine Kelly. Since lockdown, the need to conduct Zoom and Skype meetings from home means that we’re obliged to mask the fact that we’ve all gone rogue and every day is spent in slob-out gear. Hurriedly throwing on a half-decent top and full slap, then giving the tangled mess a quick flick with a hairbrush, all in the five minutes before we click on that online meeting link and appear in glorious technicolour on-screen has become an essential part of our day.

And like all TV professionals, a normal coating of make-up is just not enough for big-screen exposure, which drains all the colour from the face. The usual flick of mascara and eyeliner is insufficient for giving that polished air online. Like Lorraine, nowadays we’re full drag queen – we’re TV Make-up all the way – light-reflecting foundation, heavy on the eyebrow, eye-opening eye shadow, blusher and well-defined lips. And no one needs to know that the bottom half is grubby old jogging pants and well-worn slippers. And quite possibly no bra.

Words: Marina Gask