Shropshire woman in battle to become pottery champion on Great Pottery Throwdown
A retired NHS mental health therapist is representing Shropshire on a hit TV pottery competition, and already bagged a win in the first week.
Lucinda Lovesey, 58, from near Church Stretton, is taking part in this year's Great Pottery Throwdown which started on January 2.
The grandmother and retired NHS mental health therapist was awarded 'Potter of the Week' during the first week of the competition, in which contestants had to throw a children’s crockery set and ceramic milk bottles.
Lucinda started pottery as a teenager and has a studio at home, where she loves to draw and sketch out her plans for her pots before creating them.
She retired after 25 years in the NHS and now works part-time behind the bar in her village pub, and she lives with her partner Mike in south Shropshire.
She said the first day in the competition felt "dreamlike".
"The time constraints in the first week were quite a shock to the system," Lucinda said. "I was used to taking a few days to achieve something that had to be achieved in a matter of hours.
"The first time I walked into Glasdstone Pottery I was pretty overwhelmed by the fact that I was actually there and it wasn’t all a dream.
"Then walking into the main studio was mind-blowing as I was incredibly familiar with it from watching the past series and more.
"I looked around and kept saying in my head 'this is real, this really is real' as it felt so dreamlike."
She said she was most excited to meet the judges, Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller, and couldn't wait to tell people she would be on the show.
"The judge I was most keen to impress was Keith and I was so star-struck when he came over to my bench with Rich and Ellie that I actually curtsied. For goodness' sake!
"I just didn’t know what to do with myself and it felt like the best thing to do but I obviously made a fool of myself straight away.
"Keeping it a secret actually got easier in some ways once I’d got over the urge of wanting to tell the world that I’d got on the programme. And then being away from my work at the pub got tricky as the locals were wondering where I was going and rumours started flying around that I had left my partner, some thought I’d gone to New Zealand.
"They seem to have accepted stories about me going to stay with my mum to help her and are now quite concerned for her health and wellbeing."