As TV shows go Coach Trip is pretty queer-friendly; being hosted by out-and-proud Brendan and having featured other same-sex couples in the past. However we hadn’t seen a couple that looked like us before. Coming from multi-ethnic backgrounds and what with lesbians still being underrepresented in the media, we felt we would bring something different to the mix.
Let’s rewind back. Why Coach Trip? Well doesn't everyone like the sound of a free holiday? Of course they do. However our adventure was far from relaxing. You'll have to watch the show and read our future instalments to understand why. The biggest reason for applying, however, was that we were entering a new chapter in our lives and wanted to celebrate the transition with something unique.
Having been together for almost two years, we started talking about moving in with each other. So Coach Trip would provide the perfect opportunity to spend prolonged periods in each other’s company, in situations we knew would throw challenges at us. We would be spending huge amounts of time on a coach with strangers, being followed by cameras all day, facing emotional and physical challenges, travelling constantly plus the threat of being voted off every night.
It was a chance to see how we would cope under that kind of pressure; after all if we could deal with that, domesticity would be bliss. Not forgetting the sheer excitement of visiting all those places, meeting new people and trying new things.
At the point of recording, Melissa was making the switch from being a business consultant to working in a supportive role in a charity that helps vulnerable women.
This transition created a natural break in routine for us. Although, the first I heard about this was one Tuesday afternoon when Melissa turned to me and asked, “Babe, have you heard of Coach Trip? Well I umm sort of applied for us to be contestants…and we’ve been invited to auditions!”.
If truth be told, we didn’t expect to make it past auditions let alone be one of the original couples to kickstart the series. However when we heard the news, we were over the moon. Then we were stunned. Then really anxious. Then excited again.
Part of our anxiety arose because Coach Trip brings contestants from a huge demographic and although we were used to cosmopolitan London, maybe we'd meet people who weren't supportive of the LBQ community. Our route through Europe was to be kept a surprise, so we wondered what it would be like to pass through countries where perhaps it may not be acceptable to be openly gay. Another concern was what it would feel like to put our relationship under the spotlight, opening it up to scrutiny and potential attacks on social media.
This presented an amazing opportunity for Christabel, a writer, to journal her thoughts about an experience which is far from typical. So, if you're interested in knowing what its like to be filmed 16 hours a day, or how it how feels to eat unidentifiable breaded food stuff daily, or how we felt to be given the 'least-creative-nickname-for-a-lesbian-couple-ever' of the Scissor Sisters, then follow us!
Read our story, our words, exclusively on Planet London.
Coach Trip hits your screens on Channel 4 or 4OD from the 30th March 2015 at 17:30.