DOCUMENTARY series Made In Great Britain tells the story of how our nation's craft and manufacturing skills have shaped our towns and cities.

Teesside's Steph McGovern, 36, tells Georgia Humphreys about what she discovered from presenting the show, the intense shoot, and how she hopes it inspires young people.

Can you sum up the idea behind Made in Great Britain?

It's a look back at how we have made some of the things we take for granted in our daily lives, and how they're made now. We tell this story through four craftspeople, what we call makers. So we've got a leather worker, a potter, a chef, a blacksmith, and they then experience, in each episode, a different product and how it's been made through the centuries.

What products do you look at?

Chocolate, cheese, steel, pottery, shoes, hats... Things that we just eat or put on and not really think about it. We look at how they've shaped areas, in particular, and how there's a social history behind things as well - how it's led to big industries in different areas, then how they've coped during the decline, and where they're at now.

You must have learnt a lot from filming this show...

It's really fascinating what you pick up, because you don't even realise where so many of the phrases we might use come from. So "nose to the grindstone" comes from the steel industry, or "potholes", that comes from potters - they used to dig in the ground to get the clay out so they'd leave big holes everywhere. There's "mad as hatters" - that's because the chemicals the hatters used to make the hats with sent them a bit loopy.

Why is it important to have a show like Made in Great Britain on telly?

I didn't like history at school because I didn't think it was my interest, and what I've realised is it wasn't taught very well, because what I've loved about all of this is learning the history, going, "So the chocolate orange actually started as a chocolate apple? No way! So why was that? And why did it change?" Children used to make hats, from 18 months old. My goddaughter is that age and I'm like, "What? How is that even possible?" There's a lot of "wow" stuff in it.

Would you agree watching the makers in the show could be inspiring for young people?

As a nation, we talk so much about exam results, and that's your value in society, if you do well in exams. But we don't actually celebrate people who are skilled in so many other ways. I love the fact that Katie [a blacksmith, who's one of the makers in the show] is cool, and she was the first out of all of them to throw herself into the middle of the tough stuff. There was no feeling of gender disparity between the makers, they were all equally brilliant, and the girls gave it just as good as the lads. I loved that about it.

You travel all over the country for the show. How challenging was the shoot?

It's the hardest shoot I've ever done, because it was really intense. We had to make it realistic - it is a living history programme so we had to be in those eras and kind of eat like they did and get to really experience it with the makers. So, it was very, very long days. We were filming at the height of the summer, so it was probably the hottest I've ever been on a shoot as well!

Did it make you want to learn a new craft yourself?

Yes, I worked in engineering before the media so I'm really into this stuff anyway. I did have a go at quite a few of the things. I was nowhere near as good as the actual makers but I had a go. There's something really nice about being physical, whether you're trying to throw a pot or making a hat. I don't get to do that very often nowadays.

You do a variety of presenting work, from BBC Breakfast to Shop Well For Less. How do you find being in the public eye?

People are lovely. I'm very fortunate in that because my style is to be normal... that means people do approach me a lot. Often I will be with a team who will go, "Oh my god I totally thought you knew them!" because people just come over and go, "You all right, Steph? What you doing?" They're just very casual about it.

You certainly seem very grounded...

Well you've gotta be, that's my key thing. You've got to stay normal to look like the people you're talking to and sound like them, and if I start going all TV diva or whatever then I'm not going to be able to do that well.

  • Made In Great Britain starts on BBC Two on Friday October 26.