Spotlight: Trish Riley

The Honorary Clinical Teacher at Dundee’s School of Dentistry on Michael Schumacher, walking seven miles a day, and appearing on ‘WWTBAM’

14 December, 2020 / indepth
 Will Peakin  

What was your childhood ambition?

To be a solicitor! To this day I’m still fascinated by all things relating to law and legal proceedings – I guess fate just took me in a different direction.

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I’d say ambition – because natural talent can only take you so far, and then you have to work hard to achieve your dreams.

What talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be able to sing! I really enjoy singing; I’m just absolutely tone deaf – as any of my friends or family will tell you!

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would they think? 

I think they’d probably be amazed at how much I’ve done in my life – but would strive to do more – like travelling more for instance.

Which professional figure do you most admire and why?

Professor Grant McIntyre. Grant is the clinical director of Dundee Dental Hospital (my boss!) and also a friend. In the last few months, he contracted coronavirus, became seriously ill, was in hospital (including ICU) for months on end and despite all the odds he made it through. He now takes time to talk about his experience to try to help others, although he still has a massive journey ahead of him in terms of rehab. He hasn’t lost his sense of humour either! He truly is an inspiration to us all.

Which is your hero?

Michael Schumacher. I am a massive Formula 1 fan – and followed him throughout his career at Benetton and Ferrari. I believe he was the most talented driver the sport has ever seen (although Lewis Hamilton will undoubtedly surpass him). I hope that he continues to recover, and that one day we’ll get to see him and hear him speak again. It looks like his son is following in his dad’s footsteps – so good luck to him!

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

A motor home – maybe when I retire! 

Which one thing that you have lost do you still wish you had?

My figure from before childbirth!

What drives you on?

I guess my son. I always want him to be proud of me and my achievements.

How physically fit are you?

Not very, but much fitter than I used to be! Since lockdown began, I’ve started walking every day – I’m up to about seven miles a day now. I love it – I put my earphones in and get lost in audio books or podcasts for a couple of hours. Bliss!

What would be your mastermind specialist subject?

The ‘Outlander’ series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. I love these books – I’ve read them all at least three times!

What TV show could you not live without?

Coronation Street

And finally, it’s been a challenging year – but what has been your highlight? Tell us about the experience….

It has to be Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?! I applied back in January and was accepted to film in May, but then as with everything else the filming was delayed until further notice and I was sworn to secrecy – that was the hardest part! 

Finally, I got the call to go mid-July and it was a mixture of excitement and nerves. 

On the day I was completely put at ease by the crew – I loved every minute! We got to practice ‘fastest finger first’ a couple of times and I was nowhere near as fast as the other contestants – so I was genuinely shocked when I got to sit in the chair! Jeremy Clarkson was so kind (contrary to his public persona) and funny. He really put me at ease. Then before I knew it – it was all over, quick as a flash! 

I was floating on air for a couple of days afterwards and wishing I could do it all over again. I didn’t win life changing money, but enough to buy a new car which is a bonus. I’d recommend to anyone thinking about applying – go for it. The experience was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

About Trish

Trish is a Hygienist and Therapist Tutor in the Oral Health Sciences Department of Dundee Dental Hospital and School and is a member of the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s steering group.

Tags: Dundee Dental School

Categories: Magazine / Spotlight

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