The former Blue Peter presenter and Zapf Creation brand ambassador talks about her first love, her favourite doll.

PARENT BLOGGER: Katy Hill’s passion for dolls

Meet Lucy. The love of my early life.

My wonderful grandparents gave her to me, my grandma knitted all her clothes and that was it, love at first sight.

She was by my side for pretty much my entire childhood and resembles a blonde Hamble from the 70’s kids’ fave Play School.

My granddad even made her a ‘four poster bed’ out of a hostess trolley since the accessories are so much a part of baby play. It was honestly the most beautiful bed I had ever seen. Ah, how I wish I still had it.

The bed may be gone but I did save Lucy all this time. Smelling her blonde locks and plastic head transports me back to my childhood. I cherished her, thinking my own children would love her as much as I did. And so, a year ago, after a worthy pre-amble, I produced her with a flourish and waited for their excitement.

And they laughed. A lot.

Seriously, what’s not to love about her Angela Rippon hair and faded lips? Her hair plugs and hard limbs? She even featured in Akira’s Show & Tell at school the other day as they were talking about old fashioned toys. Charming.

Since Lucy was centre stage in my own childhood, I love it when I see my two playing with dolls.

I got Kaya a Baby Annabell doll from Akira when he was born so she thought he was pretty ace as a baby brother and had something to play on when I was doing everything with the new baby. And wow, have dolls changed since my day.

Step forward the latest Baby Annabell which, as I’ve been chosen to be the brand ‘Mumbassador’ for Christmas, we were asked to test. She rocks. 

No – literally, she does. Rocking is the new element to her design for 2014 and boy, is it a great new addition. If you rock her from side to side in your arms she falls asleep like a real baby.

My favourite thing about her is how she feels – soft, cuddly and none of that mechanical feel.

 And yes, I might have given her the occasional cuddle and pat on the velour bottom, just to keep that broodiness at bay.

Credit to Zapf Creation for putting the time into her design and testing to make sure there will be smiles all round on Christmas day.

My favourite thing of all? I love how the doll brings out my kids nurturing side. Long may it continue. Baby Annabell looks set to be my kids Lucy.

As for the original lady herself? Safely stored for posterity of course and, apparently, the odd giggle.

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