Midlothian pals rubbed shoulders with Loose Women celebrities after reaching the final of the show’s Best Friend of the Year UK competition.
Sara Buchanan nominated her best friend Rachel Houlton, capturing the attention of the judges when she revealed how her friend had been a huge support when her parents died within a year of each other.
Sara also went through the trauma of breaking her back abroad, to find Rachel waiting for her at the airport on her return. She took her to hospital and cooked for her daily after her operation, despite having two young children and a business to run.
Sara moved to Bonnyrigg to live with her husband in January 2014, and a year to the day later, she went back down to Lincolnshire to help Rachel move up to join her. The forty-year-olds now live just a mile-and-a half apart and see one another every day. In her competition entry, Sara said: “She is my rock and my soulmate. I would walk to the edge of the earth for her.”
One of twelve finalists, selected from more than 350 entries, the ladies were treated to an all expenses paid trip to London where they were put up in a plush hotel and enjoyed high tea with Loose Women panellists Jane Moore, Jamelia, Ruth Langsford and Gloria Hunniford.
On her return to Midlothian, Sara said: “It’s been a surreal experience. We had a brilliant time. I just entered without thinking and was really surprised to make the final. I thought it would be nice to put down in writing what I thought of my friend.”
While at the studio they also met Jim Dale of ‘Carry On’ fame and Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff.
Explaining the close relationship that the friends share, Sara added: “We just know one another so well there are no words to explain it - it’s intuitive. I think it’s because we grew up together. We know each others likes and dislikes. There has also been a really close bond between our families. She was there for me when my parents passed away and I was there are the birth of both her children. If she needs anything she comes to me and If I need anything I go to her.”
A survey undertaken by tombola, the sponsor of ITV Loose Women, revealed Scottish people prefer face-to-face and telephone communication rather than social media.