Since she first hit our screens a decade ago, Supernanny Jo Frost has become a household name and made 'naughty steps' popular with frazzled parents around the world.

The firm-but-fair star is also rumoured to have picked up some royal fans, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly watching her shows ahead of Prince George's birth last July.

"I think that's brilliant! Good for William and Catherine, for getting the information and learning!" Frost exclaims with customary gusto.

Frost's ascent to fame began in 2004 when, having worked in childcare for 15 years, the Londoner spotted a magazine advert from Channel 4 TV producers looking for their Supernanny.

Her strict, matronly childcare style impressed and appalled in equal measure, but in recent years, she has ditched the sharp suits and finger-wagging for a softer, but equally no-nonsense approach, on shows such as Extreme Parental Guidance and Family SOS. She's also found the time to pen seven books on parenting.

Family affairs

Her latest TV offering is the daytime talk show Jo Frost Family Matters, which aims to help British families in crisis, from tearaway teens to struggling step-families.

Participants agree to have their day-to-day lives filmed before they meet Frost in the studio to try and resolve their problems together.

There are tensions, tears and some tantrums, but any comparisons with ITV daytime stablemate The Jeremy Kyle Show are batted away by Frost.

Jo on her show

"Kyle has his own show and he does his thing in his own way. This is not The Jeremy Kyle Show; this is Jo Frost Family Matters," she says.

"This is me going in and helping families in the way that I do, which is with the utmost respect and integrity. I cradle these families when they're feeling so raw and vulnerable, and help them so that they can really feel good when they leave. They've got a game plan."

Financial pressures

The 42-year-old adds that the recent financial downturn has made family tensions even more raw.

"It's important for us to understand where we are in this country when it comes to families and the support they need - looking at the situations that have hit families, and the stress of living in a country that's been hurting from the recession," she explains.

Frost is passionate and 'on message' when it comes to her work, using buzzwords and phrases like "validating", "owning emotions", and "honouring your own space".

So it comes as a relief to learn she does let her hair down sometimes. "Oh God, yeah!" she whoops. "I'm a bubbly person, and my friends are bubbly as well. I just sit back and they make me laugh, they're crazy girls."

Frost also confesses that she "pushed the boundaries" a bit as a teenager in South West London.

"I'd come home late a few times, because I wanted to stay out with my friends, and soon realised I was grounded for the next party and that wasn't going to work," she says.

"My parents did an awesome job."

California girl

Frost is now based in Orange County, California, with her partner Darrin, who also works in TV. She misses her family (and British chocolate), but clearly loves the life she has created there.

Having dedicated her career to helping other people with their children, would she like some of her own one day?

Jo and Darrin

"Maybe," she says. "We're not actively going to have kids right now, but we have spoken about it. How could you be with me and not talk about that, you know?"

For now, Frost is focused on her work, and clearly loves what she does. She regularly dispenses advice to her fans on Twitter, and is often approached by parents who want to ask her for tips or give her a hug.

Jo Frost Family Matters begins on ITV on Monday, April 28.