A Personal Perspective
What you do in the job?
The best thing about the work of a Presenter is that its so varied, and every single day is different. And you really do get to do exciting things and meet fantastic people.
I come in at whatever time is necessary, depending on if I am interviewing someone. I might be going to London for the day, so I will be getting maybe a 7am flight and then I am back that night at twelve. Every single day is different. So really its very, very hard to plan within your personal life, which is a downside of it.
Dress code, well really more than anything else, you have to think about the climate. A lot of the time Im out and about. So I have to think of keeping warm. So I have vests and Ive about ten layers on underneath a big,big coat, and gloves and scarves and everything else. But other than that, if you are in the studio, you can dress a little bit more glamorously, or a little bit funkier.
What I love most about my job would be the fact that I get to meet so many characters and do such varied things. Ive been a rally car driver, embarked on hang gliding. Ive been up in helicopters and really, the average job doesnt allow you to do that, so I think that the best thing about my job.
You do get to do exciting things and meet fantastic people.
I think people watch television and believe that its all very,very glamorous and very glitzy and a wonderful job and it is a wonderful job, but at the same time I dont think that people are necessarily aware of the 15 hour day you have just put in or that you have been standing up the side of a mountain with wind howling around you. People assume that you have a make-up girl and stylist who pampers you, but it certainly is not always the case.
What qualities are required?
I think probably the best skills to have, more than anything being able to chat with people and being relaxed as well and not really being taken with it all. You have to keep your feet on the ground. You need to have a certain level of confidence, but being able to talk with people and having a good personality, being very calm and being able to cope with pressure, because that will crop up too, are all vital qualities. If youre in the studio, you might be doing a live piece or have to get something right down to two minutes thirty two, you have to be able to do those sorts of things. And basic things within an office, such as your computer skills and being able to type quite quickly, being able to write scripts and being able to adapt scripts to suit a certain length of time of a piece, these are also important skills, you do need good writing skills.
How you start and where you can go with it?
In terms of Presenting, I think theres not a set degree or qualification that you need. Certainly maybe Journalism would be of interest to an awful lot of Presenters because a lot of it seems to consist of interviewing people, constantly in fact. But other than that,I think that it never ever does any harm to have a degree behind you and I would always recommend that, even though I have not actually done it myself as yet!
Its more experience than anything else and if you can get experience in Radio or TV or Independent Production Companies, I believe that is where the real experience will lie, and that is your basis for getting a job.
Many people assume that you are making vast amounts of money if youre on television. Actually that is not the reality. Its not that there are huge amounts of money at this stage, but certainly there is the potential if perhaps you are prepared to go across the water!
I am here having not really tried and maybe that is precisely why I am where I am right now, because I havent ever knocked on a door and pleaded for a job. I think it has happened because someone spotted me and I enjoyed it and it has just happened quite naturally. I think that really is a lovely way for it to work out.
My best advice would be to keep on trying to the best of your ability, but in such a way that it is not too overpowering to producers and directors, because when you think of it, there are so many people who do that. So I think if you have got something natural in you and a little sparkle, it will shine through.
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