Tell us about your career path since graduation.
During my degree, I had already started gaining work experience in local radio, and kept on turning up until they started paying me for freelance shifts! Already ahead of the game when I graduated from my postgrad in Broadcast Journalism, I was offered a job as News Editor at a local TV station. There, I learnt every part of the industry, from planning and presenting to reporting and editing. Armed with these skills, I got my first job as Production Journalist at ITV Meridian. It wasn’t long before I became a reporter and filled in presenting news, sport, and politics. And then I got my big break – securing a job as main presenter at ITV Wales. I now present the flagship news programme as well as a current affairs series and a crime programme. I also present the network news from London.
How has your degree helped your career path?
My frustration with modern newsrooms is, sometimes, that advances in technology can mean journalism is in danger of losing sight of the importance of the core values of creative scripting and accurate grammar. English Literature is so much more than that, of course. But in terms of how my degree helps me at a fundamental level, I believe my studies are reflected daily in my writing. On a broader level, I have an in-depth knowledge of a huge range of historical and political topics to call on. My modules ranged from Holocaust Literature and Postcolonial Literature to Modern American Poetry.
Has your career path changed since university?
So far, no! But I guess there’s still time!
What is the most exciting thing you have done in your career so far?
There is a lot to choose from. I’m very fortunate in that my job brings different things each and every day. I interviewed Prince Harry in one of his first solo media appearances without his older brother, I’ve been to Arctic Norway to film wounded ex-servicemen and women preparing to trek to the North Pole, and I’ve presented the programme live from the top of Snowdon.
What drew you to working for ITV Cymru Wales?
At 29, I was lucky enough to get a main presenter’s job in Wales with ITV, which was amazing! You never quite know where your career and your life will take you, but within a couple of years, I had met my husband and never looked back! Wales offers a really fantastic quality of life without the huge London price tags! We’ve got three dogs, and the luxury of mountains in one direction and beaches in the other. The weather can sometimes get in the way, but I’m used to that now!
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day. Through the week, I can either be working a late shift, which will mean working towards the main 6pm programme and the late bulletin, I could be sent out live on location to anchor the programme if there is breaking news, or I can be out and about filming for my crime series or my current affairs programme – which could be with anyone, anywhere in Wales.
What is the best thing about your current role?
The variety. And the privilege of people letting you into their lives to hear their stories – stories which are often incredibly personal and hugely emotional, but they are brave enough to appear on television in the hope that they might change things for the better for other people.
What do you enjoy about working in Wales?
Working in Wales as a journalist is particularly interesting in light of devolution. Wales has its own government, and big issues like health and education are run by politicians here. This is a political process which needs scrutinising, and one which provides us with a very strong news agenda.
What is your favourite thing about Wales?
I should probably say the rugby team! My husband has recently retired as a Wales international, and anyone who has ever spent any amount of time in Wales will know that rugby is like a religion here!