There’s something exciting about telly I was struck by the bug as a nipper when I saw Moira Stewart & Trevor McDonald reading the news I yearned to become a journalist.
So fast- forward through years of study and rubbish jobs and I land a job as a TV News Reporter in Birmingham. After that I anchored hours of live national and international news each night on Sky News – I loved every minute of it! And now I’m a self-employed journalist I’ve been lucky enough to swap talking hard news for yakking about my love of beer on the tellybox. And, you know what? I’m really enjoying the change in emphasis.
I just don’t think beer gets a fair hearing on the TV right now It’s still seen as Mr Bad Guy with beers over 7.5% ABV get taxed to high heaven (as if they are responsible for all of Britain’s alcoholism woes).
So you can imagine how I jumped at the chance to throw one of my Beer Beauty parties for the ‘Oz & Hugh Raise The Bar’ show on BBC2 last year. Since then The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV1 daytime has asked me on a couple of times.
The producers pretty much have an idea of what they want to talk about and have usually ordered some of the beers in for the slot. What’s great is they also ask me if I want to include anything else. So here’s what happens when I get to The London Studios (home of Loose Women This Morning and The Graham Norton Show) I’m met by the Runner who looks after me for the day and I also meet the rest Production Team and other guests on the show that day I get whisked into hair and make-up then get called up for a rehearsal. I’m massively impressed at how the clever teams have taken the time and effort to create a fake pub setting for the beer slot to make it more fun for the viewer.
Last time around I had pumps on the bar and a Wurlitzer machine. And for the Dickens slot we had a fabulous tankards and a bust of Queen Vic!
So at rehearsal I get mic’d up meet Alan and go through the motions of what we’re going to talk about and the cameras get the right positions for the close-up shots of the beers on the bar.
Then there’s the wait And when you get ushered back stage ready to go on and ‘do your thang’ your heart is racing 6 minutes in front of a live studio audience. No pressure there then!
It’s pretty exciting - not just on the adrenalin level - but also on the level of being part of the flipside of the debate about beer. I’m no longer reporting on stories about how the emergency services deal with binge drinking. I’m enjoying being able to showcase some of the wonderful beers that are produced by and for us members of the beer drinking public who DON’T binge drink every Friday and Saturday night causing the NHS a multi-million pound headache!
I’ve had a great giggle on the telly slots so far – not least nattering with some of the celebs in the Green Room - so hopefully there’s more fun to come and more chances to champion great British beer in my own small way. (You can see Beer Beauty on TV by going to her blog: www.beerbeauty.co.uk)