First and foremost, you need to trust each other. When the proverbial hits the fan, you need to know the other person has your back, and the other person needs to know the same about you. Trust is critical.
My experience of news presenting has always been with someone else in a partnership or a team; when big things break, it means you can share the reporting of it. One person can be looking at the news wire, another person can be announcing to the audience, and that person gets a break to look at what’s changed, what’s new, when the other person is doing an interview. Working together doing news is very effective.
Do you have a favourite co-host?
My favourite co-host is always the one I’ll be working with next. I have been lucky in that I’ve worked with the best in Breakfasttelevision: Bill Turnbull – legend; Charlie Stayt – legend; and I’m about to work with Ben Shephard – legend. All are brilliant at what they do.
Did you already know Ben?
No, but I didn’t feel nervous meeting him because he’s such a familiar face, having presented GMTV and been such a regular on British television. It felt like I’d known him all my life.
Have you ever worked alongside someone you haven’t got on with?
If you’re presenting with someone, you make it work. To me, that’s key. I would never say, “I’m not doing this.” You’re going to work differently with different people, so I’d work out the best way of getting the best out of each other.
The audience like a lot of interaction on air; they want to know that you get on. They want to feel comfortable with you. They want chemistry; they don’t want friction. They want chemistry, not physics!
So, I like to socialise with the people I work with and really get to know them. The last couple of weeks have been about having lunch with Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins. I’m going out with Charlie on Thursday evening and I’m seeing Steph from Breakfast. I definitely like to be friends with the people I work with.
Have you seen Bill Turnbull since you left?
I’m hoping to see Bill on Thursday as well. I still talk to him a lot.
It must be quite hard to go from seeing someone all the time to not seeing them at all.
It’s just life. It’s just the reality.
You must be relieved you don’t have to commute from London to Manchester any more…
Yeah, there are new routines as my working pattern has changed. So it’s been me and Martha Kearney on Radio 4 every day at 1pm with my lunch, which is lovely.
Are you nervous about the way the new show will be received?
No, because I want to know what people are thinking – I want them to email in, especially if they’re not thinking positive things. And audiences are really keen about emailing in and telling you. You get used to that.
I love it; people engaging with what you do is what you want as a broadcaster.