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How to become a TV Presenter

TV Presenter
avg. starting salary

Want to be the next Ant and/or Dec? You should be a TV Presenter… TV Presenters are the public faces of television shows, tasked with introducing and interviewing guests and hosting proceedings to help keep the audience entertained. They can cover a wide variety of different subjects, ranging from sport and current affairs through to chat shows and children’s entertainment, providing a friendly face is always on hand to front the action. Just ask Paxman. Although day-to-day duties may vary depending on the type of programme they present, tasks for a TV Presenter may include:
  • Researching guests or upcoming topics and building up background information
  • Liaising with the production team and writing/rehearsing scripts
  • Presenting features or interviewing guests
  • Maintaining communication with the director/s, usually via an ear-piece
  • Keeping the audience (if present) entertained between takes
  • Improvising if when things don’t go to plan (N.B. You have been warned…)

Becoming a TV Presenter is about more than having great chemistry with the camera. It takes hard work, dedication and an almost unlimited amount of patience to reach the top. And it isn’t always as simple as sitting on a sofa and making small talk. You’ll have to manage unruly guests, temper tantrums and technical problems on a daily basis, not to mention work your way up by taking bit-part (see also: dull) presenting roles on local TV to build up your portfolio. Those that struggle to deal with the animals, children and celebrities need not apply. Other necessary attributes include:
  • Confidence
  • Charisma
  • Versatility
  • Interviewing skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Calmness under pressure
  • The ability to read from an autocue without just reading everything (dramatic pause)

"People often think that my job is a breeze. I get to meet famous people all day, do a few hours in front of the camera, and mosey on back to my mansion. Well, the reality is a little different. My day usually starts at around 4.30AM, and lasts at least 12 hours. And with writing, rehearsals, research, features on location and everything else thrown in, it certainly isn’t for the feint hearted. My advice? Be persistent, and see any opportunity that comes up as a chance to build your skills. Oh, and get a good co-host. Richard Madeley gets it…"

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