Monday, 25 January 2010

Interview with Ellie Crisell!

There are three people in my life who I cherish most with my career. We have Andrea McLean, who is a sensation and such an inspiration. If I am half as successful as she is, I will be ecstatic. We then have two more lovelies who have played possibly the greatest part in shaping who I am. As a child I spent a lot of my time watching 'CBBC', and this brought me two great presenters: Konnie Huq and Ellie Crisell. Both are amazingly admirable professionals and influenced my career greatly, and I was fortunate enough to get in touch with the latter...

Me: You trained in Dance before you went on to study Broadcast Journalism - did you always know this was something you wanted to do?
Ellie: I used to watch Newsround and practise reading the news infront of the mirror as a kid! As I got older I was keen to have some kind of performing career but then felt I'd like to marry my love of reading and writing and curiosity about people with performance - it was either Broadcast Journalism or become a barrister, actually!

Me: Who has been your career inspirations?
Ellie: I grew up with John Craven and Moira Stewart reading the news - I admired both of them but truthfully, my parents have been my biggest influences. My dad is a Professor of Media and my mum is a Judge so there was a lot of media and law chat around our dinner table!

Me: You're worked for newspapers, radio and television - which would you say you prefer?
Ellie: Newspapers, Radio and TV are all enjoyable in different ways. I have loved the newspaper journalists I've come across - they are such fun and so talented. They can have quite a ruthless, cynical streak which I totally admire and a wicked sense of humour.
Radio is much more chilled out than TV, full of nice, friendly people and there is a lot more freedom to be creative.
TV is glamorous and you feel, particularly working in the BBC TV newsroom, that you are really in the centre of things. I love the excitement of live TV - it's a total buzz and it does not feel like work!

Me: You became a childhood idol for many when you became part of the CBBC 'Newsround' team in 2003. What are your highlights from working on the show?
Ellie: Newsround was a wonderful 5 years for me. The team were (and continue to be) enormous fun. I had great friends there and the whole production office had a lot of input into the programme, so you really felt your opinion mattered and you were part of something great. There is an enormous fondness across the nation for Newsround, so it's just a privilege to work for such a treasured programme that, let's face it, performs a unique role. There is no other television news for children and we felt we had an important, valued job to do.

Me: With a child of your own now, do you ever worry what he may be exposed to while watching television?
Ellie: My little boy is nearly two and I let him watch CBeebies, which he loves. I'd hesitate to let him watch anything else at the moment, mainly because of the number of adverts on other channels. But CBeebies is a nice combination of education and fun with no adverts of course, and I don't think it does him any harm to watch a little bit now and again, under my supervision.

Me: Social networking sites are on the increase. How do you feel about having fanpages dedicated to you with titles such as "Ellie Crisell from Newsround Massively Hot" (Facebook)?
Ellie: On the odd occasion I've googled myself I've felt a combination of pride and horror at what I've seen! Of course it's flattering to have fan groups, but there is just as much criticism as praise out there for anyone in the public eye and it's sensible to try and avoid reading too much. When I first got the job my dad said to me - don't believe your own publicity - not the good stuff, not the bad stuff, just keep your feet on the ground and stay true to yourself - and that's what I try and do. All that stuff is just part of the job I do - it's not who I am privately.

Me: Which presenters/broadcasters to you admire now? Anybody you'd like to work alongside?
Ellie: I have enormous admiration for many of the senior broadcasters here at the BBC - there are too many to mention, truthfully. I feel, as a younger member of the team, I have a lot to learn and it's a challenging environment for me. Good to keep on your toes though!

Me: What advice would you give to all the budding Journalists out there?
Ellie: For budding journalists - start reading newspapers/watching news as early as you like - the more you read about the world, the more interesting it becomes. Work hard and expect to continue working hard. Foster an interest in people and world events - after all - news is really just gossip of one sort or another!

Me: What are your hopes for the future?
Ellie: I'd like to become better at what I do and continue to work for the BBC - it's the best known and loved broadcaster in the world and I still get a huge buzz to be working in their newsroom.

Thank you, Ellie!

Amy x

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