Steph McGovern opens up on abuse she faced during first job
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Steph McGovern was back on the BBC on Wednesday night as a repeat of her episode in the Walking with… series, which first aired in October this year, was broadcast. The mother-of-one ventured through the Yorkshire Dales and met some members of the public on her journey in the countryside. However, she touched upon her career several times during the 30-minute episode and explained she had been the victim of abuse in the past because of the way she spoke on television.
The moment came after she bumped into a couple of friendly walkers during her own trek and they said they recognised her because of her voice.
With a 360 Go-Pro camera on hand to record her, Steph delved into the past as she recalled what it was like for her working at the BBC many years ago.
Before she appeared as a journalist on BBC Breakfast, the presenter held many roles with the company, including being a producer and hosting her own shows on the network’s radio stations.
It should have been easy for the broadcaster to find her groove but she did not receive the reaction some of her colleagues did.
This was all because she was from the north and the mother-of-one explained: “It’s funny how I always get recognised for my voice first.”
“I remember when I first went on television as a journalist, it was such a shock for people,” the former BBC Breakfast presenter said.
“That there was a northern girl with an accent doing something serious on the television like the news. To be fair, there was a bit of abuse that came with it as well.
“But my boss was class and she was just like, ‘They don’t know you and just ignore some of that for now,'” the broadcaster remarked.
“It was funny some of the post I got from people would be like, ‘You can’t possibly be intelligent with that voice.’
“You just think, that’s their own ignorance, not mine,” she told viewers before she carried on with her walk and looked towards the future.
There was a bit of abuse
The presenter is no longer a journalist on BBC Breakfast as she made the switch to Channel 4 last year to host her own chat show.
Steph’s Packed Lunch sees the presenter speak with a number of guests from a studio in Leeds, with a bulk of the talent being northern.
However, during one instalment of the show, the mother-of-one revealed how she had lied to get a job at the BBC when she first started out.
Speaking with some of her co-stars, the broadcaster said: “I remember when I got the job of presenting BBC Breakfast news.
“I’d been asked, ‘Have you ever done live TV before?’ And I said yes… And I hadn’t.”
Steph continued to explain: “You’ve got to blag it sometimes in life and I told them 10 seconds before we went to air. “I’ve got a count in my ear now and it was a bit like this…’” she added before revealing she’d told this to Susanna Reid when she was still a journalist on the show.
The mother-of-one said: “Susanna Reid said ‘Good luck’ and I said ‘Thanks.’
“She said, ‘But you’ve done live TV before?’ I said, ‘No I haven’t’ and the director gasped in my ear,'” the presenter recalled.
However, she went on to become one of the programme’s most beloved stars and she bowed out after 10 years last year to pursue her own venture.
It was because of the early morning starts Steph decided to leave the network, with her chat show airing at lunchtimes, making it a lot more feasible.
Talking on the chat show, she said: “I loved it. [BBC Breakfast] was brilliant.
“But it was a killer. I did that job for eight years and spent most of my time – as we just said – travelling around the country.
“I was forever living in hotels and getting up in the middle of the night. I loved that programme but I thought, ‘I’ve had enough now.’
“Then I had a baby then I thought, ‘Nah.'”
Walking with Steph McGovern is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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