how to be a tv presenter

If you're hell-bent on becoming famous, the most obvious course to take nowadays is that of the television presenter. Forget about spending years in a malodorous garret perfecting a novel; as a TV presenter you get beamed into the unsuspecting living rooms of millions of punters at once. And, with the riotous escalation of satellite, there's no shortage of celebrity pie to go round.

Unfortunately, becoming the next Clive James isn't quite as simple as walking into a TV company and knocking them dead with your personality. Becoming a TV presenter requires serious commitment and homework, if you're to be something more than the next Huffty.

That's where Mike Hollings-worth comes in. Former BBC Breakfast Time and TV-am guru, one of the most experienced producers in the business, and husband of Anne Diamond, Hollingsworth these days runs a company called Venture Artistes, which represents up-and-coming television talent. Hollingsworth is also able to advise people in the midst of flourishing alternative careers when they want to make the move into television: he is currently working with PR Liz Brewer (receiving tips, right, from GMTV's Eamonn Holmes), whose recent appearance on BBC2's The Fame Game generated a raft of possibilities. "Until you've done TV," Brewer muses, "you don't realise there's an awful lot you need to learn."

Hollingsworth is able to draw on his vast knowledge of the business to groom his clients and make them more marketable commodities. "What presenters need constantly is feedback about how well or badly they've performed," Hollingsworth says. For instance, he remarks generously of Jeremy Paxman that there's nothing to put right, but adds: "I suspect that his supreme arrogance is counterbalanced by a slight insecurity complex... I think we would find that somewhere in the secrecy of the night and behind closed doors, Paxman stares at a wall and agonises over what he's done wrong."

But before you, the unknown, get to perform at all, let alone agonise about feedback, you need The Right Stuff. "You've got to have a massive ego," Hollingsworth declares. And then you must pay the medium the respect of careful study.

Assuming you're a young buck (or doe) with a head the size of a planet, Hollingsworth will sit you down and tailor you a strategy.

Ambition type one: you covet Peter Snow's seat on Newsnight. Then you'd better have some journalistic experience: go into local newspapers or local radio, and just put in the hours. "One of the best places to get mileage these days is satellite television," Hollingsworth advises.

Ambition type two: you want to be more entertainment- oriented. Hollingsworth recommends you should dive right in: "I say to people: 'What expertise have you got? You were the champion custard pie- thrower at university? OK, let's get you interviewed on a television show about custard pie-throwing!' Once you get a couple of guest spots, it really perks up your appetite for appearing on television."

If you're still at the I-want-to-find-out-more stage, check out a copy of Peter Baker's Making It as a Radio or TV Presenter, an energetic, encouraging romp through the basics of broadcasting, from another insider. Useful sections include lists of company addresses, fine-tuning your voice and "personality", and buying studio time to make a showreel tape.

Hollingsworth notes that a live tape has one important function. You see, the camera always lies. Of course you look beautiful in the mirror, darling, but... "After 30 years in the business," Hollingsworth says, "I still can't say with 100 per cent confidence if a person will look good on camera. The cam-era does things to people." Indeed. So the question is: do you want to do things to camera?

Venture Artistes (0171-916 9686); 'Making It as a Radio or TV Presenter', Piatkus Books pounds 7.99

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas