First thing

The way they start their day 12. Kirsty Wark presenter, 'Newsnight' Glasgow
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Indy Lifestyle Online
On the mornings I fly down to London for Newsnight, I wake to a BT automated alarm call at 6.45am, and get out of bed and go straight to the shower in complete silence. I don't even have the radio on at that point; I just couldn't handle it. But I am a morning person and, generally, I am reasonably alert straightaway.

Back in my bedroom, I throw on some clothes. I put on what I'm going to be wearing on the programme in the evening, and I usually go for a grey suit. Eighty per cent of the people on my flight to London are men in grey suits, so I think I might as well wear one too.

At two minutes to seven the clock radio comes on, tuned to Good Morning Scotland, which is my back-up in case I fall asleep after the alarm call. I dash downstairs to the kitchen, to listen to the Today programme on the radio in there. I put the kettle on - I just about have time to have some hot water with lemon - and then do my telephone check-in with BA, which I can do as an Executive Club member. I was a gold card holder, but was recently demoted to silver, though I continue to use the same number.

I then go back upstairs to wake my children, James and Caitlin. I say good morning to them, and they always chorus back: "Tell us you're not going to London." They tell me: "You don't need to go - Daddy works, so you can stay at home." I reply that it's good for women to work, but this seems to pass them by. After phoning for a taxi to take me to Glasgow Airport, I start to dress them, though the job is usually only half-finished by the time I have to leave.

Mornings are a scramble, and so organisation is of the essence. My bag is packed the night before, usually with another complete set of clothes, because when I go to London I'm often doing two nights of Newsnight. I try to make it look like hand luggage, so that I can keep it with me on the plane; if you put anything in the hold on a flight to Heathrow you end up waiting an hour and a half for it on the carousel at the other end.

When the taxi draws up, I say goodbye to my husband, Alan, giving him a whole list of things to remember for the day. The children wave at me sorrowfully at the door, but I know that three seconds after I've gone, they'll forget about me and go and pester their dad. He then takes over getting them ready, and drops off James, who's four, at nursery, and Caitlin, who's six, at school, before going to the offices of our production company in central Glasgow.

Twelve minutes later, I'm at Glasgow Airport. Once there, I buy all the morning papers, and I never seem to be able to resist a cup of extremely bad coffee in the executive lounge, where I bump into a lot of bleary- eyed MPs. On the plane, I have breakfast, and go for the vegetarian option, simply because it's better than the alternative. That's cornflakes with milk, followed by an omelette with mushrooms, with yet more bad coffee. Before food is served, though, I make sure I've read the broadsheets I've bought, as it's impossible to hold a paper that size and eat at the same time. The tabloids, on the other hand, are quite easy to hold up over my breakfast.

Often, though, flights to Heathrow are subject to delays, and our take- off slot, which is supposed to be 8.15am, gets pushed back to 8.45. I always have a book with me, and I even keep a small piece of tapestry in my bag to do if I get really stuck; I'm covered for a five-hour delay, if it should come to it. Then, at the other end, we often end up having to circle for a while, which means a 10am touchdown at Heathrow rather than the official 9.30. On landing, though, I have a Newsnight car waiting for me, and that gets me to BBC Television Centre by about 10.30. The truth is that, in spite of all the apparent chaos, I still get to work faster than I would if I lived in Kentn

Interview by Scott Hughes

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