‘Girls used to have dolls, now they have iPhones’

Pollyanna Woodward says technology has become fashionable

Your background is in music and presenting – how did you get onto a technology show?

I’ve always been a technology fan. I thought my Game Boy was the most amazing thing ever as a kid. At 16 I got a mobile – a real brick – and I was obsessed. Since then I’ve loved having the latest phone. I also had a boyfriend who was into modifying cars, so I got fascinated by engines and stereos. Eventually I pestered the Gadget Show, which I’d always loved, saying that if they ever needed a new presenter, they had to screen test me. A few weeks later I was working for them.

Did your genuine enthusiasm get you the job ahead of other prospective presenters?

I think what swung it was the fact I throw myself into stuff. My screen test included racing round a dirt track on a Segway, and I fell off so many times! I’m quite practical too – I live on my own, so I can put up shelves.

Technology is all about enthusiasm for new things, and I’ve got that. It’s the most exciting field to work in because it’s constantly moving, changing and getting better.

Do we still need more women in technology?

Yes, but a huge amount of progress has been made.

Technology has always been male-dominated and seen as geeks on computers typing out zeroes and ones, but it’s changing. Apple played a huge part in making the subject more accessible, attractive and easy.

They changed perceptions. The glass ceiling is gone now I think, and I can only see the gender ratio equalling out further.

Are younger girls getting interested, though?

Definitely. I was helping a classroom of young girls doing a project called Apps for Good recently, which is all about inventing phone applications.

They were coming up with incredible ideas, and the fact that they are the future is very encouraging, because they’re miles ahead of where we were as kids. When I was younger, little girls had dolls and prams. Now, tiny children are engaging with technology and operating iPhones when they’re four.

Has the male geek stereotype been put to bed, too?

I think so. There are so many people who are creative and uber-cool working in technology now, and what they’re creating certainly is far from boring. It has turned a corner and become fashionable, and with things like apps, such a wide field is covered. I don’t think you see techy boys now and think: “Steer clear, he’s going to be dull.”

What are your favourite bits of technology?

I love music gadgets. I have the Zeppelin Air speaker system, which I love – although my neighbours probably hate it.

And I can’t live without my smart phone.

What is the next exciting field of technology, then?

Health. There are some great apps and gadgets that I think will become very popular soon. I recently helped out with a campaign for a diabetes app called iBGStar, which makes managing glucose levels very easy on a smart phone.

It’s been quite hard for kids to deal with managing their diabetes, and it’s not a very cool thing, is it? But this device is so easy, very slick and gives them the right information.

I’ve just got myself a Nike Fuelband, which monitors how active you’ve been each day, which is ingenious. You can set goals for yourself, and get more active. Hopefully there are a lot more developments to come in this field, and they’ll help a large number of people.

Polly and the rest of The Gadget Show cast will be at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham from the 11th to the 16th April.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

    £30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

    Day In a Page

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
    Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

    The end of an era across the continent

    It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
    Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

    'Focus on killing American people'

    Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
    Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

    Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

    The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
    Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

    Same-sex marriage

    As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
    The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

    The Mafia is going freelance

    Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable