Real Bodies: THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: Alice Beer

Best known as the presenter of Watchdog and Watchdog Healthcheck, Alice Beer also hosts Vic Reeves' and Bob Mortimer's Families at War.

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I finished my degree. I knew I was interested in education, children and English so I thought perhaps children's television might suit me. At that time the BBC did an excellent production secretary training course, which taught you everything you needed to know. I was bubbly and self-confident, which probably led the BBC to offer me a secretarial place on That's Life.

I then became a researcher on Kilroy. This was quite a difficult move to make and I think the reason I was successful was that I was so keen. When you first start out you don't get as tired and you don't mind working late nights. I had huge enthusiasm and was happy to do anything, even down to getting everyone's lunch.

Despite my eagerness, I've never really been ambitious. The only thing I fight for is to make the story I'm working on at the time as good as possible. When a door has opened, like when Watchdog's John Stapleton asked me to present that programme, I have gone for it and tried to do the job as best I can.

I expect other researchers to be as thorough as I am, which can make me seem hard. But in this job you can't take short cuts. As a presenter I feel I have a great responsibility. When you are speaking to 7 million people you must be sure that what you are saying is right. Having said that, I would advise people to enjoy what they are doing, even if it's getting the tea, and do it with a smile. Enthusiasm will get you noticed. I think some people tend to use a job as a researcher purely as a stepping stone to something else, so they end up not doing the job very well.

I love my job and have been very lucky in my career. The people I have worked with have been wonderful, but I have also put in a lot of effort. I think the key to my success is that I'm not on screen because I want to be on TV. I'm there because I'm interested in the story I'm telling. If I end up writing or working in radio, both of which I love, I'd be quite happy doing that.

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