"When I left school I was torn between an artistic or academic career. I decided to do an Art Foundation course at London's St. Martin's College, which showed me I'd probably be much better at some kind of applied arts. That's when I decided to study fashion and marketing at Newcastle Polytechnic. I spent three very cold years up there before starting my job as a fashion assistant at the Observer.
"The job as fashion editor at the Evening Standard came up by chance. My boss mentioned my name to the newspaper's editor, and I was invited to an informal chat. I was very under-qualified but, to my surprise, got the job. For the first three months I was panicking and under a lot of stress, because I was in charge of everything and had to come up with news-worthy fashion stories almost every day.
"My first TV appearance was in a fashion documentary called The Look for the BBC, and soon after that I did Looking Good, a style and fashion programme. By then I was finally realising I couldn't keep talking just about fashion - it was becoming such a straitjacket for me. So I was very pleased when the opportunity came to do a daily chat show.
"What I've learned through my career is that you can't plan anything. Many things happen just by accident or chance, and a lot of the time it's not really what but who you know. I'd also say I have the capacity for hard work.There are two kinds of people in this world - those who are brilliant and shine immediately and then the rest of us who have to work for it. It's important to set new goals every time you have achieved something. Don't whinge, be cheerful and self-sufficient."