I work for Selina Scott
Caroline Harwood is PA to the broadcaster
Wednesday 23 July 1997
People tend to think that it's the qualifications that count for a job like mine but actually it's about whether you connect with your boss. Trust is, of course, crucial. Selina is a demanding person to work for because she's a perfectionist, yet she's tough but fair. The fact that I don't get flummoxed means that I can remain calm and efficient, which is important because my job requires total involvement in Selina [the talk show returning to Sky 1 on Saturday 20 September at 10pm]. I am there to liaise with Selina, make sure she's happy and keep any problems away from her - really I'm there to remove stress. I also liaise with the crew, ensure that guests are happy in the green room and talk to fashion designers about what Selina is going to wear. The kind of guests we have, such as Diana Ross, Courtney Love and Ralph Fiennes are usually very glamorous, so obviously Selina has to look her best too.
I work in a very tight-knit team, which gives a good buzz to the office. We often go out together and occasionally Selina comes with us. She's very down-to-earth with a great sense of humour. She walked off set one day laughing her head off, clutching her Gucci tube dress to her sides with her elbows and said, "I just can't believe it, this dress is slipping down!" We laughed about the guests nearly getting more than they bargained for.
People who work in TV can be highly strung, which means being diplomatic, but I am treated with respect and Selina herself is very appreciative. I really value the fact that she often thanks me. The stars have also been great - many of them ring or write to say how much they have enjoyed being on the show.
I never know how long my day is going to be. If it's a recording day I arrive at eight and I always wear something fashionable but smart to last me through because I could be anywhere in the evening. I'm often sent to press events, meetings with guests after work or to a first night of a show to check out a possible interviewee. There are so many aspects to my job, which is what makes it so stimulating. At the moment I am busy working on our September show, it's a lot of organisation of flights, hotels, etc, because we are filming in Hollywood, New York, LA, Monaco and Paris, but I'm really excited about the travel and all the stars I will meet. I'm basically on call 24 hours a day, which I don't mind because I get such a buzz from my job.
I've got a lot of respect for Selina, I don't know how she copes with all that pressure. She's a very cool customer, very confident and professional as well as being attractive. Her guests tend to love her to bits, particularly the men, there's always a bit of sexual tension during the interview and they tend to become like tongue-tied little boys. Women also like her because they trust her, the Duchess of York gave her an exclusive, for example, because she knew that Selina would be able to chat with her without getting tabloid or insulting.
I think I've gained a lot of confidence since I started working for her and I can't see myself ever getting bored; I would like to work for Selina for a very long time
Interview by Katie Sampson
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