My Life in Media: Sarah Beeny

'I finally realised that if you want to have nice hair on television you have to get out of bed earlier'

Sarah Beeny, 35, is the presenter of Channel 4's Property Ladder. Now in its seventh series, the show was at the forefront of a new genre of property programmes when it launched and Beeny became a household name instructing first-time developers to keep colours neutral, know their market, and not to waste money on fixtures and fittings. She also runs a property development and investment company with her husband, Graham, and they live between south-west London and Yorkshire with their two sons.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I always liked the idea of working in showbiz but I'd never really thought about working in the media until it fell in my lap. I had met someone at a party whose sister was a researcher at talkbackTHAMES and they were looking for someone who worked in the building industry to do Property Ladder.

When you were 15 years old which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

The Daily Telegraph, but I didn't really look at it.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, Blind Date. Radio 4 was on everywhere in our house and I remember the sound of The Archers theme tune from a very early age, though I've never actually listened to it.

Describe your job?

I have a building company and I also work for a television production company. I have a dating website, mysinglefriend.com, which takes up a massive amount of time now.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

Metro if I go on the Tube.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I listen to Radio 2 and I flick around between the channels depending on my mood.

What is the best thing about your job?

Meeting loads of people and being able to talk all day.

And the worst?

It's probably being away from home. I like being at home.

How do you feel you influence the media?

I don't think that I influence the media at all. I think the media can force the market up and down, but I'm not sure television can. I think people recognise that television is just television, whereas I think that newspapers can push a market and push sectors of the economy, by telling people what's going to happen.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

Having my name on a book. It is a really mind-blowing thing. I struggled to write the first one because I'm not qualified in any way to write a book and I wrote masses and masses. Now it's easier and I've just written a dating book with my business partner.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

My hair for the past seven years. It's a nightmare. I finally realised that if you want to have nice hair you have to get out of bed earlier. I always thought that if I got it cut the right way then it would just be all right. I've now realised that people who look really nice actually do something with their hair before they go on television. Those years of bad hair out there will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Name the one career ambition that you want to realise before you retire?

I've never really done live broadcasting. I think it would be great to be able to do that well.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

We always get two: The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Sport or the News of the World. I think it's quite nice to get two newspapers at either end of the spectrum of nonsense. I'll flick through Now or Heat if they're around.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

I admire proper showbiz types like Terry Wogan, Jonathan Dimbleby, Stephen Fry, Esther Rantzen and Dawn French.

The CV

1994 Starts a property company with her brother and boyfriend, Graham, whom she has since married
2001 Helps couples take advantage of a rising market in the first series of Property Ladder
2002 Publishes the first of five Property Ladder books, How To Make Pounds from Property
2005 Launches the dating site, mysinglefriend.com and presents Streets Ahead
2006 Presents One Year To Pay Off Your Mortgage
2007 Presents the two-part show, How Toxic Are You? The seventh series of Property Ladder is currently on Channel 4 on Tuesday evenings

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Urgent Requirement - Central Manchester

£20000 - £23000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Guru Careers: Social Media Executive / SEO Executive

£20 - 25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Social Media...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions