I joined Sky in 1995 and they asked me in the interview who I looked up to and I said "Jeremy Bowen". At the time he had become something of an intrepid war reporter and that's how I envisaged my life as well.
Jeremy had been in Chechnya and covered lots of conflicts. He had a very informal but informative style and was not at all arrogant and very relaxed, which I admired.
Sadly I got whisked into the studio rather earlier than I had intended and never got to be a foreign correspondent. When I saw my reporting colleagues on screen in Kosovo, including Jeremy, I sat in the studio green with envy.
Then I bumped into him in a pub in Wandsworth in south London. I'd been watching the rugby and had had a few drinks and I think he had as well. I saw him and shouted, "Jeremy Bowen!" and he turned round and said, "Anna Botting!"
I thought, how the hell does he know who I am? It turned out at the time he was based in Jerusalem and was an avid viewer of Sky News. It was extraordinary that this person I'd held on a pedestal was also excited to meet me. It just shows that even if you're a young journalist and you admire people you can actually get there yourself in some small way.
We stayed for a few more drinks and I forgot I was doing the breakfast show the next day and had to get up very early after crawling into bed about 1am.
I had wanted to be a war reporter from watching Jeremy. To me, watching history being made is the pinnacle in journalism and the biggest privilege a journalist can have.
I finally got my colours in Baghdad this year. Being there makes you realise how brave war reporters are. Last year I was in Jerusalem for the Israeli-Lebanon war and bumped into him in a hotel. I had never been to the Middle East before and there he was, holding the fort.
Anna Botting anchors Sky News' evening coverage.
Jeremy Bowen is the BBC's Middle East Editor.Reuse content