My Mentor: Scott Mills on Phillip Schofield

Interview by Sophie Morris
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The Independent Online

I remember watching Phillip Schofield on Children's BBC and thinking he was everything I wanted to be. I have met and worked with him since, but back then I would watch him every Saturday morning on Going Live. He was extremely professional and engaged with the audience, as well as being really good fun.

He was broadcasting on Radio 1 at the same time. I had known from the age of eight that I wanted to be on the radio so he was doing my dream job. I would practise at home and was doing hospital radio at the age of 12. I got my first proper radio job when I was 16.

I learnt the best way to speak to phone callers from watching and listening to Phillip. He was able to engage with a caller, whoever it was, and make them feel like he was their friend, and he was always very warm. I'd like to think I'm the same as that with the callers on my show.

I had him as a guest on Radio 1 and everybody at the station knew I idolised him. They told him embarrassing details such as the fact that when I was about 10 I went as far as taking a photo of him to the hairdresser's and asking for a haircut like his.

I always expected him to have a big comeback, as he has with This Morning, because he's the got the basic great broadcasting skills you need. I don't usually watch This Morning because I'm at work, but I went on and did a music slot on the programme with them last year. I think I would be really nervous if I had to meet him properly in a social situation. It's fine at work because you can just get on with it, and I'm not sure if he remembered I had taken his photo to the hairdresser when we met at This Morning.

I just think he is great at what he does and watching him from a young age inspired me to practise my radio skills as much as possible.

Scott Mills is on Radio 1 every weekday at 4pm. Phillip Schofield presents This Morning with Fern Britton on ITV