My Mentor: Sophie Raworth On John Stapleton

'John made sure i knew it wasn't an easy ride, and that i had to work hard'
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The Independent Online

I first met John when I was 14. My parents had gone on holiday to the Caribbean, where my father was taking some photographs, and they met John and his wife Lynn (Faulds Wood) and became really good friends. When my parents came back from holiday they promptly invited them over, and I remember this gaggle of media people in my home.

At 16 I went to do work experience on Watchdog. I also did a stint at Sky when John moved over there, but I always wanted to be behind the scenes, never on TV.

John made sure I knew it wasn't an easy ride, and that I had to work extremely hard. John was never in a position to give me a job, but I would always ask his opinion.

He was always very generous with his advice and always said, "Don't let it go to your head. Stay true to yourself and keep your feet on the ground."

Later, when I was a working as a presenter in Leeds at Look North, they moved in next door to my parents. When I got the call to come to London and do BBC Breakfast News I moved in with my parents. So we were both presenting the breakfast news, on rival channels, and living next door to each other. We used to meet to watch the six o'clock news and have a glass of wine. We called them our editorial meetings.

After university I was looking for a job but had to freelance for a few months. John's advice to me was to keep going. I have no idea if I would have had the confidence had I not met John at such an early age.

Sophie Raworth is the presenter of BBC1's One O'Clock News. John Stapleton presents GMTV's News Hour