My Week: Katie Derham
The ITV newsreader juggles the demands of covering the Budget with judging the entries for the 1970 'lost' Booker Prize
Saturday 27 March 2010
I live in Sussex so I get the kids off and get on the commuter train to London. My morning meeting is at 9.30am for the lunchtime ITV news.
I also do a bit of filming for a children's charity called Miss Dorothy, which is making a documentary for young people about working in the media. They interviewed us about how kids are represented on the news. I do London Tonight in the evening, which is filmed in the same newsroom. Donal MacIntyre, who will be my new co-presenter, comes in to meet the team. I didn't know him before but I've admired his work over the years. I think it's going to be great. It's terribly important that you get on with your co-presenters. He'll be starting on 6 April. I'm sure he's used to people asking him if he's undercover but it didn't stop us from making the same jokes; we're pretty puerile.
Today we prepare for Budget day tomorrow, which is always a really busy day in a newsroom. There's a lot of homework to do. In the evening I go with my husband to a raw-food tasting. He founded the chain of healthy fast food restaurants Leon, and he has been working with a raw-food specialist so we meet her. We have a lovely meal which is all raw and gluten free so I feel terribly virtuous.
Budget day is as hectic as it always is. I'm in Westminster doing the political angle. As a news bulletin we're not there to ply people with tax advice, but you've got to get across what the main features are. Not a lot of the Budget was leaked this year either, so we all have to listen really closely. I sit under a canopy on the green listening through a monitor: very glamorous. It's very long, without an awful lot in it.
I go to Oxford for the literary festival where the "lost" Man Booker Prize shortlist is announced. I'm a judge for it and I've spent the past two months reading busily in preparation. In 1970, because of a change in the rules, books published that year weren't eligible for the prize. It's just for good fun and perhaps to honour people whose work never got the chance to be honoured. All the judges have been born in 1970 too, which is fun. The public can vote for the winner online and hopefully we'll steer people towards some work they're unfamiliar with. It's a lovely shortlist; this is what my parents would have been reading when I was born. I champion my two books today: Mary Renault's Fire from Heaven, which I've loved since I was a teenager anyway, and The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard.
It's a day off today which means school runs, Sainsbury's and cooking meals for the weekend. I'm off to town this evening (which I never normally do on a day off) to meet some friends and drink too many cocktails at the top of Centre Point and enjoy the view.
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