Q&A: Amy Garcia | Livingnorth.com

Q&A: Amy Garcia

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Amy Garcia
Amy Garcia’s career as a presenter started when she was just 18 years old. Now she’s a regular host of BBC’s Look North, alongside Harry Gration

When did you start presenting?
I got into presenting when I was 18. I had just left college and took a year out; I went to an audition for what I thought was a band but turned out to be for presenting role. I ended up presenting on children’s TV – it was kind of by mistake but I’ve never looked back. 

What was your journey to Look North?
I worked in children’s TV for a few years before moving onto lifestyle and property programmes. The recession hit and a lot of programmes I was working on for Sky ended up being axed. An opportunity to go to university came up, so I went to Goldsmiths to do a Masters in TV Journalism. While I was on the course, I applied for a job at Look North and I got it! I’d gone from being a working presenter to being an office broadcast journalist and taking a massive wage cut – it was taking a step back to take an even bigger step forward, and I’m still here. 

What goes on behind the scenes?
Sometimes we go out and report during the day and then come back and work with an editor before prepping for the programme and then presenting on air. Generally, if I’m not out doing a piece, my day consists of coming in, looking through scripts and chatting with producers about what we’ve got in the programme and how to make things a bit different. We spend time researching guests and then it’s time to go on air. We do it all again for the late show. 

What’s your favourite part about presenting?
The live element – I do get nervous when I go on air, as you can never be quite sure what will happen. Also working with Harry, he’s one of my best friends and working alongside him is a real treat. It’s a job I’ve always dreamt of doing, and now I’m here I love it. 

Is presenting on live TV a challenge?
Yes, you never know what’s going to happen. News can break just before we go on air, so the running order has to change and everyone is rushing around trying to put things together. It definitely keeps you on your toes – it’s the scary part, but also what makes it fun. 

What happens if a story suddenly breaks?
We’re really lucky, we’ve got such a wonderful team that I trust – if a story breaks as we’re going on air then you’ve just got to talk through it and trust they do know the story and they’re guiding you in the right direction. Generally, it’s done in a straightforward way – so we report the facts and then will come back and report about it in detail later.

What have been some memorable moments in your career?
The sofa tour was brilliant, we had such a giggle and became a much closer team for it. The tandem bike ride I did with Harry was great too – it’s hard to beat those experiences.

Did you grow up in Yorkshire?
I’m from Wakefield originally. When I was growing up I worked for my dad on his market stall selling curtains and towels. I moved to London when I was 19 and lived down there for about 14 years. When I got the 6.30 job here we made it a permanent move back to Yorkshire. Originally we moved back to Wakefield, as that’s where both mine and my husband’s families are. Six months ago we moved to York and we love it. It’s such a great city and we feel like we haven’t even touched the surface of it yet. For our kids growing up, there’s a lot for them to do and explore. 

What’s your favourite thing to do as a family in Yorkshire?
At the moment, going into York and exploring the city. We’ve spent a lot of time at Beningbrough and Castle Howard, and the last few weeks I’ve been trying to find outdoor swimming pools – Helmsley has one that’s got lovely views and it’s great popping into the village for an ice cream after. 

Do you have a TV Idol?
I really like Louise Minchin and I love Alex James on the One Show. They can do news but can also do softer stuff as well. You see them doing daytime shows, then they anchor the news –  if I could be anything like that it would be great. 

Published in: November 2018

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