Behind the headlines: ITV’s Becky Jago on what she loves most about East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 19:50 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 20:38 10 April 2020
Gina Long talks to Anglia TV’s main evening news presenter Becky Jago about her career, her life in East Anglia and her favourite things to do off screen
Becky Jago, Anglia ITV news co-anchor presenter, has been on our radio and TV screens for over 20 years. Starting on Vibe FM’s Breakfast Show, she went on to be Anglia TV’s weather girl and The Wright Stuff’s first ‘booth girl’. A stint in London saw her present BBC’s Newsround, and co-present Capital FM’s Breakfast Show with Chris Tarrant and Johnny Vaughan. She then moved back to Norwich where she married and had three boys. She’s been co-anchor of ITV News Anglia for 11 years and continues to present during these Covid-19 times, whilst alternating with Jonathan Wills. Although very few are working in the newsroom, ITV News Anglia continues to deliver the latest breaking news to its viewers, but in adaptive ways
What’s the impact of Covid-19 for ITV Anglia and how are you adapting?
The impact is huge for every single one of us working at ITV News Anglia. I’ve just come back from two weeks of self-isolation due to my son having a cough. It’s amazing how much has changed in that time. There are very few of us working in the newsroom now, and those that are here are keeping at least two metres away from anyone. Any colleagues still out reporting are also having to distance themselves from anyone they’re interviewing. Many are self-isolating for health reasons, and those that can work from home, are. My producer for the late news bulletin, for example, is actually doing it from the comfort of his living room – it’s a bit spooky hearing his voice in my ear giving me information when I’m live on air.
What help and advice would you like to give our readers during the Covid-19 lockdown?
I think it would be to try and not look too far ahead. Focus on what’s happening right now rather than worry about what might happen. Also, try to see the good in people – we’re seeing some wonderful examples of communities coming together. With this weekend being Easter, we as a family are having to adapt our ‘normal’ Easter plans and traditions. It’s looking like it’s going to be a ‘virtual Easter egg hunt’ between us and our close family.
What is your connection to East Anglia?
My Dad’s from Colchester, my Mum’s from Bury St Edmunds – where I was born. I grew up in Stowmarket in Suffolk. l studied in Luton, and have lived in Norwich for around 20 years. So, this region means a LOT to me!
What is your East Anglian Heaven i.e. what do you love most about East Anglia?
My Grandparents lived in Darsham and Aldeburgh for many years, so I have wonderful memories of holidays there. I seem to gravitate towards the area for any special celebrations (birthdays, holidays etc.) My children now love it too.
What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?
This is a tough one… I could say the A140, but I’ve even grown quite fond of that!
What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?
I have so many… but, as I live very close to it, and use it often, can I say the Norfolk Broads?!
What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
I don’t tend to gravitate towards big events, but I do think the Latitude Festival is fantastic and I have been lucky enough to report from it a couple of times. I interviewed Tom Jones in a caravan there once who was very charming.
What is your specialist Mastermind subject?
The whereabouts of anything and everything in my house – I seem to be the only one who can ever find anything!
What is always in your fridge?
Celery...I drink a pint of celery juice every morning – which is about a whole bunch.
What’s your simple philosophy of life?
Kindness and respect to all life, no matter how small.
What’s your favourite film?
I’m a big one for rom coms (I’m the only female in our household, so don’t judge me!) I love Crazy, Stupid Love and The Holiday.
What was your first job?
I worked at a fruit and vegetable packing plant called B&B in Suffolk when I was a teenager. Not sure the full-time workers liked it when all the students piled in every holiday!
What is your most treasured possession?
It changes I guess… I recently went through some boxes from my childhood. I found a very precious old bottle of Oil of Ulay (remember when it was called that?!) It was my Mum’s and smelled just like her. It’s now on my dressing table.
Who do you admire most?
An American natural health doctor called Dr Mercola. I’ve followed his advice for the best part of 20 years.
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What is your biggest indulgence?
Once a year I head to Ragdale Hall Spa with a friend. It’s total bliss for 24 hours.
What do you like about yourself most?
I see the best in people.
What’s your worst character trait?
I’m very impatient.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Camping in France.
Best day of your life?
The day I had my children.
What’s your favourite breakfast?
Poached eggs on toast.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Red wine, but it makes my face go bright red!
What’s your hidden talent?
I play the violin and piano.
What’s your earliest memory?
Falling off a church pew on to concrete, maybe aged 2?
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Camille Saint-Saens The Swan. Carnival of the Animals. My sister plays it beautifully on the cello.
Tell us something people don’t know about you?
I worked as a hostess in Japan for a few months after finishing uni.
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
Must have wiped it from my memory, as I can’t recall…
Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.
My job. My family and many of my friends live in the region. The great mix of countryside and busier life. The coast. The schools.
What advice can you offer anyone wanting to be a broadcast journalist
Well, I’m proof that there’s more than one way to get into the industry... but it certainly helps to have a degree of some sort and a further journalist qualification. However, with social media now, everyone can be on screen. Keep going, check your facts so people trust you, but my main message for anyone wanting to be on-screen: be yourself. Everyone will see if you’re not authentic – we all have a unique personality and set of skills, so why not harness that?
What do you want to tell our readers about most?
It’s so important for us all to ‘do our bit’ throughout these challenging Covid-19 times. The NHS and so many other health workers are battling 24/7 to save lives, whilst trying to contain the coronavirus. With so many other frontline workers doing a superhuman job in these extraordinary circumstances, I want to send them all the biggest thanks and to our viewers for staying home during this critical time. We really do love to hear from our viewers (who are the best by the way!). If you ever have any stories or opinions, you’d like to share with ITV News Anglia, please don’t feel shy, and get in touch. Web address: itv.com/anglia Email address: email@example.com Phone number: 08448 816900 Anglia’s twitter handle: @itvanglia My personal twitter handle is @beckyjagoitv
Are you or your business doing something special during Covid-19 times? If you are living in Suffolk or Norfolk and are adapting your business to give support during Covid-19, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Twitter: @geewizzgee1 Instagram: ginalongmbe
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