Becoming a host or presenter is an ambition held by many. But unlike most other jobs in the media, there's way less guidance into what it's like and how you can get there. Today we're delving into a day in the life of Laura Boyd. Not stopping at TV Presenter, Laura is one of STV's senior producers and Scotland's go to for hosting jobs both on and off camera, all while kicking cancers ass (and planning a wedding!). How does she do it? Let's find out.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Laura Boyd and I am a showbiz presenter / producer for TV and I’m also the senior producer heading up STV’s social channels output. NO two days are the same! I go from being out interviewing the likes of Simon Cowell and Jennifer Hudson one minute, to being on conference calls with ITV discussing content we can share on Facebook and the likes the next . It is a very varied role... but I love it. I also host fashion and charity events in the evening. I basically never sleep! All this and I live with leukaemia, so life is pretty full on.
How did you get into this business?
I am a self confessed show brat / drama queen so I always knew I wanted to do something TV related. I studied Communication and Mass Media at Glasgow’s finest – Caledonian uni – where I had a week’s work experience at STV. Two weeks after I graduated I got a call to ask if I would like to join them as an assistant editor. I didn’t know what that was but I jumped at the chance and I’ve been here ever since!
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
I would probably be playing the fairy godmother in this year’s panto – THE DREAM!
Do you have a life motto / mantra?
A little party never killed nobody – basically, live every day like it’s your last. So cliché but since being diagnosed with cancer 8 years ago, I know the importance of embracing every opportunity that comes your way, with a sprinkling of partying to add to the smiles.
Take us through a typical day. What time do you get up at?
I get up at 7, scroll through social media and, the Daily Mail side bar of shame – because that’s my job – I’ve got to know what’s going on in the showbiz world! And I love the goss. Then get into STV HQ at the back of 9. If I’m interviewing, I research the person then prep my questions, before also looking ahead to programmes we need to be promoting on social and discussing how and when we do this. Then I may be off to a location to film, I may be in the studio to record something or I could be in meetings regarding shows and marketing for STV. Often, at 5pm I’ll dash up to the dressing room to change, stick on some lippy, before heading on to the Live at Five sofa to talk the showbiz news of the day and give previews of what viewers should be watching that night. I finish STV around 6, then I am often on to events / restaurant launches / theatre previews etc, or I will be frantically throwing on a dress and heading to a venue to host a function. The glamour... ! But I love it.
How do you keep yourself organised?
My phone – I put notes in my diary so they pop up each day. I have a desk planner I scribble on and also a very organised fiancé who emails me constantly lists of things I need to do. Thank god for him as I am a little scatty!
How do you keep yourself going through a humpday?
I remember that I’m lucky to be alive and doing a job I love. Things could be so different and I try to be grateful for every moment. Not always easy and sometimes I just want to hide in my jammies and cry (if I’m being honest) but I’m too busy for that. Filling my days gives me a purpose to keep on going.
B##iggest misconception about the job you do?
That it’s glamorous and we have hair and makeup artists on hand and just turn up and ask some questions. I wish pals! But it does have perks and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
How do you wind down?
I very rarely get any time to myself so when I do, I love to cuddle up on the sofa, get a takeaway and catch up on all the trash of the week. Made in Chelsea, TOWIE, Say Yes to the Dress – sometimes you just need an indulgent day of me-time and I love those days. If it’s the weekend, I also love a west end wander, especially in the winter months. Fresh air is so good for mindfulness and I try and make time for that.
What's your favourite thing about what you do?
That no two days are the same. That I’ve had the chance to do some incredible things and meet some amazing people – from fellow inspirational cancer patients, to the likes of Liam Gallagher, Cheryl Tweedy and singing with Susan Boyle – I never would have imagined my life would be so crazy and fun.
Any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Do not give up! When I was at unit hey told you how hard it is to get into TV – motivational on a media course. NOT! But if you grab every opportunity that comes your way, get stuck in, volunteer to do every job possible (I’ve been a runner, made tea for directors and sat for hours taking notes at freezing cold rugby grounds then your hard work will pay off. Believe (basically a line from my favourite Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street) but so important.
Do you have an idol?
In this industry, I think Emma Willis is #goals! I’ve interviewed her a few times and she is gorgeous, down to earth and so talented, all whilst being a mum to three kids. She’s definitely someone I look up to.
Header image credit: @stvlaura