My haven: The News At Ten presenter Julie Etchingham invites us inside her dressing room at ITV’s London studios
21:31 GMT, 6 July 2012
Julie Etchingham 'My Haven' 14.05.12 Photo Chris McAndrew / All Moral Rights Asserted 2012. 07740 424 810
1 BIG MAC
Most people of my generation would say Sir Trevor McDonald is their idol when it comes to news. So when I was asked to re-launch News At Ten with him in 2008 –which this poster was for – I couldn’t believe it. When I first met him, I called him Sir Trevor, but he doesn’t expect you to! Now he and I go to the same gym – he’s always immaculate and I always look dreadful! He’s still doing his stuff at 72, which is amazing.
2 FOR MUM
One night recently I came home to find these papier-mch birds in my kitchen, a flamingo and a parrot made by my sons Leo, nine, and James, six, at a local art camp. The birds are the most joyful things and they make me smile. I can’t bear to get rid of any of the boys’ artwork and cards, so I have folders full of them. The boys are really interested in news and I’d love them to go into it, but the decision will be theirs.
3 Iconic moments
I collect icons, and got this one when I covered the death of Pope John Paul II . I also covered Pope Benedict’s trip to Britain in 2010 –as a Catholic, it was a big deal to me. I was in Rome making a show on Catholicism, then flew here on his plane and trailed him around. During a break I turned on Sky News to see Leo, who’d lined up to see The Pope, shaking his hand and having a chat! I’d spent ages trying to get a word in, and my son had trumped me!
4 Licensed to lead
The night Barack Obama was elected I was in New York’s Rockefeller Plaza, and I picked up this novelty licence plate to remind me of the occasion. Being there was incredible. I’ve not met Obama and that’s one of my great dreams. But I did interview Condoleezza Rice. I was six months’ pregnant with James, and when she walked in she said, ‘Oh, good Heavens!’ It was a great female moment which broke the ice.
5 Princely prank
In 2010, ITV got an exclusive interview with Princes William and Harry on their first official overseas trip as a duo, to Botswana and Lesotho. I stayed with them in Lesotho, where this photo was taken at 7am – the only time we had a quiet spell. As we walked together, I put my hand in my pocket to find a
whoopee cushion, put there by one of my sons. Harry thought it was hilarious – and also laughed when I told him I have a red-haired son.
6 TOP OF HER GAME
Also in 2010, I received the Royal Television Society Journalism Award for Presenter Of The Year, which was a huge honour. I was so shocked to win as I was up against Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Jon Snow – who’d won it again and again – and I was the first woman to get the award. I certainly didn’t blub when making my speech, and I made sure I thanked my amazing production team.
As told to Peter Robertson. Julie presents ITV News At Ten and ITV1’s Tonight.