Nazaneen Ghaffer gives her 10 tips on how to be a weather girl
There’s nothing worse than waking up to bad weather; the blow is only softened when there’s a lovely smiling face reminding you to take your brolly with you, so thank goodness then for Nazaneen Ghaffer. She’s one of the faces of Sky Weather and no doubt you’ve seen her in the mornings when you’re tuning in to help you decide what to wear. Passionate about fronts and optimistic about grey skies, Nazaneen has landed the job of her dreams and in an exclusive interview she gives her advice on what it takes to be a weather presenter.
1. Bottoms up
Be prepared to start at the bottom rung. Every job in television starts as a runner. I did that for several years – in fact I started when I was 16. I thought that after I had my degree in Broadcasting I could go straight into a production job but it turned out I had to continue doing running jobs. As a graduate I moved to Bristol to be a runner on Deal Or No Deal but kept my eye on news jobs as that’s where I wanted to be. Three months later I moved across the road to work on ITV West.
2. Work it!
If you want to land the job of your dreams you need to prove you’ll do anything for it. For six months I kept asking if I could present the weather and then I was eventually appointed the third weather girl, which meant I did all the cover work like evenings and weekends, whilst still doing two other jobs. I didn’t take a day off for about three months – but if you really want something you’ll work for it.
3. Release your inner geek
Everyone is passionate about something and I have a passion for weather – you need to show it off. I love talking about the weather, hearing about it, watching what it’s going to do and being in it. I originally wanted to work on news but weather is more suited to me as it’s much more light-hearted.
4. Train to gain
To be a weather girl you don’t need special qualifications. Some are presenters and are briefed on the weather but I prefer to do it myself. I trained with the Met Office so I could learn how to read graphics, charts, satellite images and wind speeds. The better you are at your job, the more respect you’ll get. Before I worked on Sky Weather I spent 18 months reading the weather for BBC South East before Sky spotted me and invited me to join them.
5. Get to bed
I wind down for the night at 8pm so I’m in bed at 9pm. It’s not easy but it is essential. I prepare by turning off the computer and TV and having a relaxing bath – lavender is always useful!
6. Become a morning person
I wake up at 3.50am every day. I leave for work at 4.30am but I do admit, I’m still not used to it and do get tired. The morning weather is the most important one of the day and I’m on air by 6am to help people organise their plans for the day.
7. Stay in shape
Because I’m up so early and my days are so hectic I have to eat well. I stay away from quick sugar rushes and drink plenty of water.
8. Flex your skills
Be prepared for variety as flexibility is key. One day I can be on location – last Friday I was at Tower Bridge for the final day of the Olympic Torch relay. In the studio I can be doing live weather, recordings for world weather, our Ipad app and updating forecasts on Twitter.
9. Develop a style
I’m lucky that I have a stylist who advises me on what clothes to wear on camera but I’ll always have an opinion! I love to wear dresses – but I’d never want to wear anything too dressy as the attention should not be on me. I stick to block colours and I particularly like dresses from the Reiss sale and Karen Millen.
10. Never stop smiling
Sometimes being a weather girl, you’re delivering bad news – floods, heavy snow…so it’s important to stay positive, even when it’s a high-pressure environment. I always make an effort with people who contact me too. Just now I’m signing autographs for guys who are out in Helmand Province – even they need to hear the weather forecast!
Follow Nazaneen on Twitter @SkyNewsNaz and keep an eye on the forecast by visiting http://weather-news.sky.com.