Lorraine Kelly reflects on 35 years on breakfast television

She’s the Queen of daytime TV and on Monday Lorraine Kelly will be celebrating her 35 years in broadcasting with a special anniversary show.

Lorraine joined ITV’s TV-am in 1984.

ITV have revealed that Lorraine herself doesn’t know what to expect from her special anniversary show, as it’s packed with surprises. The programme will also take a look back at some of her memorable on-screen moments, her interviews with celebrities and her fashion choices over the years.

Lorraine began her breakfast broadcasting career with Good Morning Britain from TV-am, as a reporter having joined the breakfast station from the BBC in Scotland. She would go on to become one of the main faces of Good Morning Britain as well as GMTV, Daybreak and her own shows including Top of the Morning, GMTV with Lorraine, LK Live and LK Today. Her series is now simply titled, Lorraine.

Ahead of Monday’s show, Lorraine reflects on her extraordinary career.

In 1993 GMTV launched, Lorraine hosted Top of the Morning before later returning to the main show.

How does it feel to be celebrating 35 years in TV?

I cannot believe where the time has gone! It honestly feels like yesterday when I started as Scottish correspondent for TV-am. I am still learning every day and I have the same enthusiasm and passion for the job as I did all those years ago.

Can you remember what your first day on TV was like 35 years ago?

I was only 25 and very nervous. I had been working as a researcher at BBC Scotland and been told by the big boss that I would never make it in TV because of my Glasgow accent. I went down to London to meet all of the TV-am team and see the show being broadcast, before taking over at the Glasgow office.

I will never forget, Anne Diamond and Mike Morris were interviewing the icon that is Bette Davis that morning. I couldn’t believe that I was in the same room as a living legend. I knew this was where I wanted to be.

GMTV with Lorraine and Eamon Holmes.

What do you think the secret is to having longevity in the TV business?

You have to put in the work. You have to be honest and authentic. Do your homework and be both interested and interesting. Always have passion and enthusiasm. Curiosity is vital. You need to keep up to date with changing technology, immerse yourself in the news and be flexible enough to throw a whole show away if there’s breaking news or a developing story.

How have things changed over the years?

Well it’s a lot easier to go live to anywhere in the world. I’ve conducted live interviews in Antarctica and with astronauts in space. There’s more viewer interaction with Skype and WhatsApp, and we can be bolder and more imaginative with outside broadcasts. Essentially though, it’s about telling stories, talking to your viewers and keeping them entertained and informed.

A launch promo with Lorraine for GMTV.

What’s been your proudest moment on TV?

I am proud of my crew and my team every day. They work so hard and always go the extra mile. Our shows covering big events like the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes are always fun and our Ross King is the man all the big stars want to talk to.

Breaking news events put everyone to the test and sadly usually involve something horrendous with possible loss of life, but you just have to be professional and make sure you source all of the information coming in and give the facts as best you can.

Can you give an example of a story that has had an impact on you emotionally?

Covering Dunblane was very tough. I had no idea that many of the families whose children had been killed or wounded were watching our live show from Dunblane the day after the horrific killing of sixteen children and their teacher. One of the mums, Pam Ross, whose five-year old-daughter Joanna was murdered, asked to see me privately and we ended up talking for hours at her house. It was all under the radar, I went to Joanna’s funeral and Pam and I have been friends ever since.

Lorraine has hosted several incarnations of her own morning show for ITV.

Interviewing Kate and Gerry McCann shortly after Madeleine went missing was extremely hard. They were quite rightly determined to make sure her disappearance was kept in the public eye and I really admired their strength and courage. They have had to put up with the pain of not knowing what has happened to their beloved daughter, as well as the most appalling trolling online. My heart goes out to them.

Will you be celebrating your anniversary in any other ways?

You are only as good as your team and I have the best in the business. Along with onscreen pals like Dan [Wootton], Dr. Hilary and Mark [Heyes] we will all definitely be having a celebration party.

Lorraine: 35 Years will air at 8:30am on ITV on September 30th 2019

Aled Jones and Lorraine host the final version of Daybreak for ITV.
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