Carol Kirkwood admits got me going as she reflects start to career

Carol Kirkwood recalls starting at BBC

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A BBC Breakfast staple presenter, Carol Kirkwood has been a meteorologist with the BBC since 1998 but worked for the broadcaster behind-the-scenes prior. During Tuesday’s programme, she was asked by hosts Sally Nugent and Jon Kay about her early recollections on the show, and she detailed some memories about her “nerve-wracking” job. As she continued to share her stories, she apologised, confessing: “You’ve got me going now”.

Carol has become a BBC Breakfast favourite, and as the presenters reflected on the show’s upcoming 40th birthday, it didn’t take long for Carol to share her memories.

“Good morning, Carol,” Sally greeted her colleague. “You actually started with Breakfast many, many years ago – before we even saw you on our screens.”

“That’s right,” the weather reporter replied. “I started in the summer that Breakfast Time started, as it used to be called, as the production secretary.

“And you know, just watching the opening titles there, my heart is beating so fast!”

The 60-year-old continued: “Because one of my tasks was operating autocue.

“And that was so scary – it was a dial and you had to try and keep up with the presenters who were talking.

“Some of them, their eyesight wasn’t so good, so their words were taking up a lot of the lines.

“You’re moving quickly and some of them would just go off-piste completely!

“Which would mean you didn’t have a clue where they were and you were scrolling through this autocue – it was nerve-racking.”

Carol went on to detail one memorable story as she explained: “But one of the other things that we had to do was we had to phone the presenters, Selina Scott and Frank to give them an alarm call to make sure that they would be up and in.

“And I remember one morning phoning, and Frank actually answered the phone very quickly, which was unusual.

“It wasn’t Frank, it was his son. And his son said, ‘Oh, phone me back please quickly, quickly.

“‘Let me go into my bedroom because I’m really late coming in from a party, dad will kill me if he knows I’m this late.’

“So I obliged and phoned back a few minutes later, and Frank – oblivious, I hope!”

Delighting in her recollections, Carol continued: “The other thing that’s changed so much – sorry, you’ve got me going now!

“It’s the technology because I then progressed to being a production assistant.

“And we timed the programmes and we used to use stopwatches rather than digital equipment.

“And when we were printing scripts, it was from a photocopier!”

Concluding, she smiled: “It was happy days then, and it;’s happy days now, of course.”

“Oh Carol, that is brilliant!” Sally responded.

“I know there are many, many more stories you can tell and I cannot wait to hear them all from Carol.”

BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.

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