John Schofield Trust mentee, Hannah Gray, was given the opportunity to present Sunday’s BBC Look North (Yorkshire) on BBC One just before going off on maternity leave. She presented her first programme at 26 weeks’ pregnant on Sunday 7 February and will be doing more presenting shifts in the spring until the baby is due to be born in May.
Hannah says she was really encouraged by her new TV & Online editor, Theodora Fairley, who said that having children should not delay career progression. Hannah said ‘Thea has been extremely supportive to all young members of the team in developing new skills at BBC Yorkshire during the pandemic’.
Hannah has worked at BBC Look North in Leeds since September 2019 mainly as a journalist behind the scenes, researching, producing and writing for correspondents and presenters. She has also reported on a number of her own stories that have been featured on the BBC News at One, BBC Breakfast and the BBC News Channel.
Hannah said ‘presenting the programme live on a heavily watched Sunday evening was slightly nerve wracking but I had a brilliant director and producer keeping me calm from the gallery and as new mums themselves, they too thought it was brilliant that I’d been given this career opportunity just before having a baby. I wish I could go back and tell my grandmas and great grandmas who were suffragettes that, not only do I get paid to hold politicians to account, but I also was offered a bit of a promotion after telling my boss I was pregnant.
‘My mentor, Jessica Omari, was really supportive before the first programme and it was incredibly helpful to have her feedback before doing my next programme too.’