SMO meets Emma

As the World Cup reaches fever pitch on the morning of England’s biggest game in 22 years, we thought there’s no better time to share the latest #SMOmeets, especially given the furore she caused in the tournaments warm up game at Elland Road!

Thank you for talking to Emma, we’d like to help the sports fans of Yorkshire get to know the new girl in football, but before we delve into where it all started… You recently caused a stir on social media and with the press during England’s warm up game at Elland Road, what were doing sat next to the dugout? 

“That was one of the best nights of my life – I was hosting the warm up game for the FA, so I was sat next to the dugout with the rest of the press. Best seat in the house!“

Love it,  unknown to you social media going nuts!…. So, going back a few years, where did it all begin? When did you realise you were going to work in media?

I was told by a school teacher that if I spent as much time studying as I do talking, I might get somewhere in life. I think I realised that learning about people and having conversations about things that interested them were what made me happy. So, I did a degree in Journalism, followed by an MA in Broadcast Journalism, and I’ve been impossible to shut up since!

We’ve noticed that, but that’s half the charm! Talking of charm, have you ever told a porky on your CV to get yourself a job? if so, what? If not, why not? 

No – I’m too much of a bad liar! I’d be afraid they’d ask me about it during an interview and I’d end up having to ‘fess up! 

Honesty, admirable!…

We first noticed you locally on Breakfast at Viking Radio, how did that come about and what do you think of ‘Ull?

Viking was my first proper presenting gig, and I loved it there. I’d been doing travel bulletins on another station, and always made it clear that presenting was what I wanted to do. So, when they were looking for a co-presenter, I did a demo and uprooted a few weeks later. 

It was hard from a personal point of view, because I’d been used to living down the road from my grandparents and seeing them every day, and all of a sudden I was miles away. The people really looked after me though – I’m forever grateful for that. 

Well, the Hull folk certainly warmed to you, so you must have done something right! Did you sample the local cuisine? Rate the Pattie out of 10?

I sampled quite a lot of the local cuisine, but my favourite at the time was a local chippy. The guy who ran it occasionally brought stuff in for us. It was weird having chips at 9am, but I definitely wasn’t complaining! 

What’s your craziest memory of life on the East Coast? 

Honestly, there was a day I thought I was about to lose my job. The guy I did the show with set up a prank on me, where he started to swear on air. I thought the mics were live and I still remember my heart racing, and the feeling of utter helplessness as I apologised repeatedly to the listeners for the foul language. (Little did I know that EVERYONE I worked with was in on it!)

The prank went viral and we ended up speaking to a radio station in America on our breakfast show. That was pretty fun!

Ha ha we do love a prank in East Yorkshire! So, how does a young woman from Cheshire, who’s not into football, get to present on Leeds United’s very own TV Station? 

TV has always been another ambition of mine – I’ve made no secret of that. I grew up around some Leeds fans, and I always remember them being fiercely passionate about their club.

So, when I was told that Leeds United were looking for a new Matchday show presenter, I immediately sent them a video (and badgered them until they let me in, haha!)

People ask me why I work Saturday’s, but it never feels like work when I’m there. There’s something so special about Elland Rd and I still get a warm feeling in my tummy when I arrive there. The football fans are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Honestly, I’ve fallen in love with the place. My only regret is that I wasn’t a part of it sooner. 

How was your first season? … and were there any embarrassing or funny moments to share?

It’s been the best year of my life. I had no idea how much of a rollercoaster it was going to be – but I never want to get off!

I remember the very first show – the guy I was presenting with was running late, so I was told I’d have to start it alone. You’ve never seen the colour drain from a persons face so quickly! He turned up just before we went on air, and I gave him the tightest hug I’ve ever given!

Brilliant, you wear your heart on your sleeve, so I can only imagine how that felt for your first show. So, now you’re back at home on Signal; Has it been like putting on an old pair of slippers? Or were there any nerves of expectation? 

It’s been wonderful. There’s something very special about being the voice that wakes your family and friends up. 

It’s the station I grew up listening to, and I never imagined I’d be presenting the breakfast show one day. I’m a lucky, lucky girl! 

You are, but they’re lucky too as you say. We’ve noticed online your brother is embarking on a Personal Training business, who’d win in an arm wrestle? 

Haha, he wouldn’t dare wrestle me! My brother is my best mate, and he’s always trying to keep my eating and training on the straight and narrow, but I’m partial to a cake or 8!

8? Where do you put them? We don’t believe that!

Back to Signal, you share your mornings with Foxy, someone very familiar in these parts, what does he say? Does he have any funny stories? 

Foxy is a true talent and watching him work has taught me so much. He’s 100% himself, which makes my job such a laugh on and off air. He’s like the big brother who winds you up, but who you always love to bits!

He has fond memories of Viking, because it was to him what Signal is to me. It’s always very clear that it holds a huge place in his heart.

Regarding stories – there’s never a dull moment. That man’s life is like something out of a comedy!

So, you have a prime show on air and a brilliant position with a top football club, What do you want out of the next 12 months? 

You know what, I smile when I wake up every day, because I truly believe I am the luckiest girl in the world to do two jobs that I absolutely love.

I really believe that if you’re happy with what you do, you’ll do the best you can, and opportunities happen organically.

I’ve got loads of projects going on, including a documentary about boxing and a netball podcast. I’ll not be sleeping for the next 12 months, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

As a true northern lass, what do your evenings look like? Soaps? Netflix? Or just a bath an an eye pack?

My evenings are usually spent in the motorway services or on a train home from somewhere. I see the M62 more than I see my friends at the minute, but I live with my best friend, so she’s always there with a cuddle and a cuppa when I get home! 

The world revolves around cuppa’s and cuddles, so you’re well in!

Finally, given the recent limelight, have you started to plan anything different for the future, or are you a “take every day as it comes” girl?

Honestly, the most forward-thinking I do is wondering what to have for breakfast tomorrow. I’m definitely a ‘take every day as it comes’ girl, and I’m happy with that 😃

If you’re happy, we’re happy!

Thank you for being open and honest and thank you for sharing a little bit of an insight into your world!

Enjoy the rest of the World Cup, summer and good luck for the new season and all that you do!

Speak soon!

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