Each weekday between 4am and 6am, Lauren Layfield presents Capital FM’s Early Breakfast Show and she also covers Roman Kemp when he is off from his job presenting with Capital FM for his show later in the morning. On TV, Lauren has been working for CBBC for many years including as the host of the popular children’s panel show The Dog Ate My Homework after taking over from previous host Iain Stirling, and has presented live in the studio for CBBC HQ. Lauren talks to us about her Early Breakfast Show on Capital FM, hosting The Dog Ate My Homework on CBBC and her advice for new presenters.
How is it being the host of Capital’s Early Breakfast slot and can you say more about the show?
Being the host of Capital’s Early Breakfast Show requires a LOT of coffee – but I LOVE it. It’s ALL about the listeners; these are the people who are up and at it before the rest of us even wake up. They’re driving delivery trucks across the UK and working in hospitals and stacking the shelves in supermarkets… all whilst it’s still dark outside! So the vibe on my show is just to have a good little chat about what’s going on in their worlds, and mine, to make everyone feel like we’re all hanging out together at stupid-o’-clock.
What is it like covering the Breakfast Show when Roman Kemp is off and how is it being part of the Capital team?
It’s amazing – we’ve recently been blessed with some great guests after eighteen months of interviewing people over Zoom; we had Jodie Harsh, MistaJam, the Love Islanders and one of my FAVOURITE comedians Joe Lycett, who I could literally listen to all day long. He’s got the funniest bones and I was just smiling from start to finish.
Can you tell us about being the host of The Dog Ate My Homework and what is it like to do?
The Dog Ate My Homework is one of the best things I’ve ever presented. It’s a comedy panel show that used to be hosted by Iain Stirling (comedian and voice of Love Island on ITV2) so when they asked me to take it over, I was absolutely over-the-moon. Females hosting comedy shows have been in relatively rare supply so it was a real honour to be asked. I had comedians on, celebrity guests, quizzes and games to host, all in front of an audience in a massive BBC studio, totally solo – best thing ever.
Is there anything you remember most from your first day on set and presenting live?
I remember going live for the first time and feeling like I could vomit, pass out and scream all at once. When you haven’t done it before, it’s literally terrifying. At CBBC HQ, there’s no autocue – we had to remember the scripts by heart and my memory is like a goldfish so my main worry was forgetting what I had to say. But it’s really weird, the more you do live telly, the more you forget that you’re broadcasting live to thousands of people and you get really comfortable. It becomes a second home. There’s nothing like going live; anything can happen and it’s the biggest buzz.
Had you always wanted to be a presenter and how did you start?
I trained as a journalist and became a newsreader and reporter in local radio. I used to do really serious stuff like cover court cases and report on murders! Totally different to what I do now. After that I worked behind the scenes in telly, on stuff like The One Show and then CBBC found me and popped me on screen.
What do you find most rewarding about your job and can you give advice to a new presenter starting out?
Keep going. My presenter friend and I always joke that this job is 5% being on-air, presenting things and doing showbizzy things like going to award ceremonies and photo shoots – and 95% hustling for your next job. But whilst it’s hard, there are so many opportunities out there, thanks to online content. If you really want to do it, you’ll keep trying. Something will happen for you.
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