In 2021, Scarlett Archer became a presenter for the Sky network series Sky Kids News – FYI, and during her time so far, she has reported on the Ukraine invasion (visiting Poland), interviewed Boris Johnson at Downing Street, and attended Geneva for the Young Activists Summit. Scarlett is set to continue presenting with Sky Kids News – FYI, and also writes Pick of the Week for the children’s newspaper First News. Alongside being a presenter, Scarlett is also an actor/narrator, and this year, she narrated the audiobook for Secrets Never to Be Told, will be filming a TV series, and her previous work has included short film Fallen playing Young Susan and working with Andy Day in the CBeebies/CBBC series Andy and the Band. We caught up with Scarlett about being a presenter for Sky Kids – FYI, her career highlights so far and being part of The Show Must Go Online during the pandemic.
Last year, you became a presenter for Sky Kids News – FYI, how did it feel finding out you’d be a presenter for the Sky network?
When I found out I was going to be a presenter, I was so excited. I had just got back from my summer holiday, and I arranged to talk to the producer of the show. He offered me the job of presenter and reporter. We discussed the role for a long time, and I just couldn’t wait to get started. I was nervous and excited at the same time.
Do you remember how you felt on your first day on the job and meeting the rest of the presenters for the first time?
My first day on the job was a location shoot. I was a bit nervous because it was all new to me. As soon as I met the two lads I was interviewing, I felt at ease. We chatted a bit before we started the report and that was great because I got to know them a bit. My first presenting job for FYI Sky News was introducing Boris Johnson at a press conference ahead of COP26. I was so busy with making sure I had questions ready and learning about COP26, I had no time to be nervous.
The first time I met the other presenters of FYI Sky Kids News was very exciting. We all had lunch and chatted a lot. We got some professional photos done and we all just felt comfortable with each other straight away. This certainly helps with the rapport on set.
How are you finding the experience reporting on the Ukraine invasion and visiting Poland?
Reporting from Poland was a very humbling experience. I was struck by how strong the refugees were that came to Poland. They were obviously in so much distress but still found time to tell their story. I think I felt also that this was history, and I was learning about it first-hand. What struck me was the generosity of not only the Polish people but all the people that came to the border from all over the world to help in any way they could.
There was a businessman that came from the UK to cook food and a Belgian man that organised buses to take refugees to Belgium. The sense we got was that people really pulled together to help in any way they could, and it was amazing to witness this in real time.
We understand you visited 10 Downing Street to interview Boris Johnson, what was this like?
The experience was great. I was lucky enough to meet Boris Johnson on two separate occasions. First, I introduced him at a COP26 Press Conference for Kids, and I also interviewed him regarding the Ukraine War. He was easy to talk to and he was very welcoming. I thought it was great that he gave so much of his time to answer our questions so fully. He allowed us extra time as we had so many questions to ask about the Ukraine war and how the British Government was helping.
What was it like attending Geneva for the Young Activist Summit?
Attending the Young Activist Summit in Geneva was such a wonderful experience. The young activists from all over the globe I met were so inspiring and I was impressed by all the wonderful initiatives they shared with the attendees. I interviewed Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old scientist from America. She created an app to stop bullying and a way to detect lead in water.
Do you have any stand-out highlights so far from your presenting career with Sky?
To be honest, I love all the presenting and reporting I do. I would say the stand-out highlights are when I get to meet people and find out about them. I like to learn about people and their lives. Interviewing different people from all over the world is fascinating. We are all individuals with many shared hopes and dreams. Of course, interviewing Boris Johnson was a highlight and I was impressed with how comfortable he made us feel.
Being on The Young Creators Panel at BAFTA was also a highlight for me. I loved answering questions and talking to future presenters. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and optimism from everyone regarding the future of news broadcasting.
What is your favourite aspect of being a Sky presenter?
It must be the variety of the experiences and meeting so many people from all over the world. I love researching the stories I am presenting and reporting on. I am always learning.
Where does your love of presenting come from and how did you get into it?
I think I’ve just always loved it. I was on a children’s show for three years in the past and a lot of it was presenting information for kids. I found it came naturally.
I have a curiosity about and interest in the world around me. When I listen to the news at home, I ask a lot of questions and am aware about what goes on. Of course, I find out a lot from social media but I am wary of it as well. When FYI was on TV on the weekend, I watched it because it was so informative and went to the heart of the news but in a way that was fun and engaging. I really liked the parts that explained big concepts like how conflicts began and about the issues of pollution and crime.
This year, you are the narrator on Secrets Never to Be Told, is there anything you can you say about this?
It was my first audiobook, and I would love to do more of that. Narrating a book is not just reading, but it’s getting to know the central character. I got the book ahead of the shoot so I could read it and make notes. When I was recording it in the studio, I was thinking about all the nuances of the character so I could bring her alive for the reader.
Can you tell us about the short film Fallen, in which you play Young Susan?
The film was a wonderful experience. I read the script well in advance of the shoot and just loved the story. Playing the younger version of Susan was a real honour.
In 2020, you filmed for Andy and the Band for CBeebies/CBBC, how was this?
Andy and the Band was a terrific show to be involved with. I grew up watching Andy Day on CBBC and at the panto in Sheffield, so it was a real honour to be part of the show. I absolutely love dogs and when I was offered the lead role of Alana, and the episode was about her dog, I was thrilled. I loved meeting the rest of the band as well. Everyone was so friendly and really made me feel welcome on set.
What was it like being part of The Show Must Go Online during the pandemic?
During the pandemic I was lucky to be part of this wonderful show with many actors from all over the world. I have made so many connections and friends performing and watching all the different productions.
Every week, a new Shakespeare play was performed online. Each episode was announced with a few days to get ready. There was great excitement of finding out your part and meeting the cast online. We did many rehearsals over a few days and made our own costumes. Performing in four different productions was wonderful because, although I learned about some of the Shakespeare plays at school, this gave me a real insight into Shakespeare. I loved playing so many different characters throughout lockdown.
How do you like to spend your time away from your career?
I enjoy being with my friends. Twice a week, my dad and I go rock climbing and I have been doing this since I was very small. Paddleboarding and water sports are also fun. Recently, I started playing piano again and it’s become such a great hobby. Baking and cooking are also very fun, although my parents say it’s more of an experiment in the kitchen that I enjoy. Well, they are right about that.
Do you have any favourite TV shows and films to watch?
I love Derry Girls. The humour is great, and I can do the accent so well. Each character is funny on the show and they all just make me laugh. I like watching song shows like Britain’s Got Talent and Eurovision. To be honest, Eurovision was super this year and I hope England enters a group or talent in the Junior Eurovision this December.
What upcoming career plans do you have that you can tell us about?
My plans are to continue presenting and reporting for FYI Sky News. The newspaper First News is linked with Sky Kids – FYI and the presenters are doing a weekly feature called Pick of the Week and the first one I did was to talk about the new Harry Styles album, Harry’s House. I like acting and voiceover work a lot as well and just found out that I will be filming in a TV series later in the summer. I would love to do some more audiobooks as well. I plan to continue my training and do my best. This is the beauty of this career, you never know what’s just around the corner.
Follow Scarlett on: