Printer Friendly

I'm Llewella's love child.

Byline: BY ROZ LAWS

LISA Dowd has a confession to make, and it's a pretty big one.

'OK, I admit it,' she says. 'I am the love child of Llewella Bailey and Bob Warman!'

What a scoop! Sadly it's not true - but it's what some Central News viewers would like to believe.

Lisa does look strikingly like a younger version of her colleague Llewella, and has sometimes been asked if she is the newsreader's daughter.

Either that or George Medal-winning nursery nurse Lisa Potts.

The identity crisis shouldn't last too long, as Lisa becomes a more familiar face on our screens.

Her television success has come remarkably quickly. Only 18 months after she had left university, she was reading the news on Central TV.

She often fills in for Jo Malin and Llewella on the main 6pm news, but is currently working early mornings.

And if viewers think she is just the public face of a huge operation, they are wrong. When she gets to work at 4.30am she is the only one in the newsroom.

There is no team of script-writers, make-up artists, editors, wardrobe assistants, producers and researchers in the background. Lisa has to do almost everything herself, including working her own autocue!

'People think you just sit in the studio, waiting for the bulletin to come round again,' says Lisa. 'But we're kept very busy.

'I can be out reporting on a story, then rushing back to write and edit it. We have a lap-top in the studio and I can be making changes to my script just before we go on air. What I type goes straight on to the autocue, which we control with a foot pedal.

'I was so nervous while reading my first bulletin that my foot was shaking uncontrollably as it hovered over the pedal.

'I grew up watching Central News, so it was weird to find myself reading it - and sitting next to Bob Warman.

'I always try to think that it's just my nan and granddad watching. I don't like to think that up to one million people could be seeing me.

'I've learnt to have my stand-by stories to hand, after one nightmare bulletin when everything went wrong. The autocue stopped, we had no filmed reports and there was just me talking for seven minutes. In my ear they were shouting 'Go to story 20!' as I reached across the desk for more reports.

'You have to be multi-skilled but I love it. You can never get bored, and being really nosy I love the fact that I get to know things first.'

Lisa's varied job means she can be first on the scene for tragedies like Josh Berrill, the toddler killed in a hit-and-run in Alum Rock, then interviewing Hollywood star Will Smith.

Hers was the first TV camera he came to when he arrived in Birmingham for the premiere of his film Hitch. And, rather than rushing off, he lingered to answer more of her questions - which Lisa understandably found a little overwhelming.

Dazzled by his smile, she ended up asking the bemused actor: 'What do you think of the Brummie accent? Actually I'm from Derbyshire!'

Now she laughs: 'I didn't expect to have so much time with Will! I spent three minutes talking to him, but it felt like 10. He is amazing when he makes eye contact - you do forget yourself a bit.'

Lisa grew up in the tiny village of Ilam near Ashbourne in Dovedale with her mother, a restaurant supervisor, and painter/decorator father. Her grandparents lived next door.

'Ilam doesn't have a shop or a pub, just a postbox. Hardly a bus passes through and there's no mobile phone reception. It was a great place to play as a child - I would go off for hours on my mountain bike - but as a teenager I needed to learn to drive as soon as possible!

'I went to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne. It was five miles away but the journey took an hour because the bus went through every village.

'It's a traditional school and they were unsure about me taking a degree in broadcasting. They wanted me to take history but I knew I wanted to be a journalist from the age of 15.

'At 16 I phoned The Sun newsline and managed to talk my way into a week's work experience at The Times. I was turned down by the Ashbourne Telegraph, so I thought I'd aim higher! I was very lucky - I went out on a photo shoot with the Chemical Brothers and an interview with Dawn French.'

After her degree and a year working in radio, Lisa joined Central News and within six months had read her first bulletin.

She has attracted the attention of fans, who have had an internet discussion about the length of her skirts and her footwear. One described her as 'a must for any red-blooded male'.

'The desk used to be waist-high but now it's much lower so people can see my legs. I wear knee-length skirts but they look shorter when I'm sitting down. I've had a few letters saying 'I like your boots', which makes me blush.

'I get a lot of fan mail from sweet old ladies, actually. And one man likes to send me poems.

'I get recognised quite a lot in the supermarket, usually when I've got no make-up on. They say 'You look much better off the telly' or 'You look much thinner in real life', which I take as a compliment, I think!'

WHO ARE YOU?

NAME: Lisa Dowd

AGE: 25

SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Lisa lives in Bearwood, Birmingham, with her boyfriend of 18 months, who works in television but whom she declines to name.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: After a broadcast journalism degree at Nottingham Trent University, Lisa briefly worked as a news presenter on Kix 96 radio in Coventry. Then she moved to Beacon Radio and Heart FM before joining Central News two-and-a-half years ago.

FANCY THAT: When Lisa interviewed pop star Darius, he gave her a hug and said her hair smelled nice.

AND ANOTHER THING: The whole village of Ilam are now avid Central News viewers, especially after Lisa got Llewella Bailey to take part in a charity event. 'I'm a local hero!'

CAPTION(S):

HOT SEAT: fame has come quickly to Central News presenter Lisa Dowd DOUBLE: award-winning nursery nurse Lisa Potts MIX-UP: Lisa Dowd is often taken for the daughter of Central TV colleague Llewella Bailey, above TEAM: Lisa with news veteran Bob Warman
COPYRIGHT 2005 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2005
Words:1093
Previous Article:Football: BOOS JUST SHOW I'VE BEEN A BIG HITZ - TOM; At least somebody cares I'm going says 'Hammer.
Next Article:Property: Back to SCHOOL.


Related Articles
You should be so llucky; In association with Radisson SAS Half Page.
TV presenter in prize visit; SELLY OAK.
Uni grant boost for SMEs.
TV Llewella in home sale court battle; EXCLUSIVE.
Sleepout volunteers' record bid.
Letter: Your Say - Central needs talent.
Charity gives bus to special school.
Jacqui to be grilled again.
COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR - ASTON PRIDE.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |