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My agent told me to brush my hair before leaving the house! EXCLUSIVE Seven months into her job on the GMTV sofa, Emma a Crosby reveals how she's getting used to life with little sleep, covering up gaffes live on air and dealing with her new celebrity status..

Byline: Claire O'Boyle

Beamed into millions of homes five days a week, GMTV's Emma Crosby shares breakfast with most of the country-and she's fast become a familiar face because of it.

The 32-year-old journalist was thrown into the limelight in January, when she replaced Fiona Phillips on the GMTV sofa- beating off tough competition form high-profile rivals Kate Silverton and Kate Garraway.

But despite the flurry of paparzzi excitement that follows her, she still isn't used to the celebrity that comes with her job.

"The paparazzi got a couple of horrible photos of me and I got calls form friends and my agent suggesting I brush my hair before going out," admits Emma. "I actually had brushed my hair, that's just how it looks!"

Moving to GMTV form her low-key position as a business reporter on Sky was a shock to the system.

"When I worked for Sky there was no feeling of celebrity," she explains, "but that changed when I got this job.

"The paparazzi followed me because GMTV viewers wanted to know who I was. But I don't care about being caught looking a little bit scruffy."

While her GMTY colleagues Andrew Castle and Kate Garraway have thrown themselves into celeb show Strictly Come Dancing, Emma,32, can't see herself doing that. "I have two left feet so that show would be a disaster for me," she says. "Also I have enough going on settling in at GMTV and learning to cope with these extreme hours without something as intense as that on top."

Emma is still getting used to her new way of working - and the relaxed atmosphere has led to some embarrassing moments.

"A few weeks ago we were doing a feature about dogs and viewers sent pictures in," she says. "Tim Vincent presented part of it and was talking about his own dog, a little terrier cross. Then, holding my hands a few inches apart, I said really seriously: 'Did you see Tim's? It's tiny - it's only this size'.

"I noticed people sniggering and then realised what it sounded like! It was embarrassing and I had to stop myself from giggling and hoped the viewers didn't notice."

Emma's career is rocketing at a time when controversial debates are raging around women in broadcasting.

"I know there's been talk about female reporters doing well because of their looks - Natasha Kaplinsky was one woman linked to the autocuties row - but I don't agree it happens."

"And the discussion about older women in broadcasting being pushed to one side is not good. They have a lot to give. Look at women like Anna Ford, Jenny Bond and Kate Adie - they were my idols as I was getting into journalism." For Emma, the variety in her job at GMTV is a bonus after her businessbased position at Sky.

"I mean where else would you talk to a member of the cabinet, a boyband and a reallife hero in the space of a few hours?" she laughs.

"There was one day when the chancellor Alistair Darling was in talking about the budget. The interview was intense because of the serious economic climate.

"Then after an ad break I was interviewing Zac Efron about High School Musical and his latest chick flick, 17 Again.

"It can feel bizarre - asking meaty political questions one minute and then you're asking a teenage heart-throb about his latest movie."

And although Emma manages to stay calm with most of her star guests, she lost it a bit when she met her teen idol, soul singer Seal.

"I was so excited I even asked him to pose for a photograph with me after the interview," she says. "I loved him when I was younger and he didn't disappoint.

"I listened to his album every night to send me off to sleep when I was studying for my A-levels."

Emma probably had more sleep when she was studying all those years ago, because now every weekday starts at 4.30am.

"My days are like military operations," she says. "I'm in bed before 10pm. I wash my hair and set my clothes out the night before. So I get up, get dressed and head off. I have an hour-and-a-half in the office before I go on air to have some breakfast, read the papers and run through everything in the show. Then I run to make-up and the girls do me up in a flash.

"Sometimes my schedule is fine and I make it from day to day with no problems. But other weeks it feels like I'm never quite awake."

In fact, sleeping routines is a major topic of conversation with all the GMTV ladies.

"You might laugh but we talk about it a lot!" she says. "I go home for a nap before lunch so I can have an afternoon without feeling dreadful. Penny Smith goes home at 11am and has four hours' sleep. It means she doesn't have miss out on her social life with an early night. And Kate stays up all day without even napping and goes to bed at 7pm, at the same time as her daughter Darcy."

Emma feels lucky because her banker boyfriend Leo Roubicek works long hours, too - and gets out of bed 30 minutes after her.

"That makes it easier," she says. "We've been together 18 months.

"We're having an amazing time and I want to get married and have children at some stage but not just yet.

"I have two God-daughters who I see all the time and I love kids. But they're constant work."

GETTING TO KNOW EMMA..

Danni Minogue ORCheryl Cole?

"Sorry, Danni, but it's got to be Cheryl. I think she's fabulous. She is stunning, smart and has everything going for her."

High heels OR flats?

"I live in my ballet pumps because they're so comfy but if I had to choose I'd say heels. At almost 5ft 10in I'm tallanyway but heels make you feel more glamorous."

Brad PittOR GeorgeClooney?

"Brad (left, with Angelina). He is gorgeous."

Gym andwater ORwine and TV?

"Oops, wine and TV, I'm afraid. I shouldn't say that and my boyfriend will kill me but that's it. I love a glass of red wine and tucking into a big bag of Kettle Chips in front of the telly."

Jennifer AnistonOR Angelina Jolie?

"I hate this choice - but Angelina. When I was covering the Cannes Film Festival the media frenzy when she and Brad Pitt turned up was unbelievable.

"But I like Jen, too. I wish everyone would stop banging on about her getting a boyfriend - so what if she's single?"

Show-off ORshrinking violet?

"I'm not overly shy or anythingbut I'm definitely not a peacock, centre-of-attention person - so shrinking violet, I guess."

Corrie OR 'Enders

"No doubt, Corrie every time. It's
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2009
Words:1131
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