We’ve had the absolute pleasure of catching up with Minnie Stephenson, ITN 5 News broadcaster and one of our gay national treasures – we’re putting that out there!
You will have seen Minnie last summer if you made your way to Trafalgar Square as she presented London Pride in front of a casual 10,000 people (gulp). As a broadcaster for ITN’s 5 News, Minnie has covered the Oscars in Los Angeles (swit-swoo) and has told us that she’s become accustomed to many weird and wonderful TV moments from being interrupted live on air by Sir Ian McKellen, to being spat on by Pete Doherty at a Libertines press conference.
You’ll also find her on ITV’s Weekend show as a film and TV critic. Minnie has written articles for the Guardian and Stylist magazine. She is the co-founder of the media networking club GIN (Gays in News). What a bloody legend. See what Minnie has to say to Nonchalant below.
How did you get into presenting?
I used to present the breakfast show on Manchester’s student radio station Fuse FM. It was an uncontested slot, I think I was the only person awake before Countdown was on. I would mostly auction off my mates to go on dates and read out Mills and Boon novels on air. It had a niche following.
Who’s your favourite person you’ve interviewed and why?
Rachel Weisz was so charming and beautiful that I completely forgot my words and had the look of someone who had left their homework on the bus. Very embarrassing. I usually manage to hold it down a little better.
What’s your best piece of advice for other women and girls that want to get into presenting or TV?
Don’t ever feel like an imposter, you deserve to be here. And be nice it’s a small industry, you’ll only bump into them again in a lift or somewhere awkward.
Who are your role models and why?
Davina McCall, Sandi Toksvig is the Queen and Clare Balding of course for words of wisdom like, “facts are my friend”.
Do you ever get nervous?
Of course. I tend to manically start drinking water before going live and whisper to myself DO NOT SWEAR.
Have you ever had a TV blooper moment or asked something you regretted after?
A particular low point was attempting to interview a pig live at a premiere. It turns out they don’t give much back and crouching on the floor isn’t the most flattering angle. You live and learn.
If there was a magic telephone that you could call yourself when you were 15, what advice would you give?
Worry less and don’t be so hard on yourself – can I give this advice to my 31-year-old self too?
Who do you rely on the most for moral support?
My mum, she’s the only person who will listen.
What’s the last text on your phone?
I only seem to converse with my best friends via Instagram these days. Is this normal?
If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
It won’t make a Marvel movie as it’s not wildly exciting but I’d like a mutant cleaning fairy with a CIF squirting gun, who would tidy up around me and do my laundry.
West London or East London?
East and North London till I die.
If your house was burning down and you could only save one thing, what would it be?
My phone charger
When did you come out? Do you have a good story to go with it?
I came out on a windowsill in Kentish Town to my mum, to be honest, I wanted more fanfare, more champagne, more of a national celebration. In all seriousness, coming out was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was so freeing.
Do you get more attention from girls because you’re a celeb? How does that go down with girls you date?
Thank you for calling me a celeb, I haven’t reached Little Mix levels of fandom (yet) but I’ll keep you posted on that…
Do you ever venture out to the Lesbian scene in London, if so what do you think?
I’m actually trying to be more sceney. Being a Pride in London presenter this year made me realise how important gay bars are, we need these spaces to be seen and heard in our LGBTQ+ community. And in terms of my favourites, The Glory, Dalston Superstore and The Queen Adelaide in East London are top of my gay bar power-list.
What three things would you take to a desert island and why?
A cardboard cut-out of Bear Grylls for the company, a lifetime supply of carbs for comfort & a megaphone to find friends in the wild.
Have you had any fangirls?
I’ve had a few GIFs from girls on Tinder, who says romance is dead.
When can we catch you on TV next?
Every weekday on Channel 5 at 5 pm or follow me on Instagram for live updates and heavily filtered selfies.
Thanks for the catch-up, Minnie!! See you on the scene soon yea 😉