From crashing the Oscar’s to partying with Elton John, meet ITV’s reporter Tamsin Eames, the ultimate #bosslady.
We caught up on her journey to the star-studded top, bagging promotions and taking career risks.
One thing’s for sure, Tamsin means business.
University V Trainee scheme?
I’d highly recommend going to university: Not only did I have some of the best times of my life (social life was brilliant) but in order to become a journalist, I needed an NCTJ qualification to legally be able to report in court.
I also went on to do a post-grad in print journalism and a lot of my friends have gone on to work in the media industry – making great contacts for the future.
You had a pass to ‘access no areas’ in LA, describe the coolest off-limit place you went to?
My access no areas mission in LA has been a career highlight.
I’ve always been told I’ve got the “gift of the gab” so to be encouraged to blag and charm my way into celebrity parties for the purpose of TV and for it be broadcast to millions of viewers was a dream come true.
The coolest place I got into was Elton John’s Oscars afterparty.
I was stood on the dance floor next to Mariah Carey, Charlie Sheen and Kelly Osborne, dressed in an evening dress from ASOS and wearing earrings from Primark, thinking: “How the hell have I managed this?!”
How did you climb the ladder?
A lot of hard graft – I never saw any job as permanent, it was always a stepping stone.
So when I was a trainee, I’d be planning my route to a more senior role and would spend the weekend or evenings acting up into the position that I’d want to be to gain the skills and experience ready for when a job came up.
Also, I’d make the effort to get to know colleagues in different regions or departments of ITV so when I would apply for a job, my CV would stand out and they’d be able to put a face to a name.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Dress for the role you want, not the job you’re doing.
When I was producing, it would have been very easy to come into work without make-up or not dressed as smartly as you could because you wouldn’t be onscreen. However, because I wanted to become an on-screen reporter, I’d always wear a blazer and would make sure make-up / wellies / waterproofs were by my desk just in case they needed somebody to step up to the job.
This helped me land my first big break covering a news story about a man who was killed in a plane crash in the Westcountry patch. When the news broke, there wasn’t a reporter available in the area and so, I was sent to do my first ever live report on the six o’clock news.
It was a huge achievement and within weeks, I went on to become a full-time reporter.
How do you unwind after work?
I regularly work long, intense days, my hours can be extremely unpredictable and quite often, I’d be sent abroad for a last minute shoot.
So when I do have free time, I try to make the most of it.
I attend many press events, red carpets or pop-up fun events in London – the more random and quirky, the better. Or I arrange to go for dinner with friends.
My life feels quite hectic which is how I love it.
And then every few months, I will combust and plan a weekend where I do absolutely nothing other than watch box sets. Once I’ve recovered and feel refreshed, it’s back to my manic lifestyle.
The biggest career risk you’ve ever made?
I was desperate to become a reporter but those roles were extremely rare and very competitive.
I was working in Bristol at ITV Westcountry as a Production Journalist and became fed up of waiting for a position to become available. So, I took the big decision to relocate to Jersey in the Channel Islands.
It wasn’t known for being a very busy news patch, so I didn’t know how much experience I would gain.
But it actually paid off massively. Unlike other news patches where the breaking news stories would go to the very experienced correspondents, in Jersey, I was given the opportunity to cover a range of stories including a murder in Thailand, an historic child sex abuse inquest and even got to train as a firefighter for the day.
The vast on-screen experience I gained meant that when I started working on This Morning, I was chosen to present live from LA covering the Oscars.
Best tip to bagging a promotion?
My brother told me to never stay in a job more than two years. This sounds extreme but it doesn’t mean you always have to leave the company.
I’ve found that even if you deserve a promotion, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it.
Tight budgets, waiting for someone else to leave or taking on external candidates can often be a problem so instead, look elsewhere. I’ve been extremely loyal to ITV for 7 years, but in order to progress quickly from a trainee new journalist to a reporter, I had to move from different regions within the company.
It’s a good way to reinvent yourself too – people more senior than you will only ever see you in the role you started in, so it can be difficult to earn more respect once you have been promoted.
Whereas if you move to a new place, you start with a new reputation too.
Want to read more about ITV reporter Tamsin? We found out exactly what she eats in a day – and it’s making us feel slightly less guilty about last nights Chicken Tikka…