17 May 2007 20:09 Home > News > Media
Natasha Desborough: My Life in Media

Natasha Desborough, 32, is the voice of BBC 6 Music and presents the station's weekend breakfast show. She worked on local radio and football station Crystal Palace FM before joining Xfm in 2000. She joined the BBC three years ago and has also worked as a voiceover artist on Five's Real Sex and California Escorts. She lives in Croydon with her partner Jim and their baby son, Oscar.

So what inspired you to embark on a career in the media?I actually intended to build a career in film, but after a few horrible jobs as a runner I decided that I wasn't cut out for the industry. Chance led me to radio presenting. I made a production demo, which I sent to all the radio stations I could think of hoping for some production work, and a controller came back and offered me a stint on the breakfast show on Invicta FM in Kent. There was one snag - I had to start the next day, and I'd be presenting.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?
My parents always got The Times but at 15 I was more interested in Smash Hits.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?I religiously recorded the Radio 1 Chart Show every Sunday. My favourite TV programme of all time was and still is Moonlighting. Currently the only programmes I can't bear to miss are Desperate Housewives and Shameless.

Describe your job
I'm lucky to have such a varied job because every day is different. Little bits of TV, a voiceover here and there and a splash of writing, but my bread and butter is my weekend breakfast show on BBC 6 Music.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?GMTV's News Hour until 7am and then straight on with the radio while I'm getting breakfast ready.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?I check all the papers online in the morning, but we avoid the grown-up papers. At the weekend we use all the red tops for the show - the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the News of the World and The People. I check Digital Spy, Reuters, Pop Bitch and Ananova for the gossip and BBC News.

What is the best thing about your job?
I love my job. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Mick and Rowan who produce my show are such good fun and it's great that the time slot fits so perfectly around my son. I can be mummy during the week and retain a sense of independence at the weekend.

And the worst?
The schmoozing. I rarely attend work-related dos. The radio industry is incredibly incestuous and it can be a big help to socialise out of hours. But I'm quite shy at times and I find those situations terrifying so I do my best to avoid them. I've often wondered if it has held me back in my career. I think it probably has.

How do you feel you influence the media?I'm not so arrogant as to believe that I have much influence. I'm just a neurotic mum from Croydon who witters on and plays music. However, I do believe that 6 Music as a radio station has a massive influence on the music industry.

What's the proudest achievement of your working life?After an 18-month break from radio, my boyfriend Jim and I had a lot of financial worries and had lost all confidence in my abilities as a radio broadcaster. Then suddenly, in the same week that I discovered I was pregnant with my first child, Lesley Douglas and Ric Blaxill offered me the 6 Music weekend breakfast show. I was both grateful and petrified. My hormones were all over the place and my confidence was at an all-time low. Getting back in the driver's seat is something I'm still proud of.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?Oh crikey, there are too many to mention. But calling a Channel 4 executive "Dad" in a crucial meeting ranks pretty highly. (I was tired and premenstrual.)

At home, what do you tune in to?
Usually it's Terry Wogan for breakfast, Vanessa Feltz on BBC London 94.9 from nine then back to Radio 2 for Jeremy Vine. Then it's Nemone on BBC 6 Music, then Danny Baker on BBC London and then Radio 4 for the comedy. My favourite show of the past few years was Iain Lee's drivetime show on LBC.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?Jo Brand. I like the way she's conducted her career and maintained a normal, private family life. She's endured a lot of criticism for being outspoken and intelligent but the insults just seem to make her funnier and cleverer. Plus she supports Crystal Palace FC! And I've always admired Lesley Douglas because she has built a career in a male-dominated industry and she's now the most powerful person in radio.

The CV

1995: Works as a runner on films and pop promos before moving into radio production at Croydon FM

1997: Moves to Crystal Palace's station

1999: Becomes a presenter at Kent's Invicta FM and soon bags a spot on Xfm presenting her own show

2000: Presents Xfm's Breakfast Session with co-presenters including Iain Lee and Ian Camfield

2003: Presents the weekend show with Jimmy Carr

2004: Becomes the voice of 6 Music, recording all their links and announcements

2005: Gets her own show, Natasha's 6 Music Weekend Breakfast Show, and becomes the voice of The A-List music chart

Article placed by Vikki Rimmer/Press Contact