If I didn’t do what I do I would love to be…
An MI6 agent.
What’s your favourite waste of time?
I get way too distracted by Words With Friends (I know, I’m a few years late to the party on this one), and love a good crossword. So rock n roll!
If you could change a work decision, what would it be and why?
It sounds cliched, but I honestly believe that every decision made, whether (with hindsight) good or bad, is an opportunity. It doesn’t feel great to know you’ve made a mistake at the time of making it, but there’s a lot I wouldn’t have learned without those slip-ups. No regrets. Specifically however, I’d say my more dubious work decisions include taking on unpaid roles, trying to juggle too many projects and saying yes to jobs that weren’t particularly beneficial to my overall career.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Little Mix! Yeah, so I’ll never get back the hours spent watching performance after performance of these girls saaanging on YouTube…but I wouldn’t want to, those hours were golden. The catchiest pop songs out there, choreography ON POINT and harmonies for days. Am I right?!
Best weekend activity?
I’ve been shooting most weekends for the last few months and haven’t had a lot of time to catch up with my friends, so the opportunity to hang out with them is just the best. We love to cook big meals together, crack out some bottles of vino and chat for hours, before someone decides we NEED to go dancing. Impromptu clubbing is the best clubbing.
If I’m not working, on Sundays I also volunteer at a local project in Hackney where asylum seekers and refugees can come to a safe place for a hot meal, to meet new people, take English classes, get practical advice on starting life in the UK and find support if they are in any danger or having troubles. It’s a stark contrast to a lot of the work I do and the nature of the media industry, and I think it’s good to have that balance and perspective, as well as being a really wonderful and important cause.
What are your staple wardrobe brands?
I’m a vintage fiend, and honestly have no idea what a lot of the brands in my wardrobe are! There are pieces in there I’ve picked up from markets around the world, mixed in with old skool sportswear and a ton of cool twists on the classic shirt – I LOVE a shirt buttoned up to the collar to contrast bright trainers, slouchy jeans or dungarees. There are some awesome shirts with embroidery in Zara and Mango at the moment, and I like the crazy patterns on the silky ones in Beyond Retro. And for full-outfit-under-one-roof reliability, Urban Outfitters is probably my go-to, though I do think it’s a bit pricey.
What’s the biggest challenge your industry faces?
I’d say one of the biggest challenges for TV at the moment is effectively entering the digital age while maintaining production values. The industry is working out how broadcast and online platforms will work together, rather than the notion that the internet will just simply ‘take the place of TV’. No-one knows what the world of broadcast is going to look like in 10-20 years time, and there is a lot of guesswork going on. In spite of being on the cusp of so much change however, I do think that many companies and channels, surprisingly, are hesitant about taking risks when it comes to new formats, ideas and talent – especially when there’s so little money to do so – and this is a big challenge for those of us who are still near the beginning of our careers; it’s a very difficult industry to break into.
Next place you want to visit?
I spent a little time in Brazil when living in Argentina (I was on the wrong visa…sshhh…so had to keep popping over the border to get stamps to make it look like I was a tourist!), but would love to travel around the whole country for much longer – it’s such a diverse, incredibly interesting, exciting part of the world…not to mention absolutely stunning.
Who inspires you and why?
My mum! She arrived in Newcastle from then-war-torn Nigeria at the age of 11, speaking no English, and without parents to raise her and her siblings. She’s the strongest, happiest person I know.
What are your top tips to get the most from your morning/day?
I’m a to-do-lister, though I know this isn’t necessarily for everyone. I find it so helpful to have everything I need to get through succinctly mapped out, day by day, with exactly where and when it all needs to be done. It might just be because I have a terrible memory, but seeing something without a tick beside it gives me a weird sort of motivation!
Sheryl Sandberg’s one piece of advice is “Lean In” – if you had one piece of advice to give another woman in her career, what would it be?
I’m not sure I’ve been around long enough to give much advice, but I’ve always been told not to burn my bridges, which has proved pretty sterling. When moving from job to job, company to company (which happens often with short TV contracts), keeping good relations with and staying on the radar of people you’ve worked with is wise; you never know when your paths will cross again.
Who sends you to sleep?
Mr Huge Dinner Followed By Food Baby. And Mrs Red Wine.
Recently discovered restaurant?
It’s been around for a while, but I went to Ceviche (the Shoreditch branch, there’s also one in Soho) for the first time recently and it was amazing. I think Peruvian cuisine might be my favourite: I’m a coriander addict, and love the citrusy, spicy flavours infusing the meat and fish. It shares lots of ingredients with Japanese food, which is why Peruvian-Japanese fusion works so well… Actually, I’ve changed my mind, THAT’S my favourite cuisine!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
In this order, from age 11 onwards: Lawyer, Hairdresser, J-Lo, Lawyer, Foreign Correspondent, War Correspondent, MI6 Agent, Fashion Writer, TV Presenter/News and Entertainment Reporter.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive – who would it be and what question would you ask?
Carlos Acosta, and I’d ask him to dance with me.
Who would you invite to your perfect dinner party (dead or alive)?
Yotam Ottolenghi (arriving a couple of hours early to help in the kitchen, cheers Yotam), Carlos Acosta (also curating some after-dinner entertainment), Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Idris Elba, Goldie Hawn, Penelope Cruz, J-Lo, Tinie Tempah, Sir Ian McKellen, Amy Winehouse, Dave Grohl, Bob Marley, my boyfriend Tom, Will Smith, my mum and dad.
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
My parents’ house in Northumberland. They’re very sociable so it’s always buzzy and full of friends, but is also so peaceful you feel like you can properly get away from it all and relax there. It will always be the place I call home.
What’s your cheapest and simplest beauty tip?
Night 1: toothpaste on your spot. Night 2: Savlon on it. Works like a dream.
What’s a new skill or hobby you would like to take up and why?
I’d like to learn Arabic. I studied French, Spanish and Portuguese at uni, and had a lot of respect for anyone who took up a language which entailed learning an entirely different alphabet. Arabic is so useful and important, especially right now, and I truly believe if more of us could speak it we could build meaningful bridges.
I used to play football until I broke my leg (serious slide tackle!) a couple of years ago and have been a bit hesitant returning to the game, but would love to get back into a team sport – way more fun than hitting the gym solo.
What are you wearing today and what made you choose it?
Boyfriend jeans (I had never before seen such a gorgeous bright blue denim as the hue of these ones in Zara the other day!), huge pale blue denim H&M men’s shirt (yep, I’m double-denim-ing), battered while plimsolls (holes in the toes, a.k.a. they have moulded themselves to the shape of my feet) and a beautiful royal blue and black patterned Alexander McQueen scarf I received as a gift last week. It’s all very slouchy and comfortable, as I’m having a bit of an admin/errands day, and very blue!
If you could introduce a new subject/course to the national curriculum, what would it be and why?
I think the UK was trialling adding coding to the curriculum, which makes total sense. Being able to build and manage a website will soon be such a standard requirement for all manner and level of enterprise.
Has anyone left you star struck?
Weirdly, despite having interviewed many Hollywood actors and A-listers for work (and often in fairly intimate sit-down set-ups), the most star struck I’ve been was getting one question with Cheryl on a red carpet and meeting Tinie Tempah at a festival. I guess it might have been how hyped up everyone around me was in these two scenarios, but otherwise I have no idea why them!
Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver?
Lisa Potter-Dixon – Benefit’s head make-up artist and one of the funniest, feistiest women I’ve worked with. She has some EXCELLENT stories to tell, and gives awesome advice for literally any area of your life!
What should people look out for?
Keep up-to-date with what I’m up to by following me on Twitter and Instagram (both @VickNHope), and in the blog section of my website, vickhope.com. Watch out for my new fashion show, Style Click with very.co.uk, every day on 4Music, as well as introducing the best new vids all week in Hotlist Breakers. I’ll be popping up with tons of showbiz news on ITV2’s FYI Daily throughout October and November, and presenting the fast-paced Street Velodrome over on BT Sport too. And for the kids, tune into Access All Areas on Disney Channel every Saturday morning at 9.30!