The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Ben Shephard, 47, says be positive if things don’t go well
Ben Shephard, 47, rose to fame as a presenter on GMTV and has been on Good Morning Britain since its launch in 2014. He also presents ITV shows Tipping Point and Ninja Warrior UK. Ben lives in South-West London with his wife, Annie, and their sons Sam, 17, and Jack, 15.
I’m generally a pretty optimistic person. Of course, there have been times when things have gone badly, but that’s when positivity helps.
After university, I fell into the TV industry, which crackles with opportunity and potential but also has a brutal downside: you can lose your job quickly.
Ben Shephard, 47, (pictured) says be positive if things don’t go well. He rose to fame as a presenter on GMTV and has been on Good Morning Britain since its launch in 2014
Early in my career I got a job launching T4 on Channel 4. I expected to be there for a long time, but after a few months, one of the bosses fired me. She said, ‘It’s not working and I don’t think it’s ever going to work. I don’t think you’re right for this.’
I remember how emotionally difficult that was because I wanted so much for this to be my career. But I stayed positive because I believed I could get better. I got a few more TV jobs and in 2002 my showreel was sent to an editor at GMTV, but he said, ‘No, he’s rubbish.’
I was wearing T-shirts and jeans in it. Luckily, a producer had the idea for me to wear a suit instead. It worked and, 48 hours later, the same editor said, ‘Yeah, he’s the one we want.’
That started me on the path to Good Morning Britain and the other shows I do now. My social media settings are set to block anyone who posts negative comments as I don’t want to focus on that.
When I went to Sky Sports in 2010, we would have post-show analysis and I got the team to start with the good things.
But I’ve been guilty of negative talk, too. I used to say to my children, ‘Yeah that was great, but the problem was…’ One day I heard one of my boys saying the same thing and I realised the negative impact of my words. Now, we always begin with the positives.
It’s why I’ve written my first book, Humble Heroes. During the pandemic, I was hearing about people doing great work without any recognition and I wanted to tell their stories. They are the sort of positive people I find inspiring.
- Humble Heroes by Ben Shephard (£20, Blink Publishing) is out now
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