Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I'm Hayley Palmer, and I present and produce two weekly Sky chat/music shows.
What does your job involve? What does a typical day look like for you?
My job involves booking the guest, ensuring all the technical aspects are correct, liaising with the agents & PR of the guests, and doing research extensively. Viewers will see an hour show, but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes.
What's great about what you do?
I love talking and enjoy meeting people. It's interesting to hear people's stories, especially their journey and how things started for them. We get to play the guests' favourite songs on the show, which is just wonderful because music has been medicine – especially in lockdown. It can really bring back some great memories for viewers, and I'm glad I bring some cheer to peoples week – you just don't know what people are going through.
What are the toughest parts of your job?
I like to take everything on as a challenge, but my worry is always the technical side of things because I've seen everything happen. We have a specific structure that ensures everything is a certain standard, as there's nothing worse than putting out a show that's bad quality. Before we start, we do tests with the guest, microphone checks, lighting and sound checks to ensure a high-quality show.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
There's been a couple of highlights that I will cherish forever. I got invited to film with Lady Colin Campbell at her Castle in Worthing for an afternoon, which was a real treat. I also got to spend the day with Marty Wilde, Kim Wilde & Roxy Wilde. We had tea and cake and filmed for my show, and they were so welcoming. I recently filmed with Anton Du Beke from Strictly, which was a dream come true.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside of the arts?
I was lucky enough to do a work placement at ITV Studios, which is a great insight into behind-the-scenes television. I've also worked my way up in Radio, where I started at Community Radio & Hospital Radio and worked my way up to co-hosting a 3-hour show on Love Sport Radio (where we talked for 3 hours non-stop!)
What's been the biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was when lockdown hit in March last year because I was filming from the television studio, and I quickly realised that I wouldn't be able to do that anymore. I knew I had to quickly think of a plan if I wanted to continue pursuing my dream job. I consequently made my dining room into a green screen television studio. This has enabled me to film two weekly Sky shows, and I haven't looked back since.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry in recent times? If so, what?
Things have changed in lockdown; interviews on most mainstream shows are conducted via Zoom or Skype. It wouldn't have even crossed my mind a year ago, as everything I've done has always been a person. YouTube has become a really big platform, and podcasts are super popular and a great way to get out there. When I started, the best thing to do was shadow a presenter or do a work placement, but as that's not possible now, there are always opportunities; you just have to find them.
You've been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
I would have said, "believe in yourself!" It took me years to pluck up the courage to have the confidence to do my dream job, and I wish I had the courage earlier on in my life and the self-belief to make it happen. When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and sometimes it takes a while to know what you want. The quicker you learn what gives you energy and excitement and what wakes you up in the morning to pursue your dream, the quicker you know that you're on the right path.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in your field?
It's absolutely possible to do your dream job. You need two things - the right attitude and determination. Be prepared to take lots of action, and rejection will come along, but it's how you overcome it that's the important thing. Don't let anything hold you back. YOU CAN DO IT!