Model-turned broadcaster Melanie Sykes has revealed she’s stepping back from TV presenting saying: “I kind of don’t want to do it anymore.”
Sykes, whose presenting gigs included The Big Breakfast, Today with Des and Mel, and Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel, says the pressure of live television “sends shivers down my spine”, admitting that she finds presenting scary.
“I was frightened. I mean, anxiety is not even in it. I know people like to watch me and connect with me, which is good but as a presenter, I’m not sure I’ve got the skills for it.”
Speaking to Kate Thornton on the latest episode of Yahoo’s White Wine Question Time podcast about her new venture as editor-in-chief of The Frank Magazine, Sykes says she’d rather spend time on doing things that she genuinely enjoys, and that doesn’t include solo presenting gigs on television.
“I woke up January the first and thought, right, I can genuinely now say I’m 50 next year and I’m no longer doing things that I don’t want to do,” Sykes explains. “Genuinely. It means I’m not really going to be presenting TV shows. I kind of don’t want to do it anymore.”
Listen to the full episode of Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time with Melanie Sykes, Melanie Cantor, sand Dr Louise Wiseman below, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify to get first access to all the celebrity confessions.
The 48-year-old northerner shot to fame in the ’90s as the face of the Boddingtons Bitter adverts. She quickly translated that fame into presenting gigs, first on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, and then later alongside Des O’Connor in the hugely popular ITV daytime show Today With Des and Mel which ran from 2002-2006. She came third in the 2014 edition of hit reality show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
Sykes admits that she prefers co-hosting gigs alongside another presenter like O’Connor or TV chef Gino D’Acampo, and hopes to make more guest appearances on radio.
“I’m all right if I’m working with somebody else, like Alan Carr on Radio 2,” Sykes goes on. “I’m not that interested in hosting alone and doing the high pressure of the ‘big hello and welcome’ – it sends shivers down my spine!
“I have been doing it for 20 years and I’ve never ever really loved it. I loved it with Des O’Connor and there were moments in Gino and Mel that I enjoyed, but really it used to take a huge deal of effort for me because I don’t like being in front of a camera! I modelled first but felt really uncomfortable in front of camera, got away with it. Then got into TV, got away with it.
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“I know people genuinely like to see me and they do, but I wasn’t loving it. And I think you’d get to this stage where you’ve got to love what you’re doing.”
In her new job as the editor-in-chief of The Frank Magazine, Sykes has found herself on the other side of modelling shoots, organising them for models rather than being snapped herself, and she’s absolutely loving it.
“We did a fashion shoot recently that I organised, and it was the first time I’d not been in front of camera, but I’ve been in a photographic studios since I was 19 for 30 years, and all of a sudden I was there to oversee a shoot. And I can’t tell you how comfortable I felt like more comfortable than ever felt being photographed. So I found my little niche.”