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The must-watch presenters changing British TV

PRESENTING REAL LIFE: Jacqueline Shepherd and Remel London at the 'What’s Up TV' studios

OUR LEAH Sinclair finds out more about the popular TV show and the dynamic ladies fronting it.

Q: So What’s Up TV is back for its twelfth season! With that being such a big milestone in itself, what changes have been made to this season that people will be excited to see?

Jacqueline Shepherd: I would say the main change will be that we’re coming to you from a new stage at Sky Studios and that’s a really massive deal! The show has been filming for a number of years and to get that recognition and to have a space at Sky Studios just brings the production value to the show right up.

Remel London: In terms of the actual content as well, the researchers have really gone above and beyond. We’ve been doing things that are really adventurous; we’ve got some of the biggest industry names you can think of from Anthony Joshua to Fatman Scoop – just household names from different industries. So they really dug deep and showed what talent we have in the UK and internationally as well.

Q: For any show to reach that many seasons is amazing – especially in an age were everyone watches TV online or via a streaming service. What do you think is the key to success for your particular show and why it’s still going strong?

RL: I think it’s the fact that we’re all fresh talent and sometimes I think you get bored of seeing the same old faces. Beyond that we’re pretty diverse. There’s something relatable for everyone and there’s always going to be something new to see on the show. Also, I think the fact that we’re always out there outside of this show, getting new information has allowed us to become new and trustworthy faces bringing weekly entertainment.

Q: It’s also exciting to see a show on network television hosted by two black women. Do you feel like the television industry is becoming more diversified or do you still feel drastically outnumbered in that way?

JS: I think there’s a lot that needs to be done. The word diverse is losing its meaning in a way. When people say I want a diverse person, what do they actually mean by that? And so I think we have to be really careful about how we use that word. But one of the things, which we discuss regarding TV, is inclusivity, and our show really is inclusive. So I think while things are evolving slowly and conversations are being had, it’s about seeing these things some into fruition and I think there’s still work to do.


BLACK GIRLS ROCK – Jacqueline Shepherd and Remel London

Q: There have been such a variety of guests this season, from Anthony Joshua to The Vamps. What TV shows did you watch growing up that was just as varied as What’s Up TV?

RL: I watched Live and Kicking and SMTV Live. I also watched a lot of adult TV because to be fair, it was only channel 1-4 anyway, so whatever was on we watched.

Q: The show is always a mixture of fun and entertainment paired with something quiet poignant (learning about the risks of prostate cancer, LGBT coming out stories etc.) what has this show taught you over the years that you wouldn't have otherwise learned?

RL: One of the features that you [Jacqueline] covered was life after prison. A lot of people lose hope; they may have family members in jail who don’t know how to change their lives after prison. Knowing that I can share that information and tell people to watch the show is great. So that one really stood out to me.

Q: Who was your favourite guest this season?

RL: I don’t want to say the obvious, but it was Anthony Joshua! He’s really cool

JS: He seemed like such a cool guy and meeting him in person, he’s so much cooler than I was expecting. He was sound.

Q: What are some of the projects that you’re both working on that you can share with our readers?

JS: I’m a part of the Get Set To Eat Fresh project, which encourages young people to eat fresh. We’ve filmed four films and waiting for another two to come out and that’ll be on the Get Set website. I’m also working on a number of premieres.

RL: I’m working on an organisation called Music for Youth. They do many live shows across the country so I’ve got some with them in London, and some bigger ones that I can’t talk about yet. But it’s an amazing organisation that works with young people and encourages them to get into music. I work with Link Up TV regularly as well so lots of upcoming things with them.

Q: What advice would you give to other young women interested in following in your footsteps?

RL: If a door closes, build one.

Tune into What’s Up TV every Saturday on Sky1 at 11.30am.

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