Fiona Bruce on juggling work with family

·3-min read
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

Whether she's unearthing gems on Antiques Roadshow or grilling politicians on Question Time, Fiona Bruce is without a doubt one of the country's most talented presenters and broadcasters.

The journalist and presenter sat down for an exclusive chat for Good Housekeeping's October issue - and revealed exactly what it takes.

Discussing whether she'd describe herself as ambitious, Fiona said: "When I started my career, I got asked that time and time again.

"In the end, I was thoroughly sick of it because I never heard a man being asked that. It’s the same as only women being described as ‘feisty’.

"You want to do as well as you can in your job – that’s human nature."

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

Mother to Mia, 19, and Sam, 23, Fiona also admitted that balancing work and family has been a challenge over the years.

"Did I spend enough time with my children? I think scratch the surface of any working woman and she will always think, 'Probably not,' she said.

"I don’t think there’s such a thing as quality time with your children. I think it’s quantity. But there’s never been any question that they take precedence over everything in my life, and always have done."

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

However, Fiona explained, "It was definitely helped by having the same nanny living with us for 20 years. She left when Mia finished her GCSEs, but she’s a firm family friend."

She also shone a light on what it was like to work in a newsroom during the pandemic.

"There were times when coming into the newsroom didn’t feel good because the pandemic was really peaking," she shared.

"And lots of people’s NHS apps were pinging telling them to self isolate. I remember I came in one day and one of the editors muttered darkly, ‘17 people have had to go home already,’ because their apps were going off.

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

"So you just think, ‘Ugh, I’m not really sure if I want to be here.’ But that was a handful of times; otherwise it was really good to keep going as it gave me a focus and it felt important to keep people informed."

With Question Time returning to its live audience format this month, Fiona can't wait to get going again.

"When the live audience comes back I will kiss every single one of them, whether they like it or not!" she laughed.

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak
Photo credit: Matt Holyoak

"There is no substitute for having people actually there, seeing what they want to talk about and gauging their reactions when the politicians speak.

"Having a live audience makes the programme an event – it’s the bit I enjoy most.”

Read the full interview with Fiona Bruce in the October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale 1st September. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.

Question Time airs Thursdays from 10.45pm on BBC One.

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