Amy Garcia's TV Diary

Amy Garcia's TV Diary

Monday, 4th March 2024
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon

People who can’t get their teeth fixed and children struggling to socialise because of device addiction – it’s all part of a week’s work for Amy Garcia

Home from school run at 8:45am to missed calls from my producer asking me to go to Rotherham to interview a man who is living on a diet of soup and painkillers after losing his teeth 18 months ago. 

He can’t get an NHS dentist and has been quoted £5,000 to go private. While putting my make-up on at the kitchen table, I listen back to an interview he’s done on BBC Radio Sheffield. Ten minutes to prep and get on the road. 

When I arrive, the interviewee tells me he’s just had a call from an NHS dentist. He’s thankful to local media for telling his story. A two-minute package will now be a 30-second update. 

Leading the bulletin is the tragic story of a newborn baby found in a pub toilet. As a parent, I keep thinking about the mother at the centre of this.  

Today we walk to school. I jog the long route back – a rare chance to exercise. A quick look through emails, then the morning meeting. 

I have three interviews to prep and do: a Leeds scientist in the Antarctic, from the RRS Sir David Attenborough ship (very cool); the Theatres Trust speaking about at-risk theatre buildings; then a quick outfit change (an emergency dress I keep in the wardrobe for these occasions) and an interview with a child genius, which will run tomorrow. 

Early start for filming in Leeds with a group of primary school teachers concerned about the impact of devices on children. A real eye-opener.  

All have the same stories of children unable to regulate emotions, form meaningful friendships and make eye contact. It won’t run this week, but I start editing while it’s fresh in my mind.   

Meeting at 3:00pm to discuss what’s on this evening’s Look North. Prep interview with a doctor on long Covid, our top story. Hair and make-up in 10 minutes flat. Record the interview.   

We are short of editors, so I trim the pre-record myself and read through the rest of the scripts. Then it’s the 6:00pm headlines before rehearsing different items until we go live at 6:30pm. 

Day off, kids’ clubs, dance rehearsal for “Burrow Strictly Ball”, a fundraiser for motor neurone disease research in April. We will be performing at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Although I danced in my youth, ballroom is very different. Twenty years and two children later, my co-ordination is off and I have octopus arms. The sequin dress is something to look forward to, though! 

This morning I’m filming at a Rotherham school for my device report. There’s a delay on the M1; I’m stuck for two hours so arrive late and flustered. Children as young as 11 tell us they are spending 50 hours a week on a device. My daughter is 10 so I have a keen interest in the subject. 

The peer pressure to get my daughter a smartphone before secondary school is immense and something I am trying to hold back on as long as possible. 

Two interviews to record today – the first on local council funding. There’s been a U-turn in Calderdale. A care home earmarked for closure will now remain open. A young man with learning difficulties called Harry is coming to the studio. He has a huge TikTok following due to his extensive dinosaur knowledge. 

The studio can be daunting for some guests. I always try to spend time with them beforehand, so they can be at their best on air. He’s funny, engaging and shines! Harry’s family proudly watch from behind the camera.  

It’s now 5:00pm, so it’s a quick edit of the pre-record, some script reads, then into the studio at 6:00pm until we come off air at 7:00pm. I stay a bit longer tonight to edit some of the school filming from this morning. It will save me a job on Monday. 

Home and a glass of wine.

Amy Garcia is lead presenter on the BBC’s Look North. 

You are here