Interviewing the PM, holding power to account? Easy compared to house-training a puppy during lockdown, says BBC Midlands’ new political editor, Elizabeth Glinka
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I began my career working for Carlton TV in Birmingham and got my first job at the BBC as a broadcast assistant for BBC Radio 4 at the Pebble Mill studios – when we still used tapes to record the programmes! After deciding I wanted to become a reporter, I spent six years in BBC local radio learning my trade, starting in Worcester, becoming a political reporter in Stoke-on-Trent before moving to Radio WM in 2012. I joined BBC Midlands Today as the main breakfast and lunch presenter in 2013, which meant two years of 4am starts and lots of under-eye concealer. In 2015, I became a national correspondent for BBC news in London, then a political reporter at BBC Westminster before moving to BBC Newsnight in 2019. I was also full-time presenter on BBC London’s Sunday Politics programme before being drawn home to relaunch Politics Midlands at the start of 2020.
IT’S WHAT I DO
As the BBC’s political editor in the region, I deal with lots of politicians, locally and nationally. I may be challenging them a lot of the time, but against perceptions I find most are hardworking and in it because they want to make a difference. The nature of the job is always changing, so no one day is ever the same. I could be filming on location, live in the studio or interviewing the PM. Politics affects almost every aspect of our lives and it’s my job to help people to understand what’s going on and challenge those who make the decisions.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
My ambition for the Midlands is that it gets the recognition it deserves. There is so much to be proud of, but I think sometimes we’re not as noisy or as confident as the North-West, which has done a fantastic job of re-branding itself over the last decade.
Gosh, that’s hard. House training our puppy during the first lockdown? I’m usually most proud of the work where I feel we’ve made a difference or drawn attention to a subject that otherwise would have gone under the radar. I’m proud of my colleagues and the way we work together in some tough conditions over the last year.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
Always check. Names, figures, facts, whatever it is! Anytime you think ‘oh yeah I’m sure I know that’, you’re bound to be wrong. Accuracy is so important for trust, and that’s vital in my job.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
I grew up in Staffordshire, but my mum’s a Brummie and so I always thought of it as the big exciting city where we went for special shopping trips or days out. I remember getting the bus into Birmingham city centre with my grandma as a child, and being awed by the size of everything. It’s been home for many years now, and I love it.
These days I enjoy walking the doggo and spending time with friends, when allowed! There’s a lot to be said for a flat white and a walk. I like to cook. My husband and I are both foodies, so under normal circumstances we love eating out and Birmingham has a fantastic food scene. If we’re pushing the boat out we love Carters in Moseley.