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26 July 2014
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Look North East and Cumbria Presenter profiles

Carol Malia
Carol Malia

It seems a long time since I was sitting in a classroom at the age of 14 talking to a teacher about my future.

She suggested journalism as a career because "I was nosey enough" and could write reasonably well.

That well and truly planted the seed and I eventually qualified as a senior journalist after training in Darlington and working as Chief Reporter for the Hartlepool Mail in 1989.

I enjoyed spells in BBC Radio Cumbria and Border Television in Carlisle before ending up this side of the Pennines again to work for Tyne Tees.

I've been presenting Look North for the BBC for more than seven years and it's my dream job. Which other would have given me the opportunity of walking along the wing of the Angel of the North with its creator? (It was still to be assembled in a steel yard in Hartlepool at the time.)

But outside of work duties, my real love is the outdoors. Nothing beats that feeling of achievement when you've hiked up a 3,000ft hill or finding yourself in a pile at the bottom of one you've just skied.

However, a long-proclaimed desire to learn surfing at Tynemouth has never been realised.

Strangely, I just can't motivate myself to be plunged into the freezing depths, while being heckled from the beach by well-wishers. But it's a promise I stand by so you may well see me one fine, hot day in 2012 attempting the sport.

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Sharon Barbour
Sharon Barbour

Growing up in New Zealand my two big dreams were travel and broadcasting. I would fall asleep listening to the BBC World service.

I went to the Australian Film and TV School and worked as a reporter and presenter across Australia and New Zealand.

It is a job full of excitement and challenges - once I had to read the news while abseiling down a clock tower!

I began work with the BBC at Radio Humberside. I then joined File-on-4 in Manchester and the BBC's Special Documentaries Unit where I worked on stories all around the world - Russia, across Europe and the United States.

I moved to Newcastle after I met my (now) husband - and read the Night Network News for Radio Newcastle, Cumbria and Cleveland - while studying at Newcastle University by day.

I then joined the TV newsroom - and worked for News24 - reporting on anything from ferret racing to interviewing the PM on his wife's pregnancy.

I feel very lucky to be here (where my father's family lived) and working for the BBC.

When I first visited friends in Ullswater in Cumbria 12 years ago - it felt like home.

I also love Scotland - and the coast and countryside of Northumberland.

Of course I miss New Zealand - but apart from there - what better place in the world to live?

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Lara Rostron
Lara Rostron

Ever since Jim'll fix it I've wanted to be on the telly - I wrote to him once but he ignored me.

But it taught me a valuable lesson for working in the media - never give up!

After a spot of teaching in the Himalayas, a bit of building work in Zimbabwe, and a stint working in a Little Chef, my poor parents wondered If I'd ever settle to one thing! But I got there in the end.

At university I worked for the local radio station and loved it.

I quickly did a post grad in broadcast journalism and got a job with Radio Newcastle, as their Durham District reporter.

Then I started working for Look North as the Cumbria reporter before coming back to Newcastle to present the Late Look North bulletins and stand in for Carol on Look North.

I love my job and can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing ... although lying on a tropical beach does sound pretty tempting!

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Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

Signed from Tyne Tees TV for a (very) small fee, I'm delighted to be the centre forward for the Look North sports team.

All right, at 5ft 6ins I'm more of a midfielder ball winner, but it's fun just being on the team.

I was a newspaper journalist for 14 years, kicking off at the Birmingham Post & Mail before heading back home to the North East and being transferred to the sports desk of The Journal in 1986.

After 10 years in Newcastle's Bigg Market, working, not drinking, I moved into television.

Now I'm at the BBC, my mum and dad think I'm on "proper telly".

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Colin Briggs
Colin Briggs

I originally came here to run the Radio Newcastle sports desk for a short while.

Two children and nearly 15 years later I am still here!

I started off in women's magazines (even writing the knitting pages ...) before settling into motoring journalism, PR and the odd bit of broadcasting.

That odd bit just grew and grew and I gave up a proper job to play rock and roll on the radio in Wales.

It felt like running away to join the circus.

Since then I have enjoyed verbal sparring with politicians, reporting from all manner of places and situations and meeting some of my heroes. Brilliant.

Short of being a test driver for Ferrari, flying Spitfires and fronting Led Zeppelin I really cannot think of a better job.

Even when the alarm goes at 04:00 hrs every morning.

Just reading that back I really do think it is time I grew up!

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