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12 July 2014
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Presenting Success

Hermione Cockburn Hermione Cockburn

Since winning 2002's Science Presenter scheme, Hermione Cockburn has found herself presenting and contributing to programmes both on radio and TV.

She has worked alongside Adam Hart Davis on 'What the Ancients Did For Us' and is currently working on the BBC Two programme 'Rough Science'.

Watch Hermione in Action


Q. How did you feel winning the New Talent scheme?

Winning the BBC Talent contest was probably the most enjoyable and invaluable introduction to broadcasting that any scientist could hope for, but nothing could have fully prepared me for the adventure of five foreign shoots in as many months as a location reporter for 'What the Past Did For Us'.


Q. Were you prepared for what happened afterwards?

I distinctly remember one part of the BBC Talent competition - a devious little test called 'Presenting with Distraction' that involved doing a piece to camera while a fellow competitor tried their best to put you off by talking about something else. Well, take it from me, that's nothing compared to trying to remember a script that the producer handed you five minutes ago whilst you're balanced on the back of a motorbike surrounded by an excitable throng of Syrians doing their best to get in on the action!


Q. What was it like working in another country?

Working with a film crew in a foreign country can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand you dash around at lightning speed, but on the other you are in a privileged position and frequently visit places beyond the tourist experience. In Belize we filmed a near-pristine rainforest that covers a heartening percentage of the country. Soaring above the canopy in a helicopter with the British Army, who train recruits in jungle survival using local Mayan instructors, was another one of those defining moments when all the long hours, relentless travel and frustration faded into the background and I realised that this was truly my dream job.


Hermione's broadcasting ventures during 2005.

'Rough Science' series - (BBC Two)
'Shifting Sands' - (Radio 4)
'Fabulous, Flawless and Fake' - (Radio 4)
'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' - (Radio 4)
'The Ice Age' - (Radio 4)
'What the Ancients Did for Us: Greeks' - (BBC Two)
'What the Ancients Did for Us: Mesopotamians' - (BBC Two)
'What the Ancients Did for Us: Aztec, Maya and Inca' - (BBC Two)
'Gold' - (Radio 4)

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