Michelle Ackerley: Crimewatch Roadshow Live presenter on the buzz of live TV
Crimewatch Roadshow Live sees Michelle Ackerley travel across the country to go behind the scenes with police forces. She talks to Georgia Humphreys about why she loves the job, building confidence and taking on new challenges.
CRIMEWATCH ROADSHOW LIVE EXPLORES HOW ISSUES SUCH AS THE THREAT OF TERRORISM ARE BEING COMBATED. WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING PART OF SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT?
You can't bury your head in the sand and think, 'Well, if I don't watch it or if I don't get involved in it, then it's not something that's important to me'. This is something that is really important to all of us, so for me to be actively involved in trying to make a difference is wonderful. It's one of the best jobs that I do from a level of being able to learn more, but also coming away from it thinking, 'Today I could have helped in some way'. So, I really get a sense of satisfaction from that.
HAVE YOU BECOME MORE CONFIDENT OVER THE YEARS WITH THE CHALLENGE OF FILMING LIVE?
Definitely. I definitely have. Also, you build up relationships with these different forces and because I've been doing it for a few years now... to have that rapport with people so they feel comfortable actually talking to you, that makes me feel less apprehensive.
YOU SEE THE DIFFICULT WORK THE EMERGENCY SERVICES DO FIRST HAND. IT MUST BE HARD TO SWITCH OFF AFTER FILMING SOMETIMES?
It is. It's one of those things that affects us all and it is hard to shake off. Anyone who genuinely cares about anything, you do take it home with you. But I think that actually helps in this kind of programme, because if you're passionate and you're thinking about it, you're more inclined to actually want to do more about it, want to make changes, want to speak to people in the know that could help raise awareness, which is great.
THE SHOW IS ON EVERY WEEKDAY FOR FOUR WEEKS. DO YOU FIND THE FILMING SCHEDULE PRETTY EXHAUSTING?
It's long hours and lots of travelling, so you do get tired, but it's that kind of good tired. You come off air and think, 'Right, that was a good show', then you're hoping that people get in touch and then you're on to the next location. The access that we are able to get through the show is fantastic and the police forces around the country have always been so incredible with us and go out of the way to help. I just find it a real buzz to be doing live television on a programme where you can make a difference, with a great team. It ticks a lot of boxes.
WHEN YOU STARTED OUT IN TV, COULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED BEING PART OF A SHOW AS ICONIC AS CRIMEWATCH?
No, it's pretty amazing really. I'm the type of person that really tries to remember things like that. I might be just about going live on air, or sitting down in a briefing meeting, and a thought will just pop into my head and I'll think, 'Wow, what you're doing now is amazing'. And I always feel like it's important to remember that and be in the moment and think how grateful you are for an opportunity.
YOU ALSO STAR IN THE UPCOMING SERIES OF CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF. WAS THAT A DAUNTING THING TO DO?
It was! I actually spend a lot of time on the road on location, so I don't spend a lot of time at home cooking and I am always up for a challenge. When they asked me if I wanted to do it, I thought, 'Actually, this is a great idea', because it's giving me the confidence to do something different and see how it goes. And cooking can be therapeutic as well, so it was a really good experience.
:: Watch Crimewatch Roadshow Live on BBC One every weekday