How did you get your job on TV?
We caught up with TV presenter and racing driver Rebecca Jackson and talked to her about how she got into presenting, what advice she gives aspiring presenters and how she finds the time to present, race cars and run her own business!
I was actually found on YouTube. I was doing video reviews of the cars that I had in stock at my business. I was using my camera, nothing trick and I was spotted by the video team at Auto Express and they invited me to do reviews for its sister site Car Buyer. It started with six videos and then I got asked to do another six and it just grew from there.
What type of shows do you present?
Being a bit of a petrol-head, most things I do revolve around cars. I’m currently one of two presenters for ITV4’s I Want That Car and I’m also the lead presenter for the What Car? online video review series. I’ve previously filmed for other well-known motoring titles such as Telegraph Cars and Carbuyer as well as making a guest appearance on Fifth Gear.
What made you get into presenting?
I was born to perform! Whether that is racing, precision driving and talking away in front of the camera, I love it all. It’s also really amazing to share my automotive knowledge with everyone watching.
Have you always been into cars?
Yes, since I was a very young girl I’ve always had an interest in cars. Both my parents encouraged my passion. My Dad was always tinkering away in the garage working on his classic cars and my Mum was a driving instructor. Cars and motorsport are in my blood and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I believe my genuine passion for cars and motorsport comes across when I’m in front of the camera. Regardless of the subject matter, if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about what you’re talking about, that will come across to the viewer.
Have you got any advice for would-be presenters?
First off, you need to have excellent communication skills and have the ability to think on your feet - particularly if you’re expected to present live television. A good memory recall is also important for those scripts and key messages you’ll be required to repeat, time and time again. Being articulate and having the ability to speak with authority are also key traits for any aspiring TV presenter. You must know your subject matter and be confident in talking about it. To genuinely engage with your audience, you need to be genuinely engaging. Basically you cannot fake it!
You’re also an experienced racing driver – how do you find the time to fit it all in?
Well, it’s not easy! I also run my own car sales business so it’s really important for me to stay on top of things. Being organised and disciplined is key. But, this is what I’ve chosen to do for a living and I’m fortunate to love what I do, so I never take it for granted. I’d advise anyone starting out on a new career path to remember the importance of positive mental health and to take the time to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
What’s coming next for you?
Later this year I’ll be co-hosting a new children’s television show on CBBC called Ali-A’s Superchargers. It’s basically a “Pimp My Ride” for kids. The children get to help me and my amazing co-hosts (YouTube superstar Ali-A and supercar vlogger Lord Aleem) pimp the run-down family car and we have to hope that the parents approve of what we’ve done when the car is revealed to them at the end of the show. It’s going to be so much fun to film. I can’t wait!