The Showbiz Specialist
Now seven months pregnant with her third child, Martel Maxwell has successfully carved out a career in newspapers spanning almost a decade. She’s now a published author. When I first went into the industry, it wasn’t easy; you needed a certain amount of confidence as a young woman, even if you painted it on. I started out at The Sun as a graduate trainee, I was a bit cocky when I was 22. Five years on, a man who started at the same time as me and I chatted over drinks. We discussed salary and I was earning more than him. You might need balls of steel to ask for more money but it’s worth it. Although it was a male-dominated environment, you rose based on merit. I was a young, hungry, showbiz reporter, but there was no way I could have done it with kids. You needed to dedicate your whole life to it. You’d be drinking with celebrities in free bars until 3am, and were expected to be at your desk at 9am. I am glad I made the conscious decision to leave newspapers to do radio and TV work. I chose to work for myself and go freelance after eight years of being full-time staff because I saw, firsthand, that colleagues who had become mums struggled. I have friends who express milk on their coffee break. I didn’t want to be in the position of coming back to work, into an ambitious and hungry career, after having a baby. Some women I worked with didn’t get huge support if they wanted to go part-time. Women were treated differently to men and I didn’t want it to be me. When my son Chester (who is 21 months) was six days old, I recorded a voiceover for TV. That might sound ridiculous when your baby is six days old but it was only for an hour-and-a-half and I felt like I had seen the outside world. I was asked to work for The One Show 11 weeks after giving birth to my second son and I felt embarrassed to ask the male producers if I could go and express milk, and I ended up getting mastitis, but that was my own fault. I am very lucky because my husband Jamie works for himself too so when work comes in, I can usually say yes, then worry about the childcare afterwards. My advice is: if you are ambitious, knock on doors and you are good, you will be in demand. In the future, I hope to have a healthy third child in December and bring my children up to be good people who can do anything they want. Professionally, I would like to complete a second book and get it published.
‘You might need balls of steel to ask for more money, but it’s worth it.’
Dress, Principles by Ben de Lisi, £50, necklace, Principles by Ben de Lisi, £18, cuff, Principles by Ben de Lisi, £15, heels, Red Herring, £22, all at Debenhams. Hair and make-up: Kayleigh Brock. WITH THANKS TO: The Academy of Make-up, Debenhams Silverburn.