No tee for two:
Why CNN news anchor won’t play golf with her famous golfing father.
We live in interesting times, especially if you’re a journalist, and Kiwi Bianca Nobilo is right in the thick of it.
The daughter of New Zealand professional golfer-turned-TV-commentator Frank Nobilo is a news anchor and correspondent for CNN.
She has been named one of Britain’s top young journalists and has reported on many of the big news stories of the day, including Brexit, the London Bridge and Westminster terror attacks, and the British election.
Nobilo, 28, moved to the UK as a child after her father joined golf’s European Tour.
While she says her father is “so supportive of my work”, don’t expect to see them on the golf course together anytime soon.
“We never play golf because my dad is obviously naturally gifted at it and we’re both perfectionists and quite impatient so the combination of the two of us together can be quite volatile,” she laughs.
While a busy schedule means she doesn’t get to spend as much time here as she would like, Nobilo still holds a New Zealand passport and considers herself very much a Kiwi.
Her early life in New Zealand has helped shape her future and she says her family has always been proud of New Zealand’s achievements, especially the fact that New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote.
“I definitely grew up with a consciousness of the importance of all those things and how lucky I am,” says Nobilo.
Much of her work time is spent knee-deep in political news but an event of another kind captured her attention this year, along with the rest of the world. When asked if she got swept up in the excitement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, she laughs, “Yes, I definitely did.” Nobilo, who covered the Royal Wedding live for CNN, was at Markle’s hotel on ‘gown watch’. Her job was to give viewers around the globe their first impression of the wedding dress as the future Duchess of Sussex left her hotel by car. “I was talking to people by the castle and they were so excited,” she says. “You couldn’t help but be affected by all of it.” Nobilo recently returned to London following a stint as co-anchor at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta where she was paired with the Australian host of CNN Today, Michael Holmes. Naturally, there was some good-natured banter between Holmes and his Kiwi counterpart. “I had to really hold the side up because there are many Australians in Atlanta,” says Nobilo. “I got to rib them about the rugby which is always really fun.” It was Nobilo’s first time working as a news anchor but Holmes helped show her the ropes, with the pair bonding over their shared love of Antipodean confectionery.
“This is fairly embarrassing but the nicknames that we ended up with for each other were Pinky and Polly Waffle, which is both our favourite childhood sweets as children, mine being the Pinky bar and his being Polly Waffle.”
However, Nobilo’s favourite Kiwi treat is a little harder to come by in London, something she describes as “a great tragedy.” “Especially now in the heat of the summer because I used to like to put them in the fridge and then have them nice and crispy.”
She previously worked at the houses of Parliament at Westminster and her knowledge and passion for politics has her reporting extensively on the subject, in particular Britain’s exit from the European Union.
“As a reporter I really do enjoy covering Brexit and I think it’s because it can seem dry on the surface and I think people who live in healthy democracies can get a little bit complacent about listening and engaging with what’s going on,” she says.
For Nobilo, there’s an excitement in breaking down complex issues for viewers and holding “people in power to account”.
“That’s why I was in politics to begin with because I really believe in democracy and free press and I like being part of that discussion and getting people involved.”
“I think people who live in healthy democracies can get a little bit complacent about listening and engaging with what’s going on.”
– Bianca Nobilo