News­night pre­sen­ter, 43

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Magazine - - Upfront - In­ter­view by Han­nah Nathanson

You tend to learn the hard way if an out­fit doesn’t work on News­night. The cam­eras move the whole time, so you can never be sure how it looks. The only way to play it com­pletely safe would be to don a velour leisure suit ev­ery day. It doesn’t take me long to get ready. We don’t have much time and it’s not re­ally that kind of show. I’m not a power dresser — the words con­jure up Dy­nasty’s Krystle Car­ring­ton and that’s not my style — but I hate wear­ing flat shoes in the stu­dio, which may be my own nod to need­ing stature of some kind. I’m open to what people tell me on so­cial me­dia but not par­tic­u­larly in­flu­enced by it. There was one bloke who wrote ev­ery week to BBC Lon­don say­ing, ‘Dear Emily, wear leather skirts.’ It would be odd if I took it all on board. My big­gest fash­ion faux pas was think­ing a Pringle golf sweater would work on air. It re­ally didn’t. I feel at my sex­i­est when I look my worst: af­ter an amaz­ing run and a swim in the Ser­pen­tine. The older I get, the more I pri­ori­tise fit­ness over beauty. On my day off I am in­vari­ably in ten­nis shoes and gym kit. Life is so much more ef­fi­cient if you stay in run­ning kit all day. I have an en­tire drawer of Sweaty Betty, and end­less black leg­gings and ten­nis skirts. When I was lit­tle I wished so badly I had long hair that I would use a pair of navy blue opaque tights to pre­tend I did. I’d put the waist­band part over my head and each leg was like a pony­tail. It was an in­cred­i­bly fetch­ing look. I was the third of three sis­ters, so I was dressed in hand-me-down Clothk­its clothes, mostly pur­ple and green com­bi­na­tions. It was very hip­pie in that 1970s-com­mune way. I worked in a hair­dressers when I was 14. I used to sneak old tubes of Ma­jirel colour home and dye my fringe a dif­fer­ent colour ev­ery week. The ma­roon was par­tic­u­larly vi­brant. I also wore very tight jeans which, look­ing back, were highly un­suit­able. Later on I got quite into Goth clothes, with lots of floor-length black skirts and sweep­ing lace. It was never con­sid­ered re­bel­lious at home; I think my mother se­cretly rather liked it as it looked vaguely Vic­to­rian. I adore wear­ing Vic­to­ria Beck­ham be­cause when it fits, it fits like a glove. You feel a mil­lion dol­lars — which is, sadly, around what it ac­tu­ally costs. Emily Maitlis is a sup­porter of The SMA Trust, a char­ity for spinal mus­cu­lar at­ro­phy (sma.org)

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