What does a television presenter do?
Television presenters front and present factual and entertainment television shows. You could be working on a range of programme types, including:
- children’s television
- game shows
- current affairs programmes
- reality TV shows
This is a highly competitive career. You will usually need to audition and complete a screen test to become a television presenter. You’ll need excellent communication skills and be willing to work long hours and shifts.
What do I need to do to become a television presenter?
While there are no specific qualifications required to become a television presenter, many people begin their careers by working as runners or media researchers behind the scenes of television shows. Some people become television presenters after working as actors.
Some presenters move into TV from other areas of the media like journalism or media research and may already have a degree. You may also need a degree or detailed knowledge if you wish to work on a specialised programme such as science, history or property development.
Whatever qualifications you have, you will need to have the right kind of skills and personality. Competition for jobs is very strong so you will also need determination, persistence and the ability to network and promote yourself.
If you’re serious about a career as a television presenter, you’ll need to have a showreel – a short film which shows your on-screen presenting skills.
You should try to get as much experience as possible of presenting, to develop an understanding of the way the industry works and to start building up a network of contacts. You could do this through work experience or voluntary work in community, hospital or student radio.
You could still get into TV presenting without a degree if you have the right kind of skills and personality. Competition for jobs is very strong so you will need determination, persistence and the ability to network and promote yourself. You will need to get as much experience as possible of presenting, to develop an understanding of the way the industry works and to start building up a network of contacts. You could do this through getting experience in community, hospital or student radio and work placements (such as with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4).
To do a degree, you will usually need five GCSEs (A*-C) including maths, English and science, plus three A levels or equivalent level 3 qualification. You should check with universities for exact entry requirements as vocational qualifications are acceptable for some degree courses but not all.
No specific A levels are required, but relevant ones include: English literature, English language, media, psychology, sociology, communication studies and law. Check with universities regarding specific subjects and entry requirements.
Vocational courses in media studies would be relevant for this work and performance-related courses.
- A levels including English literature/language, media, psychology, sociology, communication studies and law
- Courses in media studies
- Undergraduate degree
Where to find out more
Check out a TV presenter case study on the Creative Skillset website.
Where could I be working?
You may be working as a self-employed freelancer or you could be employed directly by an independent production company or a large broadcaster.