1883 Magazine
VickHope_top.jpg

Of Nigerian descent, Vick grew up in Newcastle, and while studying for a degree in Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge she moved to Buenos Aires to work as a journalist, landing her first presenting gig hosting an MTV International show while there. 

Upon moving to London, hard work on both sides of the camera led to fronting shows for the likes of ITV2, Channel 4, RedBullTV, Disney Channel and Sky Sports, as well as catching the attention of the BBC’s Women In Radio initiative, who offered her a place as host on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Vick recently worked on ‘Slenderman Killings’, a Channel 5 documentary that made the ’Guardians Pick of the day’ and ITV2’s 2Awesome, bringing Sunday morning hangover TV back. The fabulously stunning and switched on Vick has also become a mainstay reporter for ITN where she made her mark as a popular on-screen news and entertainment broadcaster producing, scripting and editing her own content.  With this skill set Vick has created many of her own documentaries covering racism in fashion and retouching in magazines. Most recently Vick has been announced as the new Capital FM Breakfast host with Roman Kemp. 

How did you begin your journey into the world of television and entertainment journalism?

After flirting with the idea of civil service and MI6, I read Kate Adie’s ’Kindness Of Strangers’, felt so drawn to a career in foreign correspondence, and made it my mission to get into Cambridge to study French, Spanish and Portuguese. I took a placement for a year in Argentina, it was an internship in journalism covering current affairs, while also working for a human rights organisation in Buenos Aires (amongst other jobs, including cocktail bar waitressing and as a dancer in a reggaeton club!).

I was at a party when I met someone from MTV, this lead me to screen-testing for a pilot. I got the show, and with it a taste of presenting, and although it didn’t go to series I was lucky that I had established a good connection with the people from MTV. I went back to uni to continue my degree, and knew then from my experience in Argentina that I wanted to pursue a broadcasting career. When I graduated I became a runner -and then intern - at MTV, it was a brilliant training ground in all aspects of production . During this time I worked on putting a showreel together and sent it out relentlessly. One of the first shows on which I was given an opportunity was with ITN Productions, presenting and producing The Breakfast Fix for 4Music (a lovely little midnight-8am shift!), meanwhile continuing to work in development production at various other companies during the day.

It was important to me to understand every side of the television industry, and about how a show is put together and edited. It gives you a deeper insight into the process and a strong skill set in a highly competitive industry.

You produced and starred in your own documentary about covering racism in the fashion industry, what was the process of creating this like?

When I was younger I did modelling to earn some extra money whilst I was running for various television companies. Whilst modelling I was made aware of the concept of ’shadism’. ’Shadism’ is a term used to describe how black people are treated differently due to how dark their skin is. I remember being told that black models are deemed more attractive if they have western features or a lighter hue of skin, and that I was a “palatable kind of black”, which is such a horrendous and unacceptable thing for anyone to say. 

The year that I made that film, 80 percent of the models at New York Fashion Week had been white, and I wanted to investigate the institutionalised racism in the way the industry represents the market to which it caters. Vogue released an issue featuring only black models which was a very grand gesture, but one which felt a little tokenistic and which didn’t actually incite change. I am however really excited at the recent appointment of Edward Enninful, as the new editor of Vogue, a man who has done so much for diversity in the industry.  This was a very personal topic for me: growing up in Newcastle, I only knew one or two other girls of African heritage, and remember asking my mum to “wash the brown off me” when I was in the bath, because at that age you care so deeply about fitting in. I became very aware of how much race plays into beauty ideals and conventions.

 Aesthetics aside, these struggles with negotiating identity and acceptance play out in so many industries and institutions, and not just when it comes to race. Cambridge is a brilliant university, and education is so important to me that it was such an honour to study there, but it’s incredibly elitist: there is very little racial or class diversity, and I very much arrived there feeling like I didn’t fit in. It’s telling that within just a few weeks I was approached and asked to be on the front of the prospectus with a feature inside, by-lined: Victoria Nwosu-Hope, Newcastle. It felt like they were ticking boxes: ethnic, Northern, female… but then it’s also important that the message is diffused that anyone can get in if they have the academic merit.

The main problem is not actually a lack of students from different backgrounds getting accepted, it’s that they don’t apply. My teachers at school had warned me that applying was “a risk and you don’t want to end up disappointed”, and throughout my time there I worked with access schemes in schools around the country trying to change that perception and let kids know that nomatter where you’re from, you should be able to fulfil your potential. 

Tell us more about working on the ’Slenderman Killing’s’ ?

There’s been a huge rise in online horror. A few years ago two young girls in Wisconsin stabbed their friend multiple times and left her for dead, claiming that ‘Slenderman’ had told them to do it. The Slenderman is an internet creation; he is an entirely fictional character and the documentary is about how although he may not be real, fear can manifest in people’s heads and drive them to do very real things. Our minds can be the darkest places. 

You have recently been accounced as the new Capital FM breakfast host alongside Roman Kemp, what has been like working on the show?

I adore Roman we worked together previously on ITV2’s 2Awesome and for an intense week in Paris for RedBullTV, so it’s felt like a very natural fit. Before Capital, I hosted Weekend Breakfast on its sister station, Capital Xtra for 6 months, and absolutely love radio. I remember feeling such a connection with the radio presenters I listened to growing up, and knowing that we’re in a position to wake up with our listeners, accompanying them on their commute every day, and build that same relationship, is a real privilege.

Where do you see your career in ten years time?

It’s really stimulating to cover a range of diverse subjects, spanning both entertainment and factual programming, and anchoring a big magazine show on which you continue to learn something new every day like The One Show would be the absolute dream. I also hope to keep making documentaries, investigating cultural and social topics around the world (a perfect way to incorporate my languages!).

When your not doing presenting/radio or journalism what do you do in your spare time?

I’ve always been an avid dancer, and have made it my mission to learn the national dances of every country in the world (there’s a documentary in that for sure!), so am spending time gradually ticking new styles off that list. On Sundays I volunteer at a local refugee project. It’s a social drop-in centre in Hackney for asylum seekers and migrants at every stage of the process, where I have worked for about two years with the children’s group there. It’s a project extremely close to my heart, especially given what I know of my mum’s story of coming to this country when she was 11, and a way to be able to give back to my community, even if on a very small, localised level, at least it feels tangible against the backdrop of a refugee crisis which sometimes feels too big to know what to do to help.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in entertainment journalism or television?

I think learning to create your own material is an amazing skill to have, being multi skilled in such a competitive industry will get you far, there are a lot of presenters and not a lot of jobs. Therefore having various different skills such as editing will equip you better and give you more opportunities.

 

Vick hosts the Capital FM breakfast show every morning 6-10am and 4Musics Trending Live Monday-Thursday 4-6pm

Interview by Georgia Packham Anderson
@georgiavpa

Photography Andrew Gough
@andrewgoughphoto

Styling Sofia Khan
Hair and Make Up Samantha Cole 
@samanthacolesart

Production Assistant Tamara Borodaneva
@tamaraborodaneva

Twitter Youtube Instagram Tumblr Facebook

Glam Style