“In Primary and Junior School I Could Never Find My Place”: We Interviewed TV and Radio Presenter Sarah Powell

10 Nov 2016

We interviewed TV and radio presenter Sarah Powell

DtL: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sarah: Hello! I’m Sarah, I’m a radio presenter and I do a bit of TV as well. I have my own blog and a podcast with my divine friend Jules, creatively titled Jules and Sarah the Podcast, where we talk about cheese and our mothers.

DtL: Have you ever experienced bullying? If so what happened and how did you overcome it?
Sarah: I was actually bullied quite a bit at school, it was never horrific but it was nasty. I haven’t ever really talked about it because it “wasn’t that bad”, but actually it doesn’t matter whether it’s someone being bitchy or physically hurting you, it’s never ok. I was called names, picked on, and I think the worst bit was that I felt so isolated. I didn’t really have a crowd at school until I was well into secondary school. In primary and junior school I could never find my place, so it was easy for people to pick me out. I can think of two girls who were really vile to me, telling me I would never have any friends, I was stupid/ ugly/ weird etc. and it seems so strange to think I didn’t tell anyone for ages. You think you don’t want the fuss, that it will make it worse, but actually telling someone has got to be the most important thing. I finally told my Mum and she went to the school and things got better.

“In primary and junior school I could never find my place”

 

DtL: What advice would you give to those that are being bullied?
Sarah: You have to know that what is being said about you, isn’t true AT ALL. People that bully are projecting their own insecurities and crap over you and it’s not your stuff, it’s theirs. Whatever they are saying about you is utter nonsense – I can promise you that. I know it’s hard not to believe something if you’re being told it over and over again, but you know you’re a good person and the things that they’re saying have no truth. Also, you have to tell someone, just pick one person – it can be anyone that you like – and make it happen.

 

DtL: You have just written a blog post on anxiety – what inspired you to do that?
Sarah: I have had anxiety for a long time and I never talked about it for two reasons. Firstly, I always thought, “well it’s not that bad” and “people have it much worse than I do,” which was usually followed up with “what have I got to be anxious about?! My life is wonderful! How ungrateful of me.” The second thing is, I thought people would think I’m boring and no fun to be around. The irony here is that trying to pretend everything is ok all of the time makes you exhausted and then you’re not very fun at all. So I decided to be a bit more honest about everything, to say I have insecurities and things are hard sometimes. That blog was the scariest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever written, it was like taking a big deep breath out and revealing something I’ve spent so much energy trying to hide. The response has been the most amazing thing, people saying it’s exactly how they feel or sending me love, it’s been wonderful.

“I decided to be a bit more honest about everything, to say I have insecurities and things are hard sometimes”

 

DtL: What are the best/worst things that come with working in the public eye? And how do you overcome them?
Sarah: The best thing is doing something creative that you love and getting paid for it. You also get to show off a bit, which I’m terrible for. One of the worst things is that you’re not always in control of how people see you. I did an interview which went viral for being “awkward” but I was there and it wasn’t awkward at all. That’s hard because you want to defend yourself and explain what really happened, but by that point it’s so far gone and no one’s bothered about what the truth behind it actually is. You have to remember that you know what the truth is, you know you’re a good person and you did your best. Something I’ve also found really hard to accept is that some people just won’t like you. You can work really hard and do your absolute best and they just won’t get you and they’ll want to tell you that. Terry Wogan had a great phrase, he said “they either like you or they don’t”.

“I did an interview which went viral for being “awkward” but I was there and it wasn’t awkward at all”

 

DtL: If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell your younger self?
Sarah: Stop picking your lips. Drink more water. And don’t be so easily flattered.

DtL: What has been your proudest moment so far?
Sarah: I had never done any proper exercise until I was 30 and now I work out three times a week, so I’m proud of myself for that. I always thought exercise was something other people did and I would just be a bit fat forever. Now I’m actually fit?!

DtL: Is there anything you would like to add?
Sarah: Don’t spend any time on “should”, it’s a terrible word because it makes you miserable about all the things you haven’t done. Also be kind, eat your greens and go to bed when you want to, sleeping is amazing.

Sarah Powell’s heat radio show is on weekdays 4-7pm and Jules and Sarah The Podcast by Acast is available on iTunes.
For more information on Sarah please visit www.sarahpowell.co.uk or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @ThisSarahPowell

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