Ellie Costello is a National Reporter and anchor at GB News. She began her journalism career at the BBC World Service, later moving to the Victoria Derbyshire Programme, before joining GB News as South-East reporter in May 2021, before the channel launched.
Alongside her national reporting role, Ellie can be seen as a regular presenter of Weekend Breakfast alongside Stephen Dixon.
Why did you become a journalist?
It was never a surprise to anyone that I wanted to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. I’m a naturally gregarious person, a storyteller, and incredibly curious.
In school I was always the one putting my hand up to ask the teacher questions, and that drive to get more information continues today. I always want to delve deeper into a story, and asking questions is the only way! It’s a great feeling to interview people – whether they’re top politicians, celebrities, or our viewers from around the country. I always learn something new.
What do you love most about journalism?
No two days are the same. I’m not the type who would suit an office-based job - I much prefer the excitement and variety of never quite knowing what the next day will bring. Thankfully, that’s something journalism definitely provides! One day I might be out on the road covering a court case, the next I’ll be in the studio hosting a live programme. Nothing beats the buzz of breaking news in a newsroom. The ringing of phones, everyone gathering around screens, and then an urgent deployment of to the scene to get footage.I have to be ready for anything, which is a lot of pressure but also a lot of fun.
What did you do before GB News?
I completed an English Literature degree at Southampton and then did a Masters in Broadcast Journalism at City University in London. My first job, straight out of university, was at the BBC World Service, and then as a reporter for the Victoria Derbyshire programme where I honed my love of human-interest stories and the craft of covering them.
These experiences have made me passionate about speaking to people who rarely have their voices shared in national media. I feel it’s so important to help tell their stories to the wider world.
Most important stories you’ve covered?
It is a massive privilege to have a front row seat for events that will go down in history. I was outside Windsor Castle when news of The Queen’s death broke and it was an incredibly powerful moment. I was surrounded many emotional neighbours who had lived alongside Her Majesty for years. Thousands of bouquets began turning up, as well as messages on Paddington bears and much more. It was just a visceral outpouring of love. I was there for a week, and it’s a week in my career that I’ll never forget.
As South-East of England reporter for GB News, I was one of the first on the scene when the MP Sir David Amess MP was murdered. It was such a shock; he was killed not a stone’s throw away from where I grew up and I knew a lot of the business owners and residents there. Yet again I was struck by the public displays of grief by the constituents of a much-loved MP. Sir David seemed to be universally loved. He had friends on both sides of Parliament, and no matter their politics, he was clearly respected and admired for his loyalty as a public servant. It’s a rare trait in a world of such divisive politics.
You often stand in as a Breakfast presenter. How’s that?
Thankfully, I’ve always been an early bird. So 4am alarms aren’t too painful. I’m a relief Breakfast anchor when others are away, so I can be seen fairly regularly alongside my friend Stephen Dixon for Weekend Breakfast, or Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster during the week. I love working with all of them, but Stephen in particular has become a good friend since I started co-presenting with him. I enjoy his relaxed style and his warmth when chatting with people. He's just so authentic and comes across so well on screen. I think we work well as a team, sharing the day’s stories with humour and personality. I am always so touched by the number of emails we get from viewers throughout the show. GB News viewers and listeners are the most loyal I’ve ever known. Their contributions to the programmes really do make our output sing, and it’s something that makes GB News so special.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep going and never give up. Also, to stay true to myself.
What advice would you give to people hoping to become a broadcast journalist?
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Be kind to everyone around you. And don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for opportunities, it’s the only way you’re going to succeed.
Best perk of the job?
The best perk of the job is getting to meet new people, fascinating people, and people with great stories to tell. Also, covering some of the biggest events of the 21st century, including the Queen’s funeral and the King’s coronation.
Worst aspect of the job?
I was stalked for 16 months by a man who thought he knew me personally from seeing me on a TV screen. It was a terrifying experience and really affected my ability to be relaxed when out and about doing my job. Thankfully, he pleaded guilty to stalking and harassment at court in late 2022. I gave my evidence from behind a curtain in court. He was given a suspended prison sentence and a five-year restraining order.
Tell us about your background…
I’m the daughter of two teachers, so perhaps my pursuit of facts and my love of asking questions has something to do with that.
I grew up in Essex with two siblings. I love being from Essex, I may be biased but I think some of the most down to earth, warm and genuinely lovely people are from my county.
What makes GB News special for you?
I love the focus on the audience and what they care about. It’s so unique and different to any other news organisation. Our audience really does feel like part of a family and there is a sense of belonging amongst avid listeners and viewers. I think it’s GB News’ greatest strength.