After a childhood filled with adversity, I left school aged 16 without decent qualifications but with plenty of teacher observations that I would never amount to much, ringing loudly in my ears.
After failing to secure a full-time job, I worked on the check-out at Kwik-Save, in the kitchen of the local boozer & childminding, before realising I had to go back to basics.
Aged 17, I took on a ‘YTS’ (an Apprenticeship) with St John Ambulance - an experience I credit with getting me on the right track. From there, my career flew, and I discovered I was quite skilled in computing. Despite IT being male-dominated, I refused to let my gender hold me back and aged 24, I was earning my first six-figure salary.
Losing my older sister made me vow to live an extraordinary life, I guess to compensate for her losing her so young. That desire meant I’ve run marathons, done triathlons, travelled the world and published a book. It was also this which pushed me to enter BBC’s The Apprentice in 2006, which I won and worked alongside Lord Sugar.
Being disengaged from politics, I never exercised my right to vote. That changed in 2010 when I suddenly engaged – I’ve never looked back and have spent years debating current affairs on TV. In 2017 I decided to put my money where my mouth was and run for election in my home town of Hull, (a die-hard Labour city) and again in 2019.
I’m a passionate Northerner and a stereotypically tight one too... My guilty pleasure is the ‘special-buy’ aisle in Aldi and I can’t resist a rummage in TK Maxx.
I’m a massive believer in personal responsibility, a hater of bullies and my true love is my baby son who was born very prematurely during lockdown.
I can’t wait to dissect and debate with my GB News family, shine a light on injustice and champion causes that could do with a spotlight. I just wonder if some of my old schoolteachers will be watching…
Outside of politics, tell us what matters to you?
My family. I am one of six siblings and losing my elder sister tragically when she was only aged 19 made me realise never to take them for granted.
What are you most proud of yourself for?
Exclusively pumping to feed my son for eight months when he was born prematurely. I was told it was almost impossible and it was the most physically difficult thing I've ever done, and very mentally taxing.
What advice (if any) would you give your younger self?
To get help if you have mental health challenges and that there is no shame in this. I battled with suicide ideation for years and didn't realise I was actually ill. I deeply regret that now and lost a lot of life because of it.
Why is Hull important to you? What makes it special?
Wherever I am in the world, Hull will always be home to me. It is a friendly city, full of salt of the earth people. Its home to almost every member of my family and the birthplace of my baby son, too.
Why is debate and balanced argument important to you?
It’s not just important to me, it is essential. We learn by hearing opposing views and develop understanding and tolerance. I cannot stand cancel culture, it is wrong on every level. Being able to accept, whilst disagreeing with, an alternate opinion is a key life skill in my view.
What makes you, you?
Undoubtedly the challenges I have been through, from my childhood into adulthood. Sadly I have experienced way more than my fair share and they have been deeply painful, but they have given me drive, ambition, empathy, a desire for fairness and my work ethic.
What career would you have pursued if it hadn’t been for the newsroom?
I wish that I’d known about trading and the city when I was at school. If I'd have known, I’d have headed there. I wouldn’t have let any glass ceilings stop me.
What does GB News mean to you?
I regard myself as a ‘conversation-haver’ and I take my platform seriously. I never shy away from the things that matter to our viewers and listeners. It’s important to shine a light on the things which need it.
Before GB News came along, people were crying out for an outlet which allows true debate and viewpoints which perhaps deviate from the way we are told to think. I’m also passionate about sharing stories from outside of the Westminster bubble. There's more to the UK than just London.
Your biggest accomplishment outside of work?
Do you have a stand-out moment in your career that has impacted on you?
Running for election twice in the constituency I grew up (Hull West & Hessle).
Your most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Beating 14,000 applicants to win BBC's ‘The Apprentice’ in 2006 was something I will never forget. I was lucky enough to have created success in my career before the show (I took a pay cut to work with Lord Sugar). But the show brought me into the public domain and led to lots of new opportunities. I will always be proud of that achievement and grateful for the opportunity.