Vanessa Cuddeford (Wi.1996-98) read Archaeology and Anthropology at Keble College, Oxford.
Vanessa has worked as a news reporter and presenter for ITV, ITN, BBC and Reuters. She also works with corporate clients making films and training people to speak confidently. After nearly 20 years away from Brighton, she recently moved back to the city with her partner and son and lives a stone’s throw from the college - handy because her son now attends the Pre-Prep school. Vanessa can sometimes be seen reading the news and reporting on BBC South East.
1. When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
2. What are you now you've grown up?
3. What is your best memory of school?
There are many. Mr Smith’s English classes, school plays, a trip to a Romanian orphanage, my tenure as MD of a spectacularly unsuccessful Young Enterprise company. We sold t-shirts with school logos that vanished in a single (30C) wash - not part of the plan. It left us bankrupt, but it was all good fun.
4. What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
5. What do you do/did you do as a career?
6. What does/did your job involve?
Finding stories… interviewing people… writing... running out of time… slapping some make-up on… saying something on the telly and trying not to trip over my teeth.
7. What are the most challenging parts of your job?
The unpredictability and antisocial hours. The best part is that no two days are the same. You meet people from all walks of life, and once in a while you’re witness to history.
8. What have you done that you are most proud of?
He’s four and he’s my little boy. Nothing I’ll ever do will top making him.
9. What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
More hours in the day (some of which I’d use for sleeping)
10. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
I want to say photos of loved ones but I’d spend my whole time poring over them and crying. In the interests of distracting myself from my predicament:
An e-reader with unlimited books
A radio that receives Radio 4
11. How would you like to be remembered?
As that amazing old woman who lived to 120