Interviewer: Now let’s find out the answers to some of your questions. I’m going to quiz John Hammond, one of the forecasters in our team, on your behalf. What did you do before becoming a BBC broadcast meteorologist?
John Hammond: I studied for a Geography degree at Salford University, followed by a Masters in Meteorology at Birmingham University. On completing my Master of Science, I worked at regional weather centres in Nottingham, Bristol and Plymouth. This involved a variety of forecasting work for aviation, local industry, and some local radio too. However it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that I started TV weather presenting. I spent around 7 years as a Met Office forecaster at ITV, until joining the BBC Weather Centre in the spring of 2003.
Interviewer: Why did you want to be a broadcast meteorologist?
John Hammond: I think it’s the best job in the Met Office. If you’re interested in the weather and you like to show off, it’s the job for you!
Interviewer: What are the good things about your job?
John Hammond: No two days of weather are the same. So every day is a brand new adventure. It’s a great team at the Weather Centre and we manage to have a good laugh as well as doing the serious job of weather forecasting. Of course it’s also a privilege to be
working in television, and occasionally meeting some famous people too.
Interviewer: Are there any drawbacks?
John Hammond: Well, the weather never sleeps. I mean, staying up all night is one thing, but presenting the weather to the nation at four in the morning is another. Thank goodness for make-up!
Interviewer: Do you get nervous before a broadcast?
John Hammond: I always get a little nervous before broadcasts, especially on a day when there’s lots of severe weather around. I find I need the nerves to keep my broadcast pacey and energetic.
Interviewer: Have you ever made any mistakes?
John Hammond: Most days!
Interviewer: When and why did you first get interested in weather?
John Hammond: I have been interested in the weather for as far back as I can remember. I used to watch every BBC bulletin when I was very little. I even wrote to the weatherman Bert Ford when I was about 4, asking for some tips for becoming a weatherman. Given where I’ve ended up, it must have been sound advice. I’m very lucky.