Verge meets June Sarpong

June Sarpong is possibly one of the most recognisable faces as far as british presenters go! With a career spanning over 25 years and an MBE on the shelf we could not wait to find out about her latest venture in writing her first book titled “Diversity”…..

Your career has been long and successful, how did it start out for you?
I started out as an intern at Kiss FM, I was 16 at the time and it changed the trajectory of my life. That Work Experience was one of the best things to ever happen to me.

It’s a very competitive world now and it’s not as easy to make it! What advice would you give someone wanting to start out in the industry now?
My advice to any young person starting now would be to create their on content and build their own audience and the TV networks will want you that way. In my day you had to be hired by network execs to get started now young people can go straight to their audience, it’s so exciting.

Can you tell us in your own words about the book?
Diversify is about the social, moral and economic benefits of diversity.

Diversity is described as “A fierce, accessible, empowering guide” – how did you find writing this guide and how important is the message?
It was A LOT of hard work, but I loved every minute of it, I’m so humbled by how well the book has been received. I’m so passionate about how we bridge divides and find common ground, so I never tire writing or talking about this issue.

In late 2013, Elton John performed a variation of his 1970 hit “Your Song” with the amended lyrics “You can tell everybody ‘You’re June Sarpong'” as an apparent reference to an in-joke between you both! We would love to know the joke???
It was hilarious, I interviewed him for T4, it wasn’t an in-joke per se, it was a super cool ad-lib by Sir Elton.

In 2007 you were awarded an MBE would this be a career highlight?
Yes 100% my parents are still dining out on it.

Since 2008 you have been on a mission to bring politics to a new audience, do you think you’re succeeding?
Not sure, but I’ll keep trying.

Will we be seeing you back on our screens as an opinionated loose woman at any point in the future?
No, I’ve finished Loose Women but I’m as opinionated as ever on The Pledge for Sky News, I love working alongside: Greg Dyke, Rachel Johnson, Nick Farrari, Afua Hirsh, Carole Malone and Maajod Nawaz. It’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a show.

 

June Sarpong’s Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration is published by HQ HarperCollins in hardback, ebook and audiobook.