With a career spanning over 30 years, Ruth Langsford is a consummate professional, having worked on live TV for a large portion of her career. However, it seems some people she’s worked with in the past don’t quite share her professional standards.
Speaking on White Wine Question Time to pal Kate Thornton, Langsford said the one person who irritates her the most is those co-presenters who don’t do their homework.
“I do my homework and actually it really irritates me when I work with people who don't read,” she said.
“They come in and they haven't even read the paper, haven't even listened to the news or whatever it is, whatever you're doing. Those people, you know, I just think you really don't deserve this job if you can't even be bothered to put the work in.”
Listen: Ruth Langsford talks about what it’s really like working with hubby, Eamonn Holmes
Langsford’s disdain for people who don’t put the work in comes from a mistake the presenter made in her early working life during her first live interview with a beauty queen.
“I did what I thought was quite good research,” she told Thornton. “I had something like a four-minute interview and I wrote four or five questions.”
She continued: “Anyway, it turned out that she was very monosyllabic... I used up my five or six questions, which I thought was plenty, gone in a minute and a half. I was thinking I probably won't need the five... Well I needed 10 – probably because I was inexperienced!”
The Loose Woman anchor said her inexperience meant she panicked when her questions ran out, handing back a bit too rapidly to anchor man, Ken McCloud.
“What I also didn't understand was kind of the technicality of the cameras and everything,” she explained.
“I had all three at that point… One wide shot one on me, one on her - and so the main presenter Ken, didn't have a camera at that point.
“As I was winding up, they were going to take one of the cameras back to Ken. Well, I just panicked, and I bailed. I'd asked all the questions. I didn't have a single thought in my head and I just went 'Thank you, Ken!" I remember this camera kind of flying across the studio floor!”
Unfortunately for Langsford, after she’d done the interview, she got hauled into the editor’s office for a major telling off.
“He bawled me out and I remember thinking ‘Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry!’” recalled the presenter. “And he b******ed me: ‘How dare you come into my studio unprepared’”.
“I remember walking through the newsroom with people, pretending that they hadn't seen that I just got bawled out. And I remember walking straight through the newsroom thinking ‘Where's the nearest toilet?’ I cried and cried and cried, but actually it was probably a very good lesson for me.”
While the incident upset Langsford at the time, she does believe that mistakes serve a purpose and that it actually made her better at her job.
“Those things make you stronger,” she stated. “They scare you at the time, don't they? But I think they make you stronger. I think we have to make mistakes really.”
She continued: “It was a big mistake I made, but what I learned from that is do your homework and some. I write notes… But whatever it is, always have more than you think you need because you never know what's going to happen and I always do my homework for everything in life.”
One of the other reasons, the This Morning presenter says she’s committed to giving 100% to her job is due to her worry that she’s not somehow good enough.
“I think a lot of us have that thing on our shoulder - like I'm not really qualified for this,” she told Thornton.
“I haven't really done any training for this. I didn't go to university for this. It was a big - not a chip on my shoulder - but that kind of worry. And I think imposter syndrome for me just made me work harder. No-one's going to catch me out and say, ‘You're not qualified for this’, because I am going to do my homework!”
Since 2017, Langsford has also had her own clothing range with QVC, and it’s another job where she’s fully involved, from start to finish.
“I'm very, very involved in my range, literally from the moment I think of something I want,” she revealed to Thornton.
Read more: The best winter loungewear sets for women
“I am hands-on right the way through that process. I choose zips. I choose fabrics. I'm very, very fussy about what I want and very particular and I see it right through. When I do my shows… I know everything about my range, everything. I do my homework.”
While a career as dress designer took the former Strictly Come Dancing star as a surprise, it’s something that she not only embraces, but also works super hard at.
“I work really hard,” she said. “I throw myself in, as I always have done, a hundred percent. If I take something on and commit to it, I work really hard.
“I am that presenter. I read every brief. I do my homework. I will never turn up in the morning, not having read the papers and I'm the same with QVC. And also, I love it. And if you love something, it doesn't feel like hard work, does it?”