Amanda Harper Look North: On the occasion of her 20th anniversary at the BBC Look North studios, Amanda Harper reflects on her coworkers, fashion, and the rebirth of Leeds. Amanda Harper has worked at BBC Look North in Leeds for more than two decades, and she feels like she’s grown up with the show and her Coworkers. When she arrived in Yorkshire in the fall of 2001, she was in her late 20s. She was born and raised in Stockport but spent time working in Liverpool and London before deciding to return to the north.
In the pre-social media age, Amanda was on a train from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to London when she received a pager call from ITN, telling her to get off the train and return to Huddersfield, where she was living at the time. Other passengers in the carriage were unaware of the tragedy that was unfolding on the other side of the line. Amanda was one of the first journalists to arrive at Great Heck. Her husband, Jamie Coulson, a health correspondent for Look North, and their two daughters, ages seven and eight, moved into a shared house in Roundhay with her and they became fast friends. They still live in the north Leeds suburb today.
In her first week at Look North, Amanda shadowed other journalists before being given the opportunity to present a brief segment on Ian White’s news bulletin. I’d just had my hair done and was ready to go when the editor accidentally pressed the rewind button, causing the ‘live read’ to be played backward!
She quickly became friends at Look North
There were a group of young people who were all growing old together at the time that I accepted the job, so it was a perfect fit for me.” We’ve all been at Look North for a long time, but now that most of us have families, we’re a lot more responsible! It was a privilege to work with Harry Gration on my first Look North show at teatime; he was always encouraging and supportive, and I will miss him greatly.
“I went from video journalism to presenting, I bought a flat, and I started to establish myself in Leeds. While working early shifts, I came across Jamie, who was always pleasant despite my usual grumpiness. I assumed he was a snob because he always wore chinos while working at BBC Radio Leeds! I wasn’t sure if he was my type at first, but we ended up meeting at a holiday party anyway. Sometimes I have to interview him on the studio sofa, which is strange because I’m constantly wondering if he’s paid for the meal and who gets to do the bath!”
It’s been 20 years since she first began broadcasting live from the Great Yorkshire Show, where she met celebrities such as Mary Berry and Felicity Kendal, as well as Yorkshire entrants, at Chelsea Flower Show press days. For Christmas and pantomimes, she was often dressed up as characters and even flew across the stage at one time. She has also interviewed Patrick Stewart, met Terry Wogan, and met Michael Palin, among others.
In the past, everyone had a specific role, but now the job has changed dramatically. We’re all now expected to do it all. In addition to filming, editing, and posting to social media, we also create our own autocues. My bulletins are entirely self-produced and delivered. “A lot has changed in terms of technology.”
She has high hopes for the television industry’s future
This is the best time in history to pursue your dreams, and we’re seeing new opportunities. I’d like to learn more about the digital shorts we’re making for social media at the moment. “If you’d like to give it a whirl, we’re all ears.” This is a welcome change from the days when I had to bang on doors a lot and use my sharp elbows to get my point across. However, Amanda continues to be recognized on a regular basis (in stores such as Tesco, parks such as Roundhay Park, and her yoga classes), and she has enjoyed interacting with followers and fans on her Instagram account, which she uses to share her love of vintage fashion.
Dresses that cost as little as £2.50 can be found in charity shops for my on-camera appearances,” she says. Women frequently message me to inquire about where I purchased my clothing, and I’m now re-wearing 20-year-old fashions. There are many men of a certain age who leave comments on my Instagram posts, but there is also an active vintage community there. Unable to figure out where she would end up, Amanda recently came across an old school report.
There were thirty pages of it and about eighty percent of it said I had no confidence, was quiet, and would remain in the background. It’s a strange turn of events that I’ve found myself in a position of employment. Now is a great time to be in Leeds. In my early days in the industry, it was assumed that you needed a London address to advance, but now the industry is taking notice of the talent in the north.”
Yorkshire is Amanda Harper’s favorite place.
Roundhay Park: “I spend a lot of time there.” Bolton Abbey and Otley Chevin are two other places we’ve visited and enjoyed. Walking with my husband has helped me become more adventurous. We discovered a slew of wonderful places just a 10-minute drive away, like Thorner and Scarcroft, while in lockdown.” My favorite places to eat and drink are Preston’s Bar and The Stew and Oyster in Oakwood, where I often meet my mom’s friends. It’s a 45-minute drive from us, but The Fleece at Holme, near Holmfirth, serves the best Sunday roast.”
Ten facts about Amanda Harper
Amanda Harper was born and raised in Manchester, a city in northwest England. She was raised in Stockport, which is located on the other side of the Pennines mountain range. To date, she has not provided an exact date of birth. On the other hand, if we were to go by our gut, she appears to be in her 40s or 45s.
@amandaharper01 is her handle on Twitter, which is where we can find her professional social media accounts. In her videos, she frequently highlights and discusses noteworthy stories from the BBC and around the world. In addition, Amanda maintains a personal Instagram account where she posts pictures of herself. You can find her on Twitter at @goldifrocks99. It’s safe to say that Amanda has a good sense of self-awareness. We don’t know anything about her husband at this time. Her Twitter bio, on the other hand, indicates that she is a mother of two.
Even in the journalism industry, Amanda is underappreciated. She does not have her own Wikipedia page, but you can find her bio on the BBC. Her salary will remain confidential until 2020. A BBC senior presenter, on the other hand, is clearly well-paid. Previously, she worked as safety equipment and clothing saleswoman in the industry. Amanda began working for the BBC in 2002. She’s been a member of the group for the better part of two decades. She has reported on a number of significant events, such as the murder of Jill Dando and the Selby Rail Disaster.