Miquita Oliver and Simon Amstell are the poptastic new presenters of Popworld, E4's brand new high energy pop cocktail.
Simon positively bubbles with excitement about the new show. "Popworld is more intelligent than your average pop show, it's less bland, has a sense of humour and a broad appeal and visually it looks great." Miquita stresses its difference from the rest of the pop pack: "Popworld has a lot more comedy than other shows, Simon and I get to write the news stories in the morning plus we get to do a lot more ad-libbing than on other shows, so we actually get to give our real opinions."
Simon explains how he came to land the presenting job on the show: "I sent in a tape of an interview I did with Mandy Moore whilst I was working at Nickelodeon and apparently my sense of humour and quirky tone was just what the producers were looking for. Before working at Nickelodeon I also did a bit of school radio." Miquita's rise to fame has been even more direct: "I got called along to audition with Simon and they liked the chemistry between us and gave me the job." Still only 16 years old, and with her final exams looming in May, Miquita has to perform a delicate balancing act between presenting and schoolwork: "I'm juggling presenting the show in the morning with working on my GCSE's at school in the afternoon. It's really hard work but everyone at school has been really supportive."
Miquita is a Hip Hop chick but also enjoys pop; "there's a lot of comedy in pop music that I really like." The first record Miquita bought "was by Kris Kross," the backwards dressing hip hop duo. When Simon is quizzed about his first musical purchase, he realises that his first pop purchase was also the work of one of pop's more eccentrically dressed characters. "The first album I bought was by MC Hammer, I thought he was the coolest man alive, even with those ridiculous trousers!" These days Simon's musical and fashion tastes have changed "My favourite bands now are Coldplay, JJ72, Semisonic and the Stereophonics."
Simon is enthusiastic about the show "It's really nice doing the type of show that my friends would watch" but remains unaffected by his new-found celebrity status "I'm happy going out with my mates, hanging out with my student friends." However, Miquita has had a taste of what celebrity can be like whilst travelling on public transport: "I've been spotted in public once by some little kids and their granny on the bus and I signed an autograph for them."
Miquita offers her advice to other budding young television presenters looking to make their first break in TV: "Don't feel you have to go to drama school, you don't have to be trained, just be yourself and be spontaneous and look out for auditions. Don't let lack of experience hold you back." Simon recommends trying to "get free tickets for TV shows and then just go along and see how everything works. It's a great chance to look at the camera placements, watch the process and see what does and doesn't make the final show."
Watch Simon and Miquita in Popworld every weekday at 1600hrs and again at 1830hrs
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