As Sarah-Jane Mee takes over the hot seat from Eamonn Holmes as host of Sky News’s flagship breakfast show Sunrise on Monday, she tells HELLO! in an exclusive interview and photoshoot how she rose above sexism to succeed in her career.
The former Sky Sports presenter – who will be making history as Sky Breakfast News first female anchor – says she refused to ditch her high heels and blow dry just to fit into a ‘man’s world’.
“Working in sport can be extremely intimidating,” the 38-year-old tells HELLO!.
“For a while I had sleepless nights about it. Unfortunately there was and can still be a lot of sexism and patronising behaviour, especially from the old boys in sport.
“They would make sexist comments and say, ‘It’s just banter.’ But if I’m not laughing, it’s not funny – eventually they stopped.”
And she says she was determined to block out the negative comments on concentrate on the job.
“As soon as the men got to know me and realised I knew my stuff, I earned some respect. But I’d still turn up in high heels with a blow-dry. I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to dress in trainers – I was protecting a professional image.”
In the exclusive interview Sarah-Jane also opens up about her brush with a mentally disturbed stalker and how her great ‘friend and mentor’ Eamonn helped her land the top job on TV.
She said of Eamonn: “He has been a big champion of mine since the beginning, an amazing mentor and friend. He couldn’t be more supportive of me taking over.
“There is a real adrenalin rush to live TV. I’m just so privileged to be in this job.”
To read the full interview see this week’s HELLO! Magazine