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Alumna Bonita Norris goes to the extreme in new TV presenting job

Posted on 08/10/2012
Bonita Norris

Media Arts graduate Bonita Norris hit our screens yesterday presenting the Red Bull Cliff Diving series, in which daredevil divers jump from heights of up to 28m - plunging freefall at 85kph - at stunning locations around the world. The next episode is on at midnight tonight, on Dave.

We caught up with Bonita to talk about presenting, rising up the ranks in television and climbing in the Himalayas.

How did you get into presenting cliff diving?

Bonita: “I was approached out of the blue to present the show. The commissioner from Dave had heard about me and put me forward. Being told I had the job was like winning the lottery - totally unexpected!”

What is the best part of presenting such an exciting sport?

Bonita: “The best thing is getting to travel the world with an amazing production crew. We work hard and play hard. In TV it's all about team work.”

What other programmes have you worked on since you graduated?

Bonita: “I haven't. I'm a mountaineer. I spend my life climbing in the Himalayas. This was totally out of the blue.”

What advice would you give to other graduates hoping to have a career in television?

Bonita: “People in TV are overworked - they can always do with eager graduates willing to help out. You have to be willing to work long hours, do menial tasks and may not get paid, but once you're inside a production company, you'll have the opportunity to learn a lot and make your way up the ranks internally.”

How has your Media Arts degree helped your career?

Bonita: “Studying Media Arts was fascinating - the course studies so many aspects of cinema and television. I loved learning about different cultures through world cinema and as I liked to think myself a film buff - the history side of how Hollywood developed really important to learn about too. What I liked most was that as with real life film making, the course was equally creative and technical - we could explore our most outlandish ideas and were then taught the skills needed to make them a reality on screen.”

How have you applied what you learned at Royal Holloway to your work?

Bonita: “It's great to be able to understand simple things such as technical terms, how final cut works, how to turn a camera on - what the lingo means. TV is seriously stressful and competitive, and having both a theoretical understanding of its history and how the industry works today, coupled with technical understanding, is vital - so I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to work in film and television.”


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