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Me and my health: BBC Northern Ireland newsreader Jo Scott on her lifestyle


Well grounded: Jo Scott
Well grounded: Jo Scott
Jo Scott with fellow Home Ground presenter Gavin Andrews and series reporter Ruth Sanderson

By Linda Stewart

The 47-year-old BBC News NI newsreader lives in Belfast with husband Gerry and sons James (11) and Ollie (8). She is co-presenter of Home Ground which returns next Monday

Q: Do you take regular exercise?

A: Yes I love exercise - and no one is more surprised than me by that! I wasn't remotely sporty at school but I started running in my 20s and got hooked. I go to the gym two to three times a week and it's just an integral part of life now. I love the feelgood buzz at the end of a session. I've met the most inspirational people through running. My closest friend Claire has overcome breast cancer and has a heart condition but still trains week in, week out and always with a smile. She is remarkable.

Q: What's the worst illness you've had?

A: Thankfully, I've been blessed with good health so far. I take nothing for granted, though.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I think it's reasonably healthy. My husband is a dab hand in the kitchen and makes his own bread. His Saturday morning homemade pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup are also hard to beat. I love all kinds of fish and got introduced to oysters while filming for Home Ground last year. I was instantly hooked. I love salmon, prawns and fresh mackerel and I think we have some of the best fish in the world. I'd love to give growing my own veg a try - we filmed last summer in the walled garden at Florence Court and I came home with lots of ideas and inspiration. I just need get planting and sowing.

Q: Do you have any bad habits?

A: Skipping meals and eating too much chocolate. I think my husband and kids might have plenty they would add to that list.

Q: Do you smoke or drink?

A: I don't smoke and it's hard to even imagine now that there was a time when people smoked in offices and on planes or buses. Thank goodness things have changed. I do like a wee glass of wine at the weekend though.

Q: Do you take supplements?

A: I take cod liver oil daily. My dad used to swear by it. I think we get most of what we need from our diet though.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: If I'm outside, I'm at my happiest, especially if the sun is shining. Home Ground is my dream job. Looking presentable is part of the territory as a newsreader, but the minute I can lose the lipstick and jump back into my jeans I do. I have always been the same - as a child my mum struggled to keep shoes on my feet. I also love when I can get out for a big walk with the boys - Belvoir Forest, the beaches of Donegal or my husband's home town of Rostrevor. We're spoilt for choice here, aren't we?  

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I get by. I've done shift work for almost 20 years, which isn't great for a regular sleep, but you get used to it. I look at my mum and marvel at how she worked full-time and raised four children. She made it look easy but was probably sleep-deprived most of the time.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Not remotely - why worry about something you can't control? I now worry more about climate change and the future problems we're storing up for our children, to be honest. My dad was really young at heart and had a brilliant sense of humour and my mum blows me away with her zest for life and positivity. I'd love to be like them. I'd like to try to stay as healthy and fit as I can, not just for myself but for my children.

Q: The go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: I interviewed a food futurologist recently who said we'll soon be eating insects and water will become the new wine. We'll be paying for flavoured air and silent restaurants. Scary prospect! I'd like to say the go-to product that keeps me feeling healthy is water or a punnet of fresh strawberries; the truth is it's more likely to be a family-sized bag of chocolate bites!

Jo Scott, Gavin Andrews and Ruth Sanderson are presenting Home Ground live from the grounds of Mount Stewart, Strangford Lough, on BBC One NI on May 6, 8 and 10 at 7pm

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