Belfast Telegraph

Maxine's Moment to launch new YouTube show

By Brett Campbell

Former BBC News anchor Maxine Mawhinney has broken the mould with the launch of her new YouTube series The Moment which goes live tonight.

The Belfast-born journalist hopes the new series of 15 minute episodes - which focus in on the transformative events that have occurred in the lives of her guests - can reach a huge international audience.

"I hope it gains a bit of momentum and people engage with it," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I'm very excited, but it has taken time for family and friends to get their heads around the fact that it won't be on TV.

"A lot of people have remarked about embracing new media at my age, people think 60 is old, but it's actually not."

The veteran news presenter, whose own career defining moment was covering the death of Princess Diana, has been preparing the launch of her new online venture since she signed off on the BBC News Channel for the final time last April. And she has relied on help from her former colleague and good friend Wesley Dodd.

"He asked me what I really wanted to do and I remember saying that the only thing I really enjoy is interviewing people," she explained.

"But I always found time restraints very frustrating and opined the fact that I could never speak to anyone at great length.

"I want to uncover fascinating stories that I have always known are out there and that's the key to the new programme."

Producer Wesley, who is the CEO of Celebro Media Studios, has taken control of the production, freeing Maxine up to focus on everything else.

"It's a very small team but Wesley has built me a lovely little studio which is just gorgeous and we have already recorded nine episodes which has been exhausting," Maxine said.

The interview format is designed to cut to the chase by posing questions which go straight the core of the guests own personal narratives.

"I start off by asking: What was your moment?" Maxine explained.

"Then I ask: If you could go back to that and change something, what would you change and why?

"Those bookends sit quite nicely - it's almost like putting a window on the world of someone to allow viewers to see another side of them." Best selling author Kathy Lette, whose son Jules Robertson has won the hearts of Holby City fans through his portrayal of autistic character Jason Haynes, courageously agreed to be the first guest.

"Kathy's moment is when she found out that her son had autism and, despite the tragedy, it's a very funny interview," Maxine said.

"She was told not to expect much for Jules and yet he's now an actor on British television."

Future episodes of the weekly series which "has a high bar for stories" will feature an eclectic range of guests, but Maxine is remaining tight lipped about who.

"They will be interesting and some will be very high profile - we'll be talking about things from stalking, truth and lies to doing dishes with the Queen," she said.

The mum-of-two, who lives with her husband in London, added: "I would really like to sit down with Mary Peters - she's had quite a few moments I'd love to hear about."

Belfast Telegraph

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