The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2017 ceremony took place on 21 April at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, London. We were delighted to be joined by writer and television presenter, Konnie Huq, who took to the stage as our host for the day.
Konnie is perhaps best known for spending ten years as a presenter of BBC’s Blue Peter after becoming their 26th presenter in 1997.
She started her presenting career when she was just 17, fronting a number of children's programmes on The Children's Channel, CBBC and GMTV, while, at the same time, completing an economics degree from the University of Cambridge.
She also appeared on the BBC show Newsround as a child, when she interviewed Neil Kinnock before the 1992 general election.
Konnie's years on Blue Peter saw her taken to the far corners of the world, and her Blue Peter highlights include: learning to scuba dive; visiting Mozambique to open one of the schools paid for by money raised during the Blue Peter New Future Appeal in 1999; a trip to the village in Bangladesh that her family originate from; and learning how to be a rally driver.
In addition to this she has also been entrusted with interviewing leading music and film stars as well as two former prime ministers; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Music is a lifelong passion of Konnie's and she feels lucky to have had the opportunity to present such iconic music shows as Top Of The Pops for BBC One and The Tube for Channel 4 Radio. Konnie trained at the National Youth Music Theatre alongside the likes of Jude Law and Jonny Lee Miller. Her cameos include playing a servant (called Konnie) on the last episode of the second series of Robin Hood.
She also hosted London Talking — a topical debate show on ITV — the highlight of the series being Konnie hosting the animated mayoral debate between Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.
Konnie has many feathers to her bow and her versatile presenting style enables her to lend her experience to a wide range of topics, from covering New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week for Lorraine (ITV) to presenting major sporting and fashion programmes over the summer. She presented Zoo Days for Channel 5, jetted around the world as the presenter for the Red Bull Air Race on Channel 4 as well as presenting for GMTV. She presented the prime time series Guinness World Records Smashed on Sky 1 and also filmed Adrenalin Junkie with Jack Osborne for ITV2.
In 2010, Konnie further demonstrated her active side in ITV's 71 Degrees North, which saw her and nine other celebs attempt to make it to North Pole - 71 Degrees North. Later that year, Konnie landed the hottest TV presenting job in the country as the roving behind the scenes reporter on ITV's seventh Xtra Factor series, and delivered the highest ratings of all the series to date.
While undergoing her Xtra Factor presenting duties, Konnie jumped on the mic again for ITV2's series of Under Pressure, which gave Konnie the chance to achieve her secret desire of becoming a rapper. She took on the challenge of learning the art of spitting lyrics and becoming a real life MC, with the ultimate aim of performing her own rap on stage in front of a crowd of 3000 rap fans at the Indigo2.
Over three weeks and during the filming of Xtra Factor, Konnie lived and breathed the life of an MC with mentor, Mobo award-winning rapper Akala (Ms Dynamite's brother), and a selection of mentors, from Roll Deep's Manga to J2K and upcoming female rapper Baby Blue. With their help she successfully showcased her lyrical prowess and wowed audiences at the Indigo2.
Not to forget Konnie's interest in current affairs, she also presented Current TV's Shocked Britain, a week-long documentary series that went behind the headlines that shook the nation. The series used exclusive access to key archive news footage to uncover the most shocking murders, deaths, crimes, terror attacks, celebrity scandals, disasters and headlines of the modern age.