Naomi's Wild & Scary

5 minutes with... Naomi Wilkinson

Children’s TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson gives us her best tips, advice and stories about her encounters with various animals before she brings her Naomi's Wild & Scary tour to Brighton this April.

What are the best things about working in children’s TV?

I love that no two days are the same. I get to travel to amazing places, meet incredible people and do and see things that I wouldn't ever have done on my own.

What’s the most embarrassing item in your wardrobe?

As a children’s television presenter, I have worn hundreds of absolutely ridiculous costumes. Very little embarrasses me anymore. I have no pride left. None.

The best advice you have ever been given?

Before you criticise someone, you should always walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

What’s your hidden talent?

I can do the Rubik’s cube.

Who or what motivates you?

My parents. They are real ‘doers’ and never sit on their laurels. I am particularly like my dad who never stops and my husband always laughs at me as I make 'to do' lists for my days off that are completely unrealistic and would not be humanly possible to get through. Life is a bit short so I figure if we want something to happen or change, we need to get busy.

Can you give us any tips on how to believe in yourself?

I know it is not easy. I think us Brits are very bad at allowing ourselves to say that we are good at something. It comes too easily to us to put ourselves down. So I think it's a matter of listening carefully to parents, teachers, other adults in your life who really care about you and your future and if they tell you that you are good at something, you are probably REALLY good at it. If you're really good at something, it's a real shame not to nurture those talents.

Which animal encounter has been your favourite?

Where to begin? I have been so lucky and had so many, but I think one of my absolute favourites was swimming with wild Atlantic Spotted dolphins in the Bahamas. If a wild animal ever comes to hang out with you, with no food reward, then that is an enormous privilege.

And which animal encounter has been your most scary?

During filming for the last series of Nightmares of Nature we went out on safari in South Africa, at night, to observe a pride of lions. Our jeep had open sides and the lions came a lot closer than I had anticipated. I really thought I was going to become lion dinner that evening!

Naomi, joined by ‘Animal Mark’, brings her Naomi’s Wild & Scary tour to Brighton Dome on Sun 23 Apr.