Podcast with Lilian Villarreal

News presenter Lilian Villarreal talks about how she stays healthy even with those early morning starts and how she was always destined for TV.

How do you juggle work and motherhood?

It’s a little easier now because my children are both at school I have Kiddy, who’s eight, and Brown, who’s six. In the early days though, it was really hard waking in the night and then getting up at 3.30am for work. I don’t know how I did that. It’s still tiring getting up early, but it works for me. I’m always there in the afternoons for the kids, and that’s when they need me. My husband Tom is there in the morning and then we have a wonderful nanny who comes at 7am and gets them off to school. They get the bus home in the afternoon on their own. I love that they can do that it’s an area where they can have some independence. I’m probably the antithesis of a helicopter parent because I think it’s so important for them to learn to fend for themselves. They are very independent and secure.

What were you like as a kid?

It’s funny, I remember getting a school report and the teacher said I had a sunny disposition. I thought that was such a lovely way to describe me. I was also incredibly curious. I used to irritate my siblings by interviewing them with a tape deck and a makeshift microphone. I was a born journalist. I had an innate interest in the broadcasting of a voice and a curiosity in people’s stories.

What do you enjoy about your work?

I do the Today Show news every weekday morning, and the 6pm bulletin on Friday and Saturday. I love live TV. Breakfast television is three-and-a-half hours of live broadcasting, and often there is breaking news so you are chasing stories at a breakneck speed. Doing that gives you a real buzz. I feel really lucky.

How do you stay active?

All through school I played a lot of sport. I took up running in my early 20s, but now I have bad cartilage damage to my ankles so I can’t run anymore. But twice a week I work with a personal trainer and this has really toned up my body and given me core strength.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d say, run your own race. Don’t worry about what other people think. It will all come together.

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