Gloria De Piero
I was born and raised in an ordinary terraced house in an ordinary part of Bradford. Money was tight but love and ambition were abundant. I was the first in my family to go to university and I became active in politics as a teenager because I wanted to change things for people from backgrounds like mine.
When I left university I wanted to work for the Labour Party, but no one would give me a job so I applied for research work in political television and became a TV researcher.
I worked on BBC political programmes and then I jumped ship to GMTV, the forerunner to Good Morning Britain, to report on politics. Aged 37, I was elected as the MP for the former mining constituency of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire. Some MPs love making big speeches in Parliament but that wasn’t really for me.
Instead, I was more interested in listening and learning, trying to do the best by the people I represented. I wanted to take their voices to parliament. I always said I would learn more about politics from speaking to one of my constituents for 10 minutes than I would from speaking to 1,000 people in Westminster for a year.
In 2019, after nine years as an MP I decided not to stand for election again, because I wanted to go back to broadcasting. For the last year, I have presented on TalkRADIO and Times Radio.
The same motivations that inspired me in politics inspire me today - to learn and listen to people who are affected by the news and tell the news through the stories of their lives. That’s why I’m joining GB News - it’s going to be the People’s News Channel.
More from Gloria De Piero:
Outside of politics, tell us what matters to you?
Friends, family, TV crime dramas, holidays and Chardonnay.
What are you most proud of yourself for?
Getting an education, pursuing a career and never giving up even when it was hard.
What advice (if any) would you give your younger self?
It would be easy to say you shouldn’t have done this or you shouldn’t have done that.
The truth is there is a list of things as long as your arm of things I could say I regret doing when I was young, but what’s the point? They have made me the person that I am.
Why is debate and balanced argument important to you?
I hate the idea that you listen to people, but you aren’t really listening, you’re just waiting for them to finish so you can tell them why are wrong. It’s so much better to really listen and think about whether it’s you that might be wrong. How else do you ever learn anything?
What does it mean to you to be a newsreader?
I’m not sure newsreader is the right word. People are inviting me into their homes through their TV or watching on their phone or tablet, so I better be speaking their language and talking about the things that matter to them. Otherwise, they will tune out - and rightly so.
If people are willing to give GB News a go, then we make a pledge to speak to the issues in their lives. So little of the existing news coverage achieves this.
The best and worst advice you’ve ever been given?
The best is to be honest about who you are and what you think. The worst? Of course you should buy that karaoke machine.
What career would you have pursued if it hadn’t been for the newsroom?
This is a good question. Thank God I don’t have to contemplate it right now.
Why have you decided to join the GB News family?
The reporters from around the country are what makes this project so exciting. We won’t be deciding what the news is from a studio in London. We’ll be led by our reporters, who will be led by you.
Your biggest accomplishment outside of work?
I’m proud that so many of my friends are my mates from school. I have made new ones along the way but there is something special about life-long friendships.
Do you have a stand-out moment in your career that has impacted on you?
Being elected to Parliament was a massive moment. It's an honour when your community sends you to Westminster to give them a voice.
It was a standout moment for me because I wanted to really listen and as a result, I had to change some of my own prejudices and preconceptions.
It’s the stand-out time in my life that made me question myself. I think the people of Ashfield changed me forever and for the better, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
Your most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Being elected to Parliament.
Most people will be familiar with your work, but tell us something that nobody knows about you?
My mum and dad are Italian. They moved here in the '60s to work in Bradford’s textile factories.
I can't really speak much Italian - they were so determined for me to integrate at school that they encouraged me to speak English, even at home. I can’t decide whether this was genius or insanity, but I know it was motivated by love and wanting the best for me.
How would your family describe you?
According to my husband, I'm occasionally bossy, sometimes argumentative and consistently useless at anything to do with technology.