She’s no stranger to Welsh audiences, but the BBC’s Sian Lloyd is now a familiar sight to viewers across the whole of the UK, too. She tells Kirstie McCrum about early starts, alternative careers and heading up her second series of Crimewatch Roadshow
Next time you see Sian Lloyd presenting BBC Breakfast, remember how much effort has gone into her pristine appearance on the sofa.
The petite blonde who started out in the BBC Wales Bangor newsroom around 13 years ago has become a regular fixture on the big red sofa over the last year, but she says that the real heroes are the makeup team. “They do magical things – they’re magicians, those girls in the makeup department at Breakfast. They are fantastic. They can make anyone look good, which is a skill at that time of the morning.”
But as well as propping her eyelids open for those early starts – “you have to be up at half past three – the middle of the night!” she laughs – Lloyd is about to launch another month of crimefighting telly, as she hits our screens for her second series of the Crimewatch Roadshow.
The Crimewatch spin-off, now in its sixth series, is co-hosted by Lloyd and Rav Wilding, the programme’s male anchor since it started in 2009.
For four weeks from Monday, the Crimewatch Roadshow takes to the streets of Britain to appeal directly to the public for help with unsolved cases.
While Lloyd broadcasts out on location, Wilding appeals for help in the studio to find Wanted Faces, takes viewers through CCTV crime footage and highlights the new and innovative techniques police are using to catch criminals.
The programme will come live from nine different police forces, starting in Greater Manchester and heading to Northamptonshire in the first week, with week two in the West Midlands and South Wales, the third week in Northumbria, Cleveland and Durham, and finishing the final week with the Met Police and Surrey.
News journalist Lloyd, who started her career as a corporate lawyer based in London and Hong Kong, has spent the past few weeks filming everything from drug-driving detection techniques to kidnap driving courses. It’s all part of a programme which gives equal weight to former policeman Wilding’s turn in the studio and Lloyd’s on-the-road reportage – not that she’s jealous of his cushy role in the studio.
Criss-crossing the UK means she’s had a fair taste of a career path she could have taken if things had taken a different turn.
“I was able to go to the police college (in the north of England) and experience what it was like being a forensic police officer,” she reveals excitedly.
“Obviously there’s a lot more training that goes into it, but they gave me a whistlestop tour of what they do and taught me how to fingerprint, which was really interesting, from bottles or clues that might have been left at a crime scene.
“Then I had to get suited and booted into the kit and was in a scenario – a serious crime had taken place and then I had to say what I would do from what they had taught me in practice. My brain was in overdrive – it was fantastic.”
That world of crime and policing is not so very far from a news journalist’s remit, and Lloyd says it was a fascinating insight into how it all works.
“I’d only ever seen it on the TV before, or standing outside a crime scene reporting for the news, when you see all the forensic officers going in and out in their white suits.
“It’s given me a good insight into what they’re actually doing inside these properties when the rest of the world is outside waiting to find out what’s happened.”