Amanda Lamb - Interview November 2013
- Credit: Archant
From the shores of the Solent, Amanda Lamb has gone on to present programmes around the world – but being at home with her family is where she is happiest.
White sandy beaches, historical tucked away towns, exciting cityscapes and mountainous retreats – just some of the locations you may have seen as a backdrop to presenter Amanda Lamb as she scoured the world for potential properties on Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun.
Life’s a little different for Amanda at the moment however, having recently given birth to her second daughter Charlotte. Despite originally hailing from Hampshire, Amanda now lives at home near Richmond with her husband Shaun, who she met while filming the show and who now feels a little outnumbered. “Lottie is such a beautiful little girl and we’re chuffed to have her here – if not a little tired,” she says.
At 41, Amanda admits that she’s more than happy she didn’t have children too early on in life: “I have friends that had their babies in their 20s; while we were going to nightclubs and bars they were up all night feeding babies. Now they’re in their 40s and their children have grown up so they have their lives back again. I did it the other way around. I travelled the world and did lots of amazing things.
“I think you have much more patience when you’re older and there isn’t that feeling that you’ve not done everything you’ve wanted to do before you have children.”
The Hampshire-born presenter didn’t have designs on working in television from a young age: “When I left school I took a job as an estate agent in Havant and then moved on to Southsea until I was 21.” It was that year she and a friend went to the Clothes Show Live in London and she was approached by four different model agencies: “I remember thinking at the time, if I don’t do it now I’ll be too old.”
So Amanda quit her job as an estate agent and moved to London: “It was a scary experience and I hated it for the first couple of months. Then I got the Scottish Widows campaign a year after starting and from then on life was fantastic,” she says.
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Eight years after moving to London she discovered Channel 4 were looking for presenters with a property background: “Well obviously I’d had five years in Portsmouth plus I had travelled a lot through modelling. I managed to combine the two and that’s how I got the job on A Place in the Sun.”
Presenting the Channel 4 show is Amanda’s highlight of her television career so far, not least because that’s where she met her husband: “I got to travel the world, when filming pieces to camera on a beach like the one I visited in Fiji I would think ‘gosh, I’m getting paid to do this’.
“It wasn’t just the travel, we helped people find dream homes – we really did change a lot of people’s lives. The show will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first show I ever did.”
Amanda has always had a passion for property and an obsession with interiors. Even as a child in Havant at 15, she had to share a bedroom with her younger sister: “I wanted to decorate in Laura Ashley florals. My sister was nine at the time which meant half the bedroom was desperately grown up and the other half was full of Care Bears,” she laughs.
And she hasn’t grown out of her fondness for doing up houses, the property where she lives in London was far from habitable when she and Shaun bought it: “When we moved in it was in desperate need of a complete overhaul. But I like ripping everything out and starting again. The house had been tenanted for years and it was tired and shabby. We’ve bought in lots of light by knocking down walls - we’re so pleased with what we’ve done.”
When she’s not filming and being a new mum, Amanda still enjoys visiting her home county: “My dad lives in Southsea now and my best friend lives in Romsey so I get to visit a lot.
“I love Hampshire; it’s such a beautiful county. We’ve recently discovered Alice Holt forest - we’re there a lot now we have kids. We often visit the Old Town in Portsmouth and Langstone too, for a walk along the harbour. As a child I remember cycling to Hayling Island and having fish and chips on the beach. Where we grew up we was 20 minutes from the beach and 20 minutes away from beautiful forests - there aren’t many other counties where you get that.”
Jet setting here, there and everywhere has obviously had an affect on Amanda and her passion for keeping busy, whether it’s visiting family in Hampshire or dashing up to London to discuss potential new presenting opportunities. For most mums, life is about striking the right balance between being at home and keeping a career and Amanda can relate to that more than anyone: “I was thinking I would have a break after having Charlotte but I’ve been offered another show which I start filming in November. Plus I have a luggage range I’m designing with QVC that is out in the New Year. No doubt we’ll be moving at some point too, I’ll get itchy feet.” Talking of that balance, our time chatting was cut short, as motherly duties called: “Sorry, I have to be off, I have to pick up Willow from school.”