It's Time to Go out and Face a Big, Bad World; AS SCOTTISH TELEVISION SHEDS HIGH-PROFILE PRESENTERS, ONE REFLECTS

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE GINN

SHE has been a fixture on our screens for more than two decades as one of the most familiar faces in Scottish television.

So when Shereen Nanjiani announced last month that she was quitting her high-profile role on Scotland Today, it came as something of a shock.

Now the 44-year-old presenter has admitted she has no idea what the future holds for her when she signs off for the last time in May.

Last month, along with several of her fellow big-name colleagues, Miss Nanjiani secured a voluntary redundancy deal from Scottish Television amid sweeping job cuts.

Speaking yesterday for the first time about her decision, she said: 'The job is demanding at times.

You really earn your money when something goes wrong. And I want to be like everyone else whose job winds down at the end of the day.' Miss Nanjiani, who started as a graduate trainee 22 years ago, added: 'I went straight from school to university and then straight to Scottish Television.

'I've been totally institutionalised.

I've never, ever been out in the big, bad world. I think it's time to see what it's like.' Her admission that she has no idea what her next job will be is as surprising as her departure.

As one of Scotland Today's main anchors, she became the first Asian presenter on television and a household name.

But on May 5 she will make her last appearance and say goodnight to a career that has spanned two decades of broadcasting.

She worked her way up after joining the newsroom as a student on work experience in 1984, and has covered some of the country's most important stories, including the Dunblane massacre and the Lockerbie bombing.

But Miss Nanjiani, from Elderslie in Renfrewshire, has confessed she never had ambitions to be on television and never even saw herself as a journalist.

The philosophy graduate from Glasgow University took a summer job with Scottish Television as a researcher.

'I immediately felt at home,' she said. 'I thought, "This is it. It feels great. I have to stay on here."

'So I knocked on the doors of different departments asking for work and landed a series of monthto-month contracts doing research for them, or whatever.' Several months later, she was offered a fulltime job, but her career almost ended before it had begun after she failed her shorthand exam and was threatened with the sack. …