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WPR Spring Lunch with BBC’s Sally Bundock

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Whether you’ve watched her before your day has got going on the BBC or been in front of her as a spokesperson or PR – in the 45 mins we heard Sally’s story over lunch last week, we glimpsed a unique insight into an accomplished, strong, industrious and disarmingly honest woman.

Click here for a snapshot on Sally’s perspective and how she has thrived in her career whilst singly raising three children since losing her husband Paul, in 2017.

Sally Bundock has enjoyed 17 years at the BBC and now presents her own show, The Briefing, with a 500,000 strong audience in the UK and 90 million global audience. From 5am to 8.30am she is live on air (on various BBC platforms) bringing viewers the latest financial, business, global and domestic current affairs, four days a week. Previously she was at the ‘all consuming’ 24-hour news channel Bloomberg but made the shift over to the BBC to be in a more family friendly and flexible culture, before she had her own children.

Her alarm goes off at 1.50am and by 3am she’s on route to the studio.  When her children were young, Sally and husband would tag team: with Sally returning at 10am, sleeping when her children had their afternoon naps, with a couple of hours of child care each day.  She proudly stated she had the children successfully sleeping through the night from very early on,essential to prevent divorce, given the working pattern she was in!

They have three boys and Sally discovered she was pregnant with her third when her husband was sadly diagnosed with carcinoid tumours (the same fatal illness as Steve Jobs).

Sally told us her work has provided stability and normality, both while her husband was receiving treatment and during her grief.  The routine and the confidence in her own ability (she can literally do aspects of the role in her sleep at times!) have been critically important and have kept her fulfilled and focused.

In a climate of cuts and redundancies at the BBC in 2017, Sally wanted a new challenge. And she wanted one that would work for her career and her family.  It was in the last couple of months before her husband died and she had his full encouragement and support to seize the opportunity.

She pitched the concept of The Briefing (with her as the solo presenter) and the show launched in October 2017.  The Briefing is now the most popular live show on BBC World News.  GO SALLY!

A few further points from Sally in brief:

  • Vote with your feet if your organisation or bosses won’t reasonably make accommodations for part time and flexible working hours
  • With salary negotiations, be prepared, factual and very clear on what you should be earning… setting out the case of why you deserve what you’re asking for. Never apologise for knowing your worth
  • Be encouraged: whatever you’re doing or however hard it might be, it’s amazing what resources you can find and never think that you have to do it all by yourself

Thanks again to Sally for taking the time to give the Women in PR Spring Lunch attendees a very motivating and uplifting talk, not least because Fridays are her non-working days!

Tune in to The Briefing weekdays, 5am-6am, on BBC One and BBC News Channel.