Put on a sparkly dress and heels worthy of a strut because that’s the only way to greet Leah Charles-King, Jackpot247 fans! We’ve often suspected the word ’sparkle’ was invented just for her and if not, then she should have at least claimed copyright on it by now. But don’t you dare think this means she’s given herself airs. Oh no! This TV Queen is nothing but kind to her royal subjects, both on air and backstage.
Energy, for Leah it’s all about energy. As soon as she arrives at the studio she’s all smiles and bounce while making her way to her dressing room. It’s rather amazing considering the busy life she runs alongside Jackpot247.
I’ve been hosting Jackpot247 for a year and a half now. They asked me to come in for an audition so I screen tested which was so much fun. When I was offered the job, I was overjoyed! I’ve been well happy every day since, and I love it here. I’m also the managing director of The Red Carpet Academy – the UK’s first and only TV presenting and public speaking training run by mainstream and celebrity TV presenters and experts. I do other shows too and mentor young women to inspire and empower them with the skills needed to get into the media industry. This keeps me very busy to say the least!
As popular and successful as Leah is now, it’s never been handed to her on a silver platter – although her fan base who call themselves the “#Kingalings’ thinks she was born to be a Queen.
I come from the ‘school of hard knocks’ and I’ve literally been doing what I do for thirty years. I started off as a child actress, then I was in a girl band, got signed to Sony music and had songs in the charts before getting into TV. My life’s been a series of peaks and troughs. I’ve gone from dizzy heights to pretty much the gutter and back up again. But all of this gives me the fire in my belly to succeed and inspire others out there. There comes a point when you learn to appreciate everything you get. You can’t feel as if the universe owes you something because you’re good at what you do.
Leah admits she has been trying to master the art of power napping but sadly she hasn’t quite grasped it yet.
I try to have a quick nap between leaving my office and going to the studio, which very rarely happens these days. Before arriving I try to figure out in my head which outfit I’m going to wear, but most of them are actually here in what I jokily refer to as my ‘Winnebago’ whilst on-air. I jest to the viewers that I have thousands of sparkly dresses and send my loyal subjects to choose my outfit. In reality I just quickly decide what to wear based on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I’ll pull out two or three and see what I gravitate to. I don’t choose the sparkle, the sparkle chooses me. In fact a sparkly dress is for life, not just for Christmas!
Based on the cheeky grin Leah gave us, we’re inclined to think she was joking just a little bit. It’s not just sequins that are essential to Leah’s wardrobe. Shoes and lashes need a mention here too!
I have loads of shoes at home up to a point where I’ve had to take Polaroid’s of all my shoes and stick them on each box to remember. Ironically I only wear one or two pairs to work. They’re usually comfortable court shoes in black so they match everything. My secret is that I do try out new shoes on screen just so I know I can walk and most importantly dance in them should I sometimes go out for a boogie.
But of highest priority are my false eyelashes. I’ve got boxes in my locker and in my bag but there have been times where I’ve turned up and haven’t had any glue! Disaster! Now I keep spare glue in my dressing room just in case, as I simply couldn’t be seen on screen without them!
Have you ever watched Leah Charles-King on ITV? If not, you really should. Her enthusiasm simply oozes off the screen and she loves nothing more than to read emails and tweets sent in by the viewers.
I’m a girl’s girl and a people’s person. I’m really passionate about getting to know the players. So when I say something like “Hey Jenny, great to see you playing tonight!” I genuinely feel as if I know her and that she’s a friend of the show. Whenever people email into the show, I probably get more excited about it than they do because I think “Oh that’s the guy I just saw on the winners’ list!” It’s a role reversal because for them it’s about getting in touch with me but actually I love getting to know the players too and feel like I’m playing along with them. I want them to win and most importantly to enjoy their gaming experience.
We briefly mentioned it before, but Leah has a loyal group of followers on Twitter who will send her – and us too – tons of messages while she’s live on air. She knows each by name and appreciates the fact they watch the show whenever she’s hosting it.
I love my #Kingalings. It started off with just two of whom I now call the “founding members’ but there’s quite a big group of them now and it’s really great when they tweet me because they often make me squeal with laughter. It’s nice to know people are watching and enjoying the show. I know it might sound weird but some nights you can actually feel the players’ energy, even when it’s just you, the producers and all the cameras in the studio.
This energy must be one of the reasons Leah always has such great banter while on Jackpot247. She’s in love with #Hashtags and insists she’ll never tire of using them. Her faves are #Obvs, #Awks, #Totes and of course #KingAlings.
I’m such a goof that funny things happen to me all the time. Unfortunately I never keep a tally because every day just rolls into one big fun Jackpot247 ball of goodness. I’m always putting my foot in my mouth and my humour is quite naughty anyway so I may end up saying some things I probably shouldn’t. I’ve coined the catchphrase ‘Something to wet your whistle and tickle your pickle’ when talking of our Jackpot247 bonuses which the viewers seem to love. My biggest challenge every night is to have my mouth and brain working together at the same time! Some nights they just fall out, they don’t want to chat or even be in the same room and when that happens, it’s not a good look on live TV. I’ve done game rounds where I could not get any words out for at least 60 seconds.
Of course these tiny hiccups wouldn’t happen if Leah was able to run the show just the way she wants.
I’d have a live studio audience full of #Kingalings of course, and celebrity guests would come and play some games with me and the viewers. Mel B would be a great guest because lately everyone’s been saying I look like her. I have no idea why but maybe they’d stop saying it if they saw us next to each other and realised we’re so different. I’ve had plenty of comparisons from viewers and they always crack me up!
Don’t ask us to judge on the matter, Leah! But we do have to say that in our eyes you are so glamorous you’d outshine any celebrity you’d invite.
Would you like the join Leah Charles-King and her #Kingalings for some great banter when Jackpot247 is on #ITV?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Twitter: @leahcharlesking and @Jackpot_247