BBC voice pure Kiwi

Last updated 13:21 19/03/2008

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Most people who watch the BBC news think that journalist Lucy Hockings is British, because she replicates the accent so exactly.

But the 31-year-old is in fact a New Zealand expat, who attended Kristin School in Albany.

Beginning her graduate career at TVNZ, Lucy moved to London and in 1999 began work as a producer on the BBC World news service.

In 2000 she was promoted to senior producer.

During her time as a reporter she has covered major events including the September 11 attacks, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the 2004 Tsunami, 2005 London bombings and the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Lucy is featured in Speaking for Themselves, a compilation of stories from well-known New Zealanders including golfer Michael Campbell, fashion designer Trelise Cooper, musician Dave Dobbyn, Amazing Race presenter Phil Keoghan and Shihad frontman Jon Toogood.

Lucy pursued work at CNN and Reuters before being employed by the BBC.

Her first few shifts presenting were over the Christmas period, and drew a huge audience. But she got so many complaints about her accent she was sent to elocution lessons.

After going back to producing, she started to read the news more and more, and eventually got a permanent spot.

Lucy still has a strong sense of New Zealand identity, and is proud to be a Kiwi woman, who she says are very different to the British.

"For a start they are 20 years ahead of English women.

"We’re very assertive about what we want and we know we deserve it, we won’t be messed around."

She says it has sometimes been difficult living in Britain but it has raised her standards.

"I’m very proud to be a New Zealander – a lot of people who like me on air think I have a lot more warmth than other presenters.

"To come from a place that’s really special, you get to feel unique."

Lucy says the key to being a reporter working around the world is to look at everyone the same and treat them with fairness.

Curiosity is also useful. "One of the greatest attributes we have as human beings is curiosity – that’s why I’m a journalist."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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