active

Good Morning Britain weatherman Alex Beresford on how he keeps fighting fit

The Good Morning Britain weatherman sends temperatures soaring even in the freezing cold.

2021-03-10

This article was first published in Attitude issue 283, June 2017.

Words: Adam Duxbury

You started your career on the other side of the camera, as an autocue operator, but did you always harbour plans to be seen on screen?

Yeah. When I first got into the industry I didn't know anybody who even worked in the studio. I got the job as an autocue operator and I just thought to myself: 'You know what? Grab it while you can. It's a foot in the door.' So I took the job but my plan was always to be on the other side of the camera. It was a chance to find out who was who, how things worked and then make my move.

 

Alex wears t-shirt by H&M (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

And you have a degree in English studies and performance arts so maybe that was inevitablale?

Yes. I always knew that I didn't want to sit behind a desk, I knew it was always going to be something in the media or entertainment. And the weather, as you know, is entertainment [laughs].

What qualities do you need to be a weatherman?

People need to trust you for a start. You want viewers to believe what you are saying. The thing about weather is you get it wrong, people always remember but when you get it right it just goes over their heads. You also need to be able to be serious because at times the weather certainly can be. There are times when people lose their lives. You need to be able to step on screen and deliver in a sensitive way - especially when you're warning people - but at times the weather can be sunny and happy-go-lucky so you can have a bit of banter. It's a mix of things, especially when you're interacting with other presenters on the show and it's often live so you need your one-liners ready.

 

Alex wears vest by Nike, shorts by Y-3 (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

One quality you also have is a great physique. How did you get yours?

Well, I was a skinny kid and when I went to college I decided I wanted to build up my physique. When you're skinny and you're young you're quite lucky because you always have a six-pack - there's no fat on you [laughs]/ But as you get older that's harder to maintain. But I guess I just wanted to put on with so I started training with my friend in the gym from the age of 17. And, other than a couple of injuries, I've always maintained agym routine. I try to go three or four times a week. Work does get in the way sometimes, and when I’m tired I listen to my body and don’t go.

Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam

Would you say some of that was because you also wanted to look good on camera?

You know, although I had the desire to work in media I had no idea that I would end up doing that. So when I was 17 I just wanted to look good. It wasn’t with a view to being on camera, that came later. But almost everyone on screen wants to look after themselves. So that’s an extra incentive. But at a younger age I was just interested in looking good to go out at the weekend. It’s funny, some people have hobbies and they do them for years but for me the gym is part of my life. It’s not something that’s extra, it’s in the mix with everything else that’s important to me.

Alex wears vest by Nike, shorts by Y-3 (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

When you make it part of your lifestyle, that’s when you get results, right?

Exactly. It’s like when you wake up in the morning and you have your routine for getting ready. Part of mine is packing my gym bag. In the morning, I’ll put my gym kit in my bag even if I’m not going to the gym. I’ll always pack my kit because you never know, a friend might call and say: “Do you fancy going to the gym?” or someone might cancel plans and then I can go at the last minute. My work schedule can change quite quickly, so if I know I can’t get to the gym tomorrow, I’ll go today instead.

Alex wears shorts by Y-3 (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

And it surely doesn’t harm having the selling point of the weatherman with the good body. I know you certainly have a big gay fanbase…

[Laughs]. Yeah, I mean it’s great to be in shape and if I can inspire people to go to the gym and look good too, well that’s great.

What does your typical training regime look like?

I always start off by warming up: 15 minutes on the treadmill or crosstrainer. I’ll always do something to get the heart racing because sometimes you get to the gym and you just don’t want to train. Sometimes you get your kit on and you never get into your session. So even when you’re tired, get yourself on to the treadmill, get your body pumping and you’ll feel energised and ready to do the session. Then generally I’d pick two body parts and try to get my core in each time too, especially through the summer when that becomes more important. I kind of mix it up and then when I get to the end of my week and I’ve done everything I want to do, my last session will be a mix of everything.

Alex wears shorts by Y-3 (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get in shape?

You need to be able to motivate yourself. It is possible to change your lifestyle and it’s possible to get into better shape than what you are, but talking about it and putting it off isn’t going to get you there. If you can get yourself to the gym when you don’t want to, then you’ll be fine — you’re halfway there. I see people in the gym who are overweight and that always puts a smile on my face. When I see someone who has recognised that they can make themselves healthier and they have taken that first step; those are the things that make me smile. There are people who might laugh at an overweight person on the treadmill but it makes me feel proud to see them doing that, starting the process.

Alex wears vest by Nike, shorts by Y-3 (Photography by Markus Bidaux, styling by Nick Byam)

You also tour schools and colleges delivering inspirational talks to students. Do you see yourself as a role model?

People say, 'OK, you’re a role model', and I guess I have been recognised as one. I was given an honorary doctorate by my old university — I’m a doctor of philosophy — for the work that I have done with young people. But I do it because I’m passionate about it. I think there are lots of people out there who did it for personal gain. I do it because I genuinely enjoy doing it. It’s a calling for me, it’s something I feel in my heart. I’m not doing it for the recognition. I’d much rather give back as I go along.