Many people will recognise TV presenter Amy Irons as a familiar face on BBC Scotland’s The Nine or as the voice of the Sacked in the Morning football podcast.
But now, Amy is turning her hand to new projects filled with dashes of glitz, glam, mud and rain.
The Not Quite End of Year Show will kick off the country’s Hogmanay celebrations with Amy and a selection of guests taking a positive look back on 2021.
By the following week, she’ll be kayaking the waters of Orkney as the new star of BBC Scotland’s The Adventure Show.
Versatility has been a key asset for Amy in her career and the roots of this stem back to her childhood.
“I thought I was a bit of a jack-of-all trades at school. I liked my sport, drama, sciences and things and it’s just continued into my adulthood,” says Amy.
As a daughter of two proactive parents – former Dunfermline footballer David Irons and mum Fiona Hird, who was head of outdoor education at Stirling Council – sport is certainly in Amy’s genes.
However, it didn’t take long for Amy’s presenting flair to also come alive.
Jackie Bird was her idol growing up and Amy would also take inspiration from her local ITV Lookaround news bulletin, re-enacting news reports with her family.
“I used to force my little brother to make our own news programme called Irons’ Lookaround,” Amy laughs.
“Poor him, he would just hold the camera and I would present this programme in the utility room and interview my dad, probably about getting beat at the football at the weekend!”
After working at West Sound radio station aged 15, Amy says she “caught the bug” for presenting and set about carving a path for her future career.
One of her first breaks was as a presenter on Capital Radio Scotland’s breakfast show, followed by a special twenties takeover of BBC Radio 5 Live which further increased her profile.
However, when Amy’s fiancé Wayne Ewer tragically took his own life in 2018, her world collapsed.
In the years since, she’s spoken admirably about her feelings with the hope that in doing so, it may help others.
“I don’t want for it to have been for nothing,” says Amy.
“I talk for a living, but I just hope that by talking about what has been a really traumatic event for me, I might be able to help other people.
“That’s been one of my really big aims all along.”
Bravely battling through the lows of her personal life, Amy continued to find success in her career.
At the end of 2019, she appeared at Aberdeen’s P&J Live to host the red carpet and after-show parties of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, which Amy says “showed Aberdeen in its best light”.
Also up for a party will be Scots this Hogmanay as Amy takes centre stage on the Not Quite End of Year Show, partnering with Edith Bowman who will host the Hogmanay celebrations on BBC One.
“I’m really excited, it’s a real honour,” says Amy.
After what’s been a tough couple of years, I’m looking forward to putting a positive spin on things with a party and some entertainment.
Amy adds that there may be subtle homages to her Hogmanay idol on the night.
“I remember the first time I was asked to do Hogmanay,” says Amy.
“I just remember thinking, ‘oh my goodness, it’s Jackie Bird!’ She’s just a legend when it comes to TV.
“I’ll hopefully be channeling my inner Jackie!”
Out and about
Hot on its heels will be The Adventure Show with Amy the newest presenter of the 15-year long-standing show.
Airing on BBC Scotland on January 6, the first episode is based around the Orkney Isles with cycling, kayaking and skateboarding taking centre stage.
Amy may love outdoor activity, but she admits her latest role was one of her most challenging yet.
“It really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” she explains.
“Compared to being in the studio, to try and present when you’ve not showered, cleaned your teeth and only had about two hours’ sleep and all of your muscles ache, it’s a whole new challenge.
“But when you come through it, there’s such a sense of achievement.
“It gave me such an appreciation for Scotland’s outdoors and the beautiful countryside that we have.”
Advice for aspiring presenters
After what’s been a busy year for Amy, more exciting new opportunities are set to follow for the year ahead.
For young, aspiring presenters looking to be the next Amy Irons, versatility, confidence and resilience is key.
“The main thing I would say would be to believe in yourself,” says Amy.
“I’ve had so many knockbacks and it’s easy to think that you can’t do something or you’re not good enough.
“Just believe in yourself, build that resilience and you’ll get there.”
The Not Quite End of Year Show will air on BBC Scotland on Friday December 31, from 9-9.30pm.
The Adventure Show will appear on BBC Scotland on Thursday January 6, from 8-8.30pm.