Newsnight's Emily Maitlis reveals what she misses most about Sheffield - and her answer might surprise you

BBC presenter Emily Maitlis has described the thing she misses most about life in Sheffield.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 12:26 pm

The Newsnight host was raised in Sheffield after her father became a professor of chemistry at the University of Sheffield which in 2015 awarded her an honorary degree for her contribution to journalism.

She spoke to the university’s Alumni Magazine about her memories of the city, in a wide-ranging interview which also covered the challenges facing journalists today, the emotional impact of reporting on traumatic events and the person she would most like to interview.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis at King Edward VII School, in Sheffield, which she attended as a pupil, with headteacher Bev Jackson and chair of governors Carolyn Leary

Asked about her memories of Sheffield, she said she didn’t realise growing up ‘just how exceptional’ the city is.

She recalled walking up one of Sheffield’s three steepest streets on her way to King Edward VII Lower School every day – an experience she claimed had ‘taught me to adore hills’.

"Everywhere you go the views are extraordinary because of the elevation. And I still can’t believe that if I run from my old front door and turn right, I’m literally in the Peak District surrounded by sheep in forty minutes,” she told the magazine.

"Once you move south you realise how much flatter, blander and more crowded the rest of the country is. I really miss that about Sheffield.”

She added that she loved the way Sheffield is ‘halfway between a village and a metropolis’, describing how the concerts and plays she enjoyed there as a teenager were ‘first class’ but Sheffielders ‘still had the ease, access and chance of bumping into your neighbours wherever you are’.