Luton-born broadcaster Mik Scarlet is so excited about his next career move that he’s even growing out his vibrant copper hair dye to prove his dedication.
A jubilant Mik, 49, told the Luton News that he’d been selected for a special BBC weather forecasting course aimed at the disabled.
He said: “It’s a big deal as the BBC are actively trying to increase disabled talent on screen and I’ve been chosen out of loads of applicants.
“It’s a real privilege and a chance I plan to take full advantage of. I’m even growing out my hair dye in case they’d prefer me natural. And if that doesn’t prove dedication I don’t know what does.”
The training is basically for television but will also cover other media outlets like radio.
Mik said: “It’s an intensive three days to give those selected the skills to go on to front the weather reports on air.
“It’s actually a really tough medium as you need to get the information across in an entertaining way in a really short time – and it’s all live.
“Luckily I’ve done loads of live work and have mostly written my own scrips, thanks to BBC training at the start of my career. So I’m hoping I’ll crack it.”
Mik is also appearing on Sky News as a news reviewer. His next slot is Sunday (August 2) at 6.30am. He joked: “It’s an early start but a wonderful opportunity to air my social and political views.”
In addition the former Putteride pupil is performing live at National Paralympic Day with a rock band that’s highlighting how new technology can enable very disabled people to play music. “It’s something I’m passionate about,” he explained. “Music saved me when I went into my wheelchair.”
Mik, who grew up in Stopsley, was born suffering from the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. He was one of only six children worldwide to trial a new chemotherapy drug. It cured the disease but led to the collapse of his spine.
Next month he celebrates his 50th birthday. “Not bad for someone who was given only five years to live as a baby,” he chuckled. “I honestly never thought I’d make it this far.”
Next year he’s planning to realise his dream of horseriding: “Now I just need to find a riding school that can cope with a giant bloke in a wheelchair.”