You might think this is an odd question to pose, but after my meeting today with Nici Marx, who is a very interesting and savvy TV presenter, I was able to think of several answers. 

Nici has extensive experience as a news
anchor and reporter in both national and international radio and
television, which made her voice and face familiar around the
world.  She has been in the hot seat of news and current affairs, whilst anchoring programmes for Sky News, BBC World Television and CNN
International.

Cheerfulness in Adversity
She has an impressive CV including breaking the stories of the Gulf War, the Thatcher resignation, the fall of
the  Berlin Wall, the Bosnia crisis, the Hong Kong handover, and the
death of Diana, Princess of Wales.   So the ability to remain cheerful in adversity comes to mind – a key characteristic of polar adventurers too!  

Focus
Nici also talked about the requirement to have focus – because as you might imagine, when presented with a guest and a one page summary of who they are and what the story is, and a limited time to interview them, if you did not have that focus, it could end up being a meaningless exercise and of little interest to the viewer.  I recognised this from my own experience of the Arctic, when its minus forty degrees, and you are exhausted and all you want to do is sleep, you still need to keep focused to think, where are the matches, how do I warm up my feet, is the tent secure etc. and without that ability, you would be dead.

Survival Instinct
When all around is turning to …….how do you survive?  I found in the Arctic I applied the aforementioned focus to thinking in bite sized chunks.   What should I do to keep going for another 5 minutes?  And then for another 5 minutes?  And then for another hour?  The challenges are relentless with wind, extreme cold and exhaustion threatening you.   Imagine what its like in a studio. Breaking news, information changing constantly, someone shouting in your earpiece as you are speaking…and you have to survive because the cameras are rolling.  I learned to just keep going in bite sized chunks and before you know what is happening you have got through the day or the programme.

You can imagine also what an interesting conversation it was between two people who are highly skilled in asking effective questions – neither of us was let off the hook!